I have lived and worked in East Texas my entire life. Born at Mother Francis in Tyler, Texas in 1977 and grew up in Lindale. I went to Lindale ISD from Kindergarten through graduation in 1996. I moved to Tyler in my early 20's and lived there until I recently moved back to Lindale. I've worked in Lindale, Tyler and Malakoff. So yeah, I know East Texas. I've even heard some of the tall tales that are told about East Texas.

Disney in Lindale

There was the rumor in the 80's that Disney was going to build a park along Interstate 20 in Lindale. Of course, I was a kid in the 80's so I wasn't privy to the gossip but did hear the stories years later.

More recent rumors include Buc-ee's being built along Interstate 20 in Lindale. That remains to be seen but, to be honest, seems very plausible. Stay tuned because I wouldn't be surprised if that comes true in the coming years.

Monkeys and Tunnels in Athens

Another East Texas tall tale is of a circus that was coming through Athens in the 1960s. The train that was carrying the monkeys for the show derailed. The monkeys escaped and killed their handlers. Some say that you can hear the screams of those handlers in the area of Thunder Bridge around West College Street.

Yeah, East Texas Has a Lot More Tales of the Weird That Can Be Passed Around

One of those tall tales of East Texas that is actually true is of gun turrets at Brookshire's Warehouse on Loop 323 in Tyler. I remember my mom telling me stories of those turrets when I was a teenager. To be honest, I shrugged it off because it just sounded so out there. You won't find a lot of information about it online except for a thread on Reddit where a couple of former employees talked about what they saw when they worked there.

One former employee talked about the pillbox (a small, concrete building with a small opening in the front used to fire a small weapon out of) that could seen from Old Jacksonville Highway. Another former employee talked about the turrets that were on the front corners of the building. There is also an area just past the guard gates that contains steel poles that can be raised from the ground that are strong enough to stop a vehicle.

Why were these put in place?

It's not entirely known why such security measures were put in place. Some believe the Brookshire family was simply protecting their business. Others believe the family was paranoid of people rushing their warehouse for supplies in an apocalyptic event.

I did some extensive searches online and couldn't find anything but that Reddit thread. But the story my mom told me, backed up by a conversation with one of our sales team last week, adds some weight to the truth of the gun turrets at Brookshire's Warehouse.

Neither the pillbox nor turrets exist anymore. It is believed those were removed in the early to mid 1990s. But the story will remain an unbelievable tale for those who are new to East Texas but a true story for those who have always called East Texas home.

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