Description: The Gatewood-Shelton Gin is a 2-story metal-clad structure that faces north onto W. Crawford Street, just beyond the northern limits of Palestine’s historic downtown. Lacking any stylistic ornament, the free-standing structure originally housed a cotton ginning operation, but now houses a private club. All of the gin equipment and machinery was removed from the premises, leaving only the shell of the original building. The land on which the Gin is located was the site of perhaps the earliest settlement in what became the City of Palestine. In the early 1840’s this land belonged to James R. Fulton and Johnson Shelton, who operated an Indian trading post and grist mill on the site. When, in 1846, the Texas Legislature created Palestine to serve as seat for the newly established Anderson County, the new town was laid out just to the east of Fulton and Shelton’s trading post. The two men, along with William Bigelow, were hired by the first Anderson County commissioners to survey the surrounding land and lay out a town site, consisting of a central courthouse square and the surrounding 24 blocks. It is thought that the earliest business on the site, other than the trading post, was the Eureka Gin Manufacturing Company, which built several tin buildings here during the early 1880’s. These buildings were continually modified and adapted over the years, and they arrived in the configuration shown in this picture by about 1920. Later, the operation is listed in the 1914 business directory as the Morris Gin Machine Company. By 1926-27, the property was home to both the Morris Machine Company, which used the front portion of the building, and the Morris-Shelton Gin at the rear. It was the sole cotton gin operating in Palestine, according to city directories. By 1935-36, according to city directories, the ...
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