I would not use the word lake to describe Caddo. It is a swamp. A beautiful, mysterious swamp. Large cypress trees rise majestically from its waters. Spanish moss drapes the branches. All forms of wildlife call Caddo Lake home, including alligators which I’m happy to report I did not encounter.
Caddo was once a much larger body of water. So large that the town of Jefferson was a port for steamboats. Cotton farms from central Texas would bring their goods to Jefferson to be shipped to New Orleans where they received the best prices for the cotton.
The first sawmill in the state of Texas was in Jefferson. The beautiful bald cypress were milled and the farmers took the planks back to central Texas where there were no trees. They built their homes with this wood. Some of these homes, I understand, are still standing today.
At its height, Jefferson, Texas had a population of 30,000. During this time, Jefferson was the largest and deadliest town on the western frontier. There were over 300 murders on the streets of Jefferson.
It is no wonder that Jefferson, Texas, is possibly the most haunted location in Texas and the perfect backdrop for a creepy, supernatural thriller.
All this history, and the mysterious nature of Caddo Lake, became the perfect setting for Book Four in the Iconoclast Thriller series, Dullahan, The Haunting of Bordman’s Crossing. I could almost see the Dullahan (the Irish version of a headless horseman) galloping in and out of the dense foliage along Caddo Lake’s banks. The quiet of the lake made it easy to imagine the sound of ghostly horse’s hooves pounding invisible earth. It would be easy, and believable, to glimpse the apparition in the dense trees where our tour boat could not go.
In summary, Caddo Lake is one of God’s beautiful mysteries. I highly suggest a visit if you are in northeastern Texas. Take a wonderful tour of the lake with Captain Ron Gibbs. His knowledge of Caddo and its history is valuable and interesting.
Source of Caddo Lake and Jefferson’s history: Captain Ron Gibbs