MARTIN DIES, JR. STATE PARK
The park sits on the northern edge of the Big Thicket, and just south of where the Angelina and Neches rivers meet. As a result, an extraordinary web of life exists here. Youll see a wide variety of plants and animals in the park, in the water, and in the neighboring Angelina-Neches/Dam B Wildlife Management Area.
Archeological evidence indicates humans lived in the area of the park for several thousand years.
The Caddoans were over two dozen tribes loosely joined into three confederacies Hasinai, Kadohadacho and Natchitoches. The Hasinais inhabited the region of the middle and upper Neches and upper Angelina river valleys. The Neches Rivers name comes from the Neches, one of the Caddoan tribes.
The first Anglo settlers moved into the area in the early 1820s. They found the Neches waterway loaded with ducks, fish and other game wildlife such as deer, turkey and black bear. The wide variety of trees and shrubs in the area provided fruit and nuts for food.
Their way of life changed little until the 1960s.
In the 1960s, development of a new state park along the reservoir began, with support from local East Texans and their state senator, Martin Dies, Jr.
Martin Dies, Jr. State Park is a 705-acre recreation area nestled next to B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir between Woodville and Jasper. The park has three units in Jasper and Tyler counties. TPWD leased the parks land from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1964, and officially opened it as Dam B State Park in 1965.