In the The Long Black Line, we have tried to capture some of the essence of that rural part of southeast Texas, its lush ranch lands bordering the Neches River and the piney woods of the Big Thicket Nature Preserve. The documentary features representative footage of the wild waterways of B.A. Steinhagen Lake, with its beautiful cypress trees, not far from my family’s near-400-acre ranch.

On the ranch, there is a meandering stream that snakes through the piney woods and, in the stream bottomland, bamboo grows tall. The area is home to deer, bobcats and, at times, wild hogs. Black water snakes also live in part of it, so a guide is advised for anyone touring the ranch. You can occasionally spot the remains of wagon trails, roads that were traversed by the residents of Mt. Union when small farms still dotted the landscape and a couple hundred children walked each day to Walnut Hill School. Most of the trails now dead-end where houses used to be, but there are still a few old oak trees that were planted in the late 1800s and early 1900s near the homesteads...more


HW96 runs from the Gulf of Mexico north through East Texas 200 miles to Carthage Texas. It is the subject of Herman Wright’s films. HWY 96 is bounded by the Neches, Angelina and Sabine Rivers. On both sides of the highway are towns with farm to market roads that intersect with this highway. The stories along HWY96 tell American History in the 20th Century in a personal way by linking ordinary people with extraordinary times. Hwy96 is runs through East Texas like a spine of a complex organism. It has had more tough days than good but its people love it. ...more

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