Stephen F. Austin State University

The Texas Tea Room (March 2013)

The Texas Tea Room
By Vina Lee

The Texas Tea Room is located in the restored 1903 Bank of Carthage and later First National Bank building, located on the southwest corner of the downtown square in Carthage, TX. It now houses the Panola County Heritage Museum on the third floor of the building. The Texas Tea Room was opened on the bottom floor of the building in 1983. It originally was operated by the Panola County Heritage Foundation with volunteers serving during lunch hour.

I visited there several years ago with my daughter and grandson. A friendly lady invited us to sit at any table where we were offered a cup of hot spiced tea. We sipped it while the spicy aroma whetted our appetites. We had chose the Chef's choice, soup of the day, a half- sandwich, and chips. We settled the baby in an antique highchair and began our visual history tour of the old bank and surrounding Piney Woods along with the music history of Jim Reeves and Tex Ritter. The Panola County Heritage Museum is located upstairs on the third floor and is still free to visitors.

Recently the Tea Room was purchased by Lauren Phillips and is being renovated. Plans are for it to be open to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner by the first of December 2013. I hope to be one of the first to re-experience the history on the old square in Carthage's Texas Tea Room.