Discover Carmine

Carmine, Texas is on U.S. Highway 290 at the Fayette-Washington county line.

Carmine was founded on December 24, 1883, by Benjamin J. Thigpen, a highly regarded physician.  He purchased 46 acres of land for $230 and plotted the townsite as “Sylvan”, but subsequently changed the name to Carmean, after one of the original highly-respected settlers of the area, Newton Carmean.  The spelling of the town was changed to Carmine on June 15, 1892, to eliminate confusion for the postal service with the town of Cameron.  The railroad opened a small station in the new city of Carmine where farmers could ship their products to market.

By 1900 Carmine had four general stores, four saloons, two blacksmith shops, a new paper named the New Century, several churches, and ten other businesses.

The Carmine State Bank opened in 1907 and the town received an economic boost that has helped the City throughout the years.  With the bank opening, other industry followed, boosting Carmine’s population growth to approximately 500 in the early 1900’s.

The railroad was first built to and through Carmine in 1871.  After Dr. Thigpen sold the railroad (known as the Houston& Texas Central Railroad) a right of way in what is now the center of Carmine, a small rail station was built in 1883 and Dr. Thigpen became the station agent.

The main economics of yesteryear were cotton, potatoes, chickens, eggs and cattle. Today, the chief source of Carmine’s economy is antique stores, tourism, ranching and the beautiful and historical countryside surrounding the city.

The railroad line was closed, and the track was removed between 1980 and 1985. By 1985 the town had twenty-five businesses and a population of 239. In 1910 the city of Carmine had a population of approximately 500 and in 1990 the population dropped to 192, and currently we are holding steady at 250.

Visit carminetx.com to discover more about the little city with a big heart.