x
Breaking News
More () »

Tyler's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tyler, Texas | CBS19.tv

Ever been to Granny's Neck? The history behind a tiny Texas community that washed away

The name lives on in nearby Cooper Lake State Park.

Texas is full of towns with weird names. Many of them are still around today, but 90 minutes east of Dallas is a place that has not gotten better with age: Granny’s Neck.

Yes, Granny’s Neck is a real place. At least it was until 1991, when it went under water.

“That’s right. Granny’s Neck’s at the bottom of the lake,” said John Sellers, mayor of Sulphur Springs, a town 20 minutes from Granny’s Neck.

Specifically, Jim Chapman Lake, also called Cooper Lake.

Although the community has washed away, signs of Granny’s Neck are still here.

“It is easy to go back and imagine what it was like in the time period of Granny’s Neck,” Sellers said.

Sellers' family grew up in the area and says the Granny’s Neck name came from the way the land was shaped.

“Not that it necessarily looked like a granny’s neck or had wrinkles,” said Sellers.

Instead of a grandma beauty contest, Sellers says long before the lake was here there was only the river, the Sulphur River.

In the middle of the river was that specific piece of land that gave Granny’s Neck its name.

“It was a neck of land that jutted out into the water and there was a granny that had goats there,” Sellers said.

The locals called her granny. Her real name was Mary Sinclair, and because “granny” lived on that neck of land, it was nicknamed “Granny’s Neck.”

But how did a nickname become the official name?

There was a bridge called Harper’s Crossing that went across the river near Sinclair’s neck of land.

The bridge was a popular crossing and brought a lot of folks right past Sinclair’s land.

“So people started living in this area, and they took this old terminology of calling it Granny’s Neck,” Sellers said.

The community grew big enough that there was a store, saloons and even a Granny’s Neck school.

But, when the lake and dam were completed in 1991, Granny’s Neck was flooded forever.

The name, however, lives on in Cooper Lake State Park at the Granny’s Neck screened shelter area.