Tyler is a city in and the county seat of Smith County, Texas, United States. It takes its name from President John Tyler. This city had a population of 96,900 in 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau. Tyler's 2014 estimated population is 107,405. It is one hundred miles east-southeast of Dallas. Tyler is the principal city of the Tyler Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of 209,714 in 2010, and the regional center of the Tyler-Jacksonville combined statistical area, with a population of 260,559 in 2010.
Tyler has the nickname "Rose Capital of the World". It gained this name due to the large quantity of rose bushes processed through the area, along with hosting America's largest rose garden.
In 1985, the international Adopt-a-Highway movement originated in Tyler when, after appeals by local Texas Department of Transportation officials, the local Civitan chapter adopted a two-mile (3-km) stretch of U.S. Highway 69. Tyler is also home to the Caldwell Zoo and Broadway Square Mall.
As a regional educational and technology center, Tyler is the host for more than 20,000 higher education students, a College of Engineering, and a University Health Science Center, two regional, billion-dollar hospital systems, and a variety of technology startups.
Clockwise: Tyler skyline with Plaza Tower at right and People's National Bank office building in center, Cotton Belt Depot, Caldwell Zoo,Chamblee Rose Garden, Smith County Courthouse, Goodman Home.
|Nickname(s): Rose Capital, Rose Capital of the World|
|Motto: A Natural Beauty|
Location in Smith County and the state of Texas
|Coordinates: 32°21′N 95°18′W|
Tyler is located at Elevation: 544 feet (166 m). Tyler is surrounded by many smaller cities, including Whitehouse, Lindale, New Chapel Hill, Bullard, Edom,Brownsboro, and Chandler.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.4 square miles (140.8 km2), of which, 54.2 mi2 (140.5 km2) of it is land and 0.1 mi2(0.3 km2²) of it is covered by water.
Annually, the Texas Rose Festival draws thousands of tourists to Tyler. The festival, which celebrates the role of the rose-growing industry in the local economy, is held in October and features a parade, the coronation of the Rose Queen, and other civic events. The Rose Museum features the history of the Festival. Tyler is home to Caldwell Zoo, several local museums, Lake Palestine, Lake Tyler, and numerous golf courses and country clubs. A few miles away in Flint, TX is The WaterPark @ The Villages, a year-round, indoor water park. There is also an "Azalea Trail" in Tyler, which are two officially designated routes within the city that showcase homes or other landscaped venues adorned with azalea shrubs. Tyler State Park is a few miles away where visitors can camp, canoe, and paddle boat on the lake. Activities include picnicking; camping; boating (motors allowed - 5 mph speed limit); boat rentals; fishing; birding; hiking; mountain biking and hiking trails; lake swimming (in unsupervised swimming area); and nature study. The Smith County Historical Society operates a museum and archives in the old Carnegie Library. The East Texas State Fair is held annually in Tyler. Lake Tyler was the location of the HGTV Dream Home contest in 2005. The 6,500 square feet (600 m²) house briefly boosted tourism and interest in the community. It subsequently was sold at public auctionin January, 2008, for 1.325 million dollars.
Tyler has a Cotton Belt Railroad Depot Museum located near the Chamber of Commerce office.
The Smith County Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1959 by individuals and business firms dedicated to discovering, collecting, and preserving data, records, and other items relating to the history of Smith County, Texas. The Society operates a museum and archives, which is located in the former Carnegie Public Library building in downtown Tyler. Permanent museum exhibits include life-size dioramas with Smith County history topics ranging from Caddo Indians to the 20th century. Other items from the society's collections are showcased in revolving, temporary exhibits. The society's archival library contains historical artifacts of Smith County, including newspapers, city directories, school records, photographs, maps, historical papers, rare books, and much more. The archives are open to the public for research on a limited schedule with volunteer staff on duty. The society is also the official caretaker of Camp Ford Historic Park.
Camp Ford was the largest Confederate Prisoner of War camp west of the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. The original site of the camp stockade is a public historic park managed by the Smith County Historical Society. The park contains a kiosk, paved trail, interpretive signage, a cabin reconstruction, and a picnic area. It is located on Highway 271, 0.8 miles (1.3 km) north of Loop 323.