The town of Bug Tussle, Texas has a population of 15 people (according to a 1990s report). But from recent drives through the area I believe the population is slowly growing. The town is located at the junction of Farm Road 1550 and State Highway 34, ten miles south of Honey Grove and five miles north of Ladonia in southeastern Fannin County. You won’t find this town on the GPS, it can be found on Bing Maps and Google Maps.
In the 1890s the town was founded by John Settler and had a post office from 1893–94. For some reason the name of Truss, Texas was changed to Bug Tussle. There are three popular stories to how the town got its new name. They all involve bugs invading or fighting. For each story told the people involved were watching the bugs fight and using the term while looking at the bugs and said “Look at those bugs tussle.”
By the early 1960s only six residents were left in town. But the David Graham Hall foundation took a fifteen year lease on the down area to restore it. The downtown area was commonly know as West Bug Tussle and had a population of thirty and used its name to bring in tourists and money to the town. .
When I drove through the area, I couldn’t find downtown or at least I didn’t know where to look. I did find the welcome to Bug Tussle, Texas sign.
The Bug Tussle General Store
The only building left in town except for a few local houses scattered around is the abandoned Bug Tussle general store. It has been abandoned for years and in the recent past it was a hot spot for photographers.
If you look at older abandoned photos of the building, you will see hanging from the attic window a sign that says Bug Tussle, Texas. The sign was stolen or fell off several years ago. The windows are gone and all that is left is the old general store style wooden counter.
We are looking for more information about the town, where the downtown area was, vintage photos of the town/general store that I can share, and personal/ancestral accounts of the town and the general store that I can use in the article.
In the last few years the current owner of the Bug Tussle General Store has done some updates and repairs to the building and property. The owner has refaced the outer walls with metal siding, created a rock parking lot, and added a sign. According to the owner, the building was walled with metal sheeting similar to what is currently on the building.
The exterior is in decent shape and the new metal exterior will help preserve the building. Interior has some rot and the flooring needs some work. Over the years scrappers have taken everything of value. The building is small enough and in good enough shape that it would be worth saving.
Please Note: This article was originally posted on my personal site on May 25th, 2015 The images were shot in August 2014 a few years before they added the metal walls. This article will be updated as new information is gathered. If you have any old photos of the store or stories you want to share, please contact us or comment below. I Then made the trip out again in August 2015 and shot the building at night.
Updated: 1/11/2021, 3/10/2021
About the Images
The images were shot by hand early in the afternoon on a gloomy day with my Sony Nex-3N and a Sony SEL16F28 16mm f/2.8 lens. I then edited the images in Adobe Lightroom. Next, I post processed with Topaz Clarity to add texture, brighten, and bring out the details in the images. Then I removed the dust spots. Finally, I used Topaz DeNoise to remove the noise from the image. The night photos were some of my early work at night. I used a mixture of long exposure sodium vapor light from a neighboring farm and a flashlight. Planning to try again now that I have a better camera lens.