NAME: Helena
COUNTY: Karnes
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Make sure to see the county courthouse.
REMAINS: Many historical markers and ruins
Helena is another example of a town that was but no longer is because of its decision to not pay a bonus to the railroad to avoid the railroad bypassing the town. As a result, its president chose to route the line between San Antonio and the gulf coast via Beeville. The town was founded in 1852 and in time became an important South Texas town. Despite its reputation for lawlessness, Helena remained the commercial center of Karnes County until it was bypassed by the railroad during the mid 1880s. With the passage of time, Helena became a town with fewer and fewer residents until it finally joined the list of virtual ghost towns. The visitor will see several historical markers, the general and Masonic cemeteries, the ruins of numerous buildings and the 1872 Karnes County Courthouse that has been preserved as a historical monument and museum. Helena is found at the intersection of Texas Highway 80 and Farm to Market Road 81 in north central Karnes County. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth
Courtesy Karnes County Library, Karnes City, Texas