Neighborhoods La Porte
La Porte, Texas, at the head of Galveston Bay, is the door, “la porte” in French, to Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel. It is only minutes from Houston, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the Kemah Waterfront District, and the San Jacinto Battlefield and the Battleship Texas.
Founded in 1889 by French settlers, the area was famous for its cultivation of figs and citrus trees and drew increased population from across the country. There were no roads in the early years and settlers arrived by boat from Galveston Bay. La Porte was incorporated in 1892, and gained a rail line and the Sylvan Beach Depot, named after the popular area beach. Sylvan Beach became La Porte’s claim to fame and was a popular playground for the entire area, including Houston. The resort sported a pier, a dance pavilion, and the Sylvan and Artesia hotels. The Houston Yacht Club was born in La Porte in 1897. Sylvan Beach flourished until the 1950s but faded into obscurity when the rail line was discontinued. Nearby Morgan’s Point, one of Texas’ oldest communities, is located on the northwestern extremity of Galveston Bay at the junction of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River. Burned by a Mexican general in the Texas Revolution, Morgan’s Point claims to be the home of the famous Yellow Rose of Texas. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wealthy Houstonians established summer homes on Morgan’s Point.
The Houston Ship Channel grew in the 1970s and 80s and La Porte’s economy diversified. The city capitalized on its strategic location at the mouth of the important waterway and became a home to the chemical and petroleum industries, creating job growth and much prosperity.
As La Porte enters its second century, it takes pride in its small town atmosphere, good schools, strong industrial-based economy, numerous parks and plentiful recreational venues. The city boasts the top-flight Bay Forest golf course, two public fishing piers, the Houston Yacht Club, and Lomax Arena. There are many seasonal festivals, fine restaurants and, of course, Sylvan Beach is still a wonderful place to play in the waves.
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