TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Matagorda County TX
Matagorda County

Texas Counties

Texas Towns
A - Z

Bay City Hotels

More Hotels



Matagorda County
Seat, Texas Gulf Coast

28 58' 51" N, 95 57' 52" W (28.980833, -95.964444)

Intersection of Hwys 60 & 35
85 miles SW of Houston
25 miles S of Wharton
22 miles N of Matagorda
24 miles W of West Columbia
ZIP codes 77404, 77414
Area code 979
Population: 17,535 Est. (2019)
17,614 (2010) 18,667 (2000) 18,170 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Bay City Hotels

Bay City Texas downtown  building
Birdseye View, Bay City, Texas
Click on image to enlarge

Photo courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

Bay city was established in 1837.
Formerly known as Bay Prairie.

Bay City, Texas Landmarks / Attractions

Bay City Texas downtown  building
Vintage building in Bay City town square
TE Photo, 2000

Matagorda County Courthouse, Bay City TX
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2005
Matagorda County Courthouse

Bay City TX - Old 1917 Post Office,  Matagorda County Museum
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
Matagorda County Museum
The former 1917 Post Office, restored
2100 Ave F

Historical Marker:

Bay City Post Office

An election in the fall of 1894 resulted in the relocation of the Matagorda county seat from the city of Matagorda to Bay Prairie (now Bay City). D. P. Moore, the postmaster at the nearby small town of Elliott, owned property in the new town and moved his dry goods store to Bay City in 1894. His nephew, Joseph D. Moore, became Bay City's first postmaster. In 1912 D. P. Moore sold his property to the United States government for a new post office building. Contractor W. B. Lovell broke ground for the post office in 1917 and the building opened to the public on May 15, 1918. An addition built in 1958 provided extra working space and a loading dock at the rear of the structure. This building continued to serve the Bay City community as a post office until 1989. During that time it also served as a town meeting place, the site of the Selective Service Board during World War II, a Civil Defense fallout shelter, and a place of refuge from storms and hurricanes. On October 30, 1990, after several months of negotiations with the United States Postal Service, the Matagorda County Museum Association purchased the building to house the Matagorda County Museum.

Bay City TX -  1905 MoPac Depot.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
The St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Depot
Circa 1905. Restored

Bay City TX - Old Bay City Bank Historical Marker
Old City Bank on NW corner of courthouse square
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Bay City TX - Old Bay City Bank Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Historical Marker:


Established 1898, four years after founding of Bay City. Private bank. Owners: Henry Rugeley, Frank Hawkins. This building erected 1903, site of many investment transactions important to Texas gulf coast development.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965

Bay City TX - Old Masonic Lodge
Old Masonic Lodge, built 1906
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
More Texas Lodges

Bay City TX - Old Bay-Tex Hotel
The former Bay-Tex Hotel c. 1929
A nice example of a hotel built when cities formed their own corporations to build hotels to lure the new phenomenon of the "motoring" tourist.
At 6th Street and Avenue E

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Bay City TX -  Bay-Tex Hotel detail
Bay-Tex Hotel detail
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
More Rooms with a Past

Bay City TX -  Old theater on Avenue F
Old theater on Avenue F
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
More Texas Theatres

Bay City TX -  1908 Austin building on the south side of the courthouse square
1908 Austin building on the south side of the courthouse square
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Bay City TX -  St. Mark's Episcopal Church
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
2200 Avenue E, Bay City

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Historical Marker

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

This congregation traces its roots to Christ Church, Matagorda, from which parish many of its early members had come following the relocation of the Matagorda county seat to Bay City in 1894. Formally organized in 1895 under the leadership of the Rev. John U. Graf, St. Mark's held early worship services in the two-story frame building that also served as a temporary courthouse. The first church building was completed in 1901 during the ministry of the Rev. John L. Sloan. Over the years, the congregation has placed an emphasis on community service and outreach.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986

Bay City TX - First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church
Corner of Avenue H and Fourth Street

Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012

Historical Marker:

Bay City Methodist Church

The origins of this congregation date to 1870, when circuit-riding ministers visited people living along the Colorado River at Red Bluff. Norman Savage (1826-1879), a church elder, served the small congregation, and the first minister was Thomas W. Rogers. When the town of Bay City was surveyed in 1894 the Methodist congregation relocated and bought one of the first town lots. By 1897 they had built Bay City's first church structure, a frame building with a steeple and bell. The building also served as a Union church for other denominations in the town. The congregation purchased land at Fourth Street and Avenue H in 1904, and the original church building was later sold to the Bay City school system. Services were held in the courthouse and a building on the square until a temporary open-air tabernacle was built. Additional land was acquired in 1906, and a new sanctuary was completed in 1909 during the pastorate of A. S. Whitehurst. The church's fifth building was erected in 1958 and dedicated on March 30 of that year. A part of Bay City and Matagorda county history for over a century, the Bay City Methodist Church continues to serve the community.

Bay City TX -  First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, September 2012
More Texas Churches

Bay City Texas town square building
Another view of the Old City Bank
TE Photo, 2000
More Texas Banks

Matagorda County TX - County Marker
Matagorda County Texas Centennial Monument
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

Colorado River Bridge, Bay City Texas
Colorado River Bridge (view from end), Bay City, Texas, c1910
Courtesy William Beauchamp Collection

Bay City, Texas - Brazos River Bridge
Bay City Brazos River Bridge
"Rex" on the bridge (written on the back)
Courtesy William Beauchamp Collection
More Texas Bridges

Bay City Recreation
Matagorda County Birding Nature Center
35-acre along the Colorado River
Trails, fishing piers, wetlands, gardens and wildlife
1025 SH35
1.7 miles W of Bay City

LCRA Matagorda Bay Nature Park

1,600-acre park
At the mouth of Colorado River and Gulf of Mexico
6430 FM 2031
800-776-5272 est.4740
Bay City Tourist Information
Bay City Chamber of Commerce - 409-245-1622
2420 Seventh Street
Website: www.baycity.org
Contact them for the excellent driving and walking tour maps of Bay City.

Matagorda County TX 1920s Map
Matagorda County
From 1920 Texas state map #10749 showing Bay City

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Take a road trip
Texas Gulf Coast

Bay City, Texas Nearby Towns:
Houston | Wharton | Matagorda | West Columbia
See Matagorda County

Book Hotel Here:
Bay City Hotels | More Hotels
Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.




















































































Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Rooms with a Past

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Cotton Gins

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Pitted Dates
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
Texas Centennial

Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Contact Us

Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved