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    GOOSE CREEK, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Harris County, Texas Gulf Coast
    On Galveston Bay
    Now part of Baytown
    30 Miles SE of Houston W of Houston
    Population: Included in Baytown

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    Goose Creek Jail, Baytown, Texas
    The former Goose Creek Jail in Baytown
    Photo by John Troesser, 2003
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    Goose Creek, TX

    by Bruce Martin

    Many Texas towns were named after people; or, former residences, as “New” Something-or-other; or, a land feature. In the case of Goose Creek, it was named for a nearby stream, a boat landing five miles from the nearest rail connection In 1915, following the discovery of oil in the area, another community developed, called Old Town. That same year, an explosion destroyed Old Town and the residents moved further inland and renamed the community Newtown. There were several attempts to merge the adjoining “wild cat oil drilling” communities of Baytown, Goose Creek, and Pelly. It was not until 1948 that the tri-cities were consolidated into what is now known as Baytown.

    Rice farming and raising cattle were original enterprises. As population increased, the Goose Creek and Dayton Railroad was organized and connected with the Southern Pacific line at Dayton. The Goose Creek Electric Power system (later sold to the Houston Light and Power Company), the Goose Creek Water System, the Citizens Bank, a post office, and a library enticed further development.

    The most prominent of businesses was the building and operation of the Humble Oil and Refining Company. The company has employed thousands since its establishment. Humble Oil was later named Exxon. While working in oil-rich Alberta in the 1980’s, Esso Resources was the Canadian registered name. For decades, the company motto was, “Put a Tiger in Your Tank”. Now, Exxon-Mobil is the corporate name; and, global in its business activities.

    When my father-in-law returned from WWII military service, his first employment was with Sheffield Steel (later renamed Armco). Following that, his career became that of a carpenter, elevating to the level of Steward. Prior to cooling towers being constructed of metal, they were built with hammer and nail from wood product. For Humble Oil, and other refineries that followed, Woodrow Nicholds built numerous cooling tower basins, frames, and fin slats from redwood, which had long-life expectancy. An uncle, Weldon Eaves, was a brick mason, another employed with Humble Oil. Numbers of their neighbors and friends were part of the Humble Oil family at one time or another.

    Prior to moving to Channelview, Uncle Weldon lived in the rural community of Coady in Goose Creek, near a small airport. I can only remember one occasion of visiting them at that residence; and, on that day, a low flying bi-plane was spraying crops nearby.

    © Bruce Martin

    May 21, 2012

    Goose Creek Chronicles

  • Writer saw the Goose Creek light in WWII by Wanda Orton
    For one shining time during World War II, New Guinea had a Goose Creek, Texas, connection.
  • Harris County Texas 1940s map
    Harris County 1940s map showing Baytown & Goose Creek
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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