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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
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

  • Skinny Dipping at Trinity Bay by Mike Cox
    The full moon washed Trinity Bay in silver. In the quiet water, trout and red drum preyed on scurrying schools of baitfish moving in the summer night. Backlit by the refineries off toward Houston, an oil tanker silently slid toward the Gulf through the deeper water of the ship channel.

    Despite the hard times brought by the economic collapse in 1929, all seemed at peace and as it should be. But one Texas preacher soon came to believe that the devil himself had walked the bay’s shore that night... more

  • 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
    1940s Harris County map showing Baytown & Goose Creek
    (SE Harris County, near Chambers County line)

    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Goose Creek, Texas
    Area Towns:

    Harris County Towns
    Baytown
    Houston
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