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Baytown is a city within Harris Countymarker and partially in Chambers Countymarker in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. state of Texasmarker. Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, it lies along both State Highway 146 and Interstate 10. As of the 2006 U.S. Census, Baytown had a total population of 78,311. It is the fourth-largest city within the metropolitan area.


The area of Baytown began to be settled as early as 1822. One of its earliest residents was Nathaniel Lynch, who set up a ferry crossing at the junction of the San Jacinto River and Buffalo Bayou. The ferry service that he started is still in operation today, now known as the Lynchburg Ferry. Other early residents of Baytown include William Scott, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, and Ashbel Smith, who owned a plantation in the area.

The city now known as Baytown was originally three separate towns. The first of these was Goose Creek, named for the bayou of the same name where Canadian Geese wintered and whose name is still reflected in the area's Goose Creek CISD, whose establishment dates back to before 1850. This was followed by the rival communities of Pelly in the late 1910s, and East Baytown in the early 1920s. The "East" in East Baytown was later dropped because it was west of Goose Creek.

Serious talk of merging the three cities began shortly after World War I, but the community of Baytown was opposed to this idea. However, in 1947, the three cities finally agreed to consolidate. The citizens settled on the name Baytown for the new combined city. Baytown as it is known today was officially founded January 24, 1948.

In 1916, the Humble Oil & Refining Company, founded by one-time Texas governor Ross S. Sterling and his associates, built the first offshore drilling operation in Texasmarker and the second in the United Statesmarker. The company later built the Baytown Refinerymarker, which would become one of the largest Exxon Refineries in the world. Since then, many other refineries have been built in the area. Exxon-Mobil is still one of the major employers in the city and now runs over ten plants in the area.

Steel manufacturing in Baytown began in 1970 when United States Steel opened the Texas Works near the city. The 48 inch seamless pipe used in the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Systemmarker was produced at the facility's pipe mill. The plant was officially closed in July 1986 (never reopening after a nationwide strike against the company), due to a poor economic climate and the decline of American steel in the 1980s.


Baytown is located at (29.743752, -94.965767) , 22 miles (35 km) east of Houstonmarker.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.2 square miles (85.9 km2), of which, 32.7 square miles (84.6 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (1.51%) is water.

Baytown is bordered by water on three sides. Along the south and west is Galveston Bay. On the east is Cedar Bayou. The city is roughly bordered along the north by Interstate 10. Portions of the city to the east of Cedar Bayou reside in Chambers County, Texasmarker.


Notable neighboroods in Baytown include Wooster.


Baytown's climate is similar to that of Houston and the Galveston Bay area.


As of the census of 2000, there were 66,430 people, 23,483 households, and 17,025 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,034.4 people per square mile (785.6/km2). There were 26,203 housing units at an average density of 802.4/sq mi (309.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.87% White, 13.38% African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 14.42% from other races, and 2.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35% of the population.

There were 23,483 households out of which 39.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.9% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,559, and the median income for a family was $45,346. Males had a median income of $38,039 versus $25,012 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,641. About 13.0% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.


San Jacinto Mallmarker is a regional shopping mall that opened in 1982 and is one of the largest shopping malls in the region. However, economic changes in the area have left the mall largely vacant. The city is also home to major retail establishments such as Kroger, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Martmarker, and Best Buy.

Arts and culture

The Baytown Little Theater is a community theater in Baytown run entirely by volunteers. The theater has been in operation for 46 years (as of 2008) and is one of the longest continuously running community theaters in the state of Texas. The theater typically produces six shows each year from September to August, with each show giving seven performances.

Tourism and recreation

Baytown Nature Center, located on a peninsula along the Houston Ship Channel and surrounded on three sides by Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay, and Scott Bay, is both a recreation area and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species.

Houston Raceway Park is a motorsports complex featuring National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) races and a weekly drag racing program. Established in 1988, the venue accommodates 40,000 fans and included a high-Banked dirt oval race track that hosts races each year from March through October.


The Baytown Sun serves as the region's newspaper.

Government and infrastructure

Local government

City services

The City of Baytown operates the Sterling Municipal Library, which has a collection of 300,000 items. The original Goose Creek Library opened in 1925; the first county library in Texas, it was funded by the private donations of Humble Oil and Refining Company president Ross S. Sterling. The current Sterling library was dedicated in 1963. The library's space increased to 50,500 square feet after bond programs in 1975 and 1995. In addition Baytown residents are served by the Harris County Public Library system.

Baytown's law enforcement is provided by a municipal police department, Precinct 3 Harris Countymarker Constable office, and city marshal service.

Fire, rescue, and hazardous materials response is provided by the Baytown Fire Department.

Emergency Medical Services are provided by Baytown EMS, a division of the Baytown Health Department.

Baytown Branch YMCA is located in Baytown.

County, state and federal services

The United States Postal Service operates the Baytown Post Office at 601 West Baker Road .

Harris County Precinct Two operates Baytown Park, a senior citizen sports complex, at 4500 Hemlock Drive. Baytown Park includes two unlighted baseball/softball fields and toilets. The precinct also operates the Baytown Soccer Complex, located north of Baytown at 9600 North Main Street in an unincorporated area. The complex has eight soccer fields; four are lighted and four are unlighted.

Harris County Hospital District operates the Baytown Health Center in Baytown.

Harris County operates a tax office at 701 West Baker Boulevard.


Greyhound Bus Lines operates the Baytown Station at Baytown Travel Express.

Baytown Airportmarker is a privately-owned general aviation airport in unincorporated Harris County located north of Baytown. RWJ Airparkmarker is a privately-owned airport three miles east of Baytown in Beach Citymarker. The closest airports with commercial airline service are William P.marker Hobby Airportmarker and George Bush Intercontinental Airportmarker in Houstonmarker.

Baytown is served by Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) express route 236 Maxey Road/Baytown during the rush hours, sending commuters to downtown Houston

Baytown is linked to Interstate 10 (see map) by State Highway 146 (Lanier Freeway) and Spur 330 (Decker Drive). It is also linked by the Fred Hartman Bridge, which crosses into the city from nearby La Portemarker; the bridge was built in 1995, replacing the Baytown Tunnel, to allow a deeper ship channel.


Colleges and universities

East Harris County and West Chambers County are served by Lee College, a two-year junior college.

Primary and secondary schools

Baytown is served by the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District. Based in Baytown, the district has 14 elementary schools (grades K-5), 5 junior highs (grades 6-8), 3 high schools (grades 9-12), a career center, and two alternative centers for education. The district serves all of Baytown, Highlands, outlying areas of East Harris County, and a small portion of western Chambers County. The three local high schools are Robert E. Lee (opened in 1928) and Ross S. Sterling (opened in 1966) and Goose Creek Memorial High School (opened in 2008).

Stallworth Stadium is the home for varsity football and soccer for GCCISD as well as for the annual Bayou Bowl. The stadium seats approximately 16,000 fans, making it one of the largest high school sports venues in the nation. It is currently undergoing a renovation of its press box and has newly installed turf and scoreboard. On a campaign stop for the 1976 Presidential election, President Gerald Ford attended a Robert E Lee high school Fall football game.

The area is also served by several private schools. Baytown Christian Academy, Lighthouse Baptist Academy, and St. Joseph Catholic School. The Catholic school is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Baytown Christian Academy has its main campus in an unincorporated area near Baytown and its elementary campus in Baytown.

Notable people

  • Gary Busey - born in Goose Creek, Texas
  • Ken "the Dauber" Pridgeon - Local artist
  • Henrietta Bell Wells- first African American lady to participate in debate team in Wiley College and to be a lawyer.
  • Lindsey Z. Wilcox - Survivor USS Indianapolis disaster The Worst Naval Disaster in US History

See also


  1. " About Us." Sterling Municipal Library. Retrieved on November 5, 2009.
  2. " Post Office Location - BAYTOWN." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  3. " Post Office Location - STATION A BAYTOWN." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  4. " Baytown Park." Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  5. " Precinct Two Park Listings." Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  6. " Baytown Soccer Complex." Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  7. " Branch Office Locations." Harris County Tax Office. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  8. " Baytown, Texas." Greyhound Lines. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  9. " Transportation." City of Baytown. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  10. " East Corridor." Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. Retrieved on November 30, 2008.
  11. Texas Education Code, Section 130.186, "Lee College District Service Area".
  13. " Contact Us." Baytown Christian Academy. Retrieved on October 8, 2009.
  14. " Council Districts Map." Baytown Christian Academy. Retrieved on October 8, 2009.

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