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Velasco, Texas

History

Velasco 1935. Velasco, a small town at the mouth of the Bra­zos river in Austin’s colony, is celebrated for its salt works which are very notable. It is a small town but is well situated, and is in a flourishing state. A collector of customs resides here.

Velasco is the resort, in summer, of great num­bers of visitors from the north of the colony, who come to enjoy the delightful sea-breezes, sea bathing, and the comforts with which they are every where surrounded. Excellent accommo­dations can always be obtained at boarding houses, which, among other attractions, are always furnish­ed with supplies of oysters and fish of the first quality. Musqutoe bars are not often needed here, and, altogether, it is one of the most delightful places in the country. A Mexican garrison was formerly stationed at Velasco; at present, it is a rendezvous of the patriot troops. - Texas by Holley, Mary Austin; Austin, Texas, 1935, pages 121-122

Old Velasco, (encompassed by present-day Surfside Beach) on the east side of the Brazos River sixteen miles south of Angleton and near the Gulf of Mexico in southeastern Brazoria County, was founded in 1831. Ten years earlier the schooner Lively landed at the site with thirty-eight men, the first of Stephen F. Austin's colonists. Nothing but a single house stood at the site until Mexico set up a customs port there and dispatched troops in 1831 to help the customs collector. Subsequently, more than 25,000 settlers entered through the port. The community developed upstream from the coast by 1835; a customhouse, salt works, and trading posts were located at Velasco during the immigration period. ... After the battle of San Jacinto, President David G. Burnet made the town the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas. Government records were housed at Fort Velasco until the first capital of Texas was established at Columbia. The new town of Velasco was surveyed and laid out in 1891, when a new Velasco post office was established. By 1892 Velasco had 136 business establishments and 167 residences, an electric light plant, and a planing mill. By 1896 the community had a new lighthouse, several churches, schools, hotels, a national bank, a cottonseed oil mill, cotton gins, special and general stores, and two weekly newspapers, the Times and the World. In that year Velasco shipped cottonseed oil, cotton, lumber, and livestock. Surfside, or Old Velasco, and Crescent Beach could be reached by electric railroad. The population was 3,000 when the Galveston hurricane of 1900 wrecked the town.  Read More Velasco History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>

Location

28° 57' 42.876" N, 95° 21' 37.8" W