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Palacios, Texas

Palacios is on State Highway 35 halfway between Houston and Corpus Christi in the southwestern corner of Matagorda County.

History

Palacios 1858.  [Palacios] is little more, at present, than a town site, or paper town ; nevertheless, it is the most important place in Texas, considered in a commercial point of view. Palacios was surveyed and laid off several years since, west of the Colorado River, on a high point of land between Matagorda and Trespalacios bays, and is in a more favorable position for a large seaport town than any other on the whole coast of Texas ; the water in front of the town, within sixty yards, being eleven feet deep, with safe anchorage, and good holding ground, and is perfectly protected from all prevailing winds ; in fact, the harbor is so secure, that small boats, in, passing up and down the bay, always seek refuge here in rough or threatening weather. The distance to the Pass, or entrance from the Gulf of Mexico, is twenty miles south by west, with good and open sea  way. The largest class steamers and sail vessels that enter the bay can come directly up to Palacios, with all sails set, or steam up, without impediment or risk of danger. This place being firmly seated on the mainland, is not so subject to serious damage from the destructive hurricanes, or cyclones, which visit our coast now and then, as are other places more exposed, and on lower and more insecure locations.....

Palacios, from its water facilities, and otherwise favorable locality, seems to have been pre-eminently designed by Nature for the emporium seaport town of Texas, and, as soon as trade and commerce shall have been turned to their proper channels, will take such position. - Braman's information about Texas, 1858

Palacios is also on Tres Palacios Bay (after which it is named), an inlet of Matagorda Bay off the Gulf of Mexico. The name of the bay is Spanish for "Three Palaces." An apocryphal story has it that sailors from a Spanish ship that wrecked in Matagorda Bay thought they saw palaces on the shoreline. As they neared the shore, however, the palaces disappeared. It is thought that the bay and the Tres Palacios River were actually named for José Félix Trespalacios. In 1901 the future site of Palacios was part of the bull pasture offered for sale by the estate of Abel H. (Shanghai) Pierce. The Texas Rice Development Company purchased the land and subdivided it into 160-acre tracts. The mile-square tract on Tres Palacios Bay at Hamilton Point was sold by the Palacios City Townsite Company, a subsidiary of the development company. The town of Trespalacios was surveyed into lots in 1902. Since there was already a nearby post office named Tres Palacios the new town changed its name to Palacios. The development company paid a bonus to the Southern Pacific to extend its line to Palacios. Read Palacios History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>

Photos

Palacios Postcards and Photographs >>

Resources

Location

Palacios, TX 28° 42' 28.9656" N, 96° 13' 2.8812" W