OurBaytown.com - Baytown's Historical Resource

Go with the flow of name changes in this area By Wanda Orton  The Baytown Sun  Published June 10, 2002  
(This article is used by permission from Ms. Orton by OurBaytown.com and is a mini-history lesson in itself.  Baytown Bert)

Go with the flow of name changes in this bay area

With Brownwood becoming the Baytown Nature Club, we have to adapt to yet another name change. Since the beginning of Baytown, not many names have stayed the same. The name with the longest standing, probably, is that of Goose Creek.

On the earliest maps of this area, you'd find a waterway called Goose Creek. Some historians say the name came from the Indians while others suggest that Spanish explorers chose the name.

Only thing we know for sure is that the name has stuck the longest of any name of any place in Baytown. The name has held up on land as well as water, serving for nearly three decades as the name of a city in the original Tri-Cities and still serving as the name of the local school district and a country club.

The city of Pelly was named after a local leader who brought "a bit of Brit" to the area. Fred Pelly, first mayor of Pelly, came from England, and his British accent contrasted with the dominant Texas twang of the area.

The name of Baytown, although not as old as Goose Creek, does go back a ways. It first appeared as the name of a trading post between Black Duck Bay and Scott's Bay in the mid-1800s.

Scott's Bay was named after William Scott, who obtained a land grant from the Mexican government in the early 1820s as a member of Stephen F. Austin's colony.  Nathaniel Lynch, founder of a ferry and a town, was another SFA colonist.   A Lynchburg resident, Texas President David G. Burnet, inspired the name of the bay. Before it was called Burnet Bay, Spanish explorers referred to it as the Bay of St. Mary.

Slapout Gully, which divides Lynchburg and Lakewood, flows into Burnet Bay. If you can't find Slapout on a map, look for Spring Gully, the ex-official name. According to local legend, Slapout Gully referred to the fact that drivers exceeding the speed limit would "slap out" on Decker Drive and run into the gully.

Many different names have washed over the shores of local bays. Scott's Bay also was known as Turkey Bay and Patchings Bay. I don't know about the turkeys but there was a settler by the name of Talcott Patchings.

Part of this bay at one time was known as Overland Bay. The German-born Overland brothers, John and George, operated a boat yard there.

San Jacinto Bay is a title that goes with the flow in the bay area. Where Black Duck Bay meets San Jacinto Bay is about as clear as the line between Trinity and Galveston bays. It's hard to tell where one stops and the other begins.  Around the bend from Black Duck Bay (and/or San Jacinto Bay) is Tabbs Bay, named after oil field resident Walter Tabb.  Tabbs Bay once was called Baker Bay. That's for Col. Moseley Baker, a San Jacinto battle hero and one of the founders of Cedar Bayou Methodist Church.  He later sold his property - which he called Evergreen - to Ashbel Smith.

For quite a while, I thought Hog Island, across the bay from Evergreen, was Hogg Island, in honor of Texas Gov. James Hogg.  Wasn't.  It's a one-g Hog and it memorializes all the little pigs that grew up on the island in the 1800s.

Morgan's Point, on the other south side of Hog Island, went through name changes through the years. Early on, they called it Clopper's Point, because Nicholas Clopper owned the place. Clopper was the Ohio native chiefly responsible for bringing the Twin Sisters cannon to the battle of San Jacinto.  After James Morgan obtained the property, it was called New Washington. Morgan envisioned his community becoming the new capitol of the Republic of Texas.  Morgan's Point replaced New Washington, joining the crowd of other "pointed" places like Zavala Point, home of Lorenzo de Zavala, and Cedar Point, home of Sam Houston.  Point Pleasant was the name chosen by William Scott for his home on the bay.

Sam Houston's wife Margaret had her own pet name for Cedar Point. In poems about her favorite place, she called Cedar Point "Ben Lomond."

Wanda Orton
Copyright 2004 The Baytown Sun. All rights reserved.


Go with the flow of name changes in this area By Wanda Orton  The Baytown Sun  Published June 10, 2002  
(This article is used by permission from Mz. Orton by OurBaytown.com and is a mini-history lesson in itself.  Baytown Bert)

 Back to OurBaytown