The Brunson theater opened in 1949 and
was Baytown's first post-WWII movie house. It closed in 1982 and was
purchased by the city of Baytown in 1997. In 2017 Baytown city council voted
to commit 1.5 million dollars to convert it into a business incubator and
made Doc Severinson and Ed Mc Mann a chocolate milk shake in 1978 while
working at Swensen’s Ice cream Parlor on Garth Rd.
Precinct 2 Harris
County Commissioner Charlie Massey was largely responsible for initiating
the ferry operation between Hog Island and Morgan’s Point. A ferry was named
for commissioner who, by the way, came from Cedar Bayou. - Wanda Orton
W.T. Busch and Prof Sanders pushed the tunnel concept for traveling under
water between Baytown and La Porte. - Wanda Orton
Elizabeth Burrus gained nationwide attention for developing a system to
teach English to Spanish- speaking pupils at the original De Zavala
Elementary School. - Wanda Orton
was on the Price is Right in 1958.
2013 The San Jacinto Methodist hospital on
Decker Drive has been purchased for renovation.
The Brunson Theater was built in 1949.
The property was purchased by the city in 1998. It is currently only a
facade with no roof.
The Robert E. Lee Marching band played at the
opening of the Astrodome. However, they were supposed to march, but didn't.
The on-field part was scrubbed because, at the time, they were attempting to
grow GRASS in the astrodome. Paul Cherry
The Lee band went to Chicago in 1950 to be part of the
inauguration of the incoming Lions Club new president, a Texan. The band
raised money via booths on Texas Ave. in old Goose Creek for expenses, which
included train fare for all members of the band and chaperons. E H Jones
The band played for the openings of the Pasadena
tunnel and the Shamrock Hotel (Houston). It also played in the Houston
parade to honor Gen Douglas MacArthur (all in the '50's). It went to
Atlanta in 1954 (?).E H Jones
Charles F. Jones, a long time
Pelly resident, was the valet and admitted murderer of William Marsh Rice,
founder of Rice University. - Tom Griffin
Jennifer Garner Affleck, TV and
movie actress, is the daughter of Baytown native Bill J. Garner (R.E.Lee
'56) and grand-daughter of the late Exie L. Garner of Baytown - B. Garner
Romany Malco - Started as a rapper in a
group called R.M.G in Baytown, Texas (He went to Sterling), but was born in
Brooklyn, New York. Later moved to Los Angles. Starred in: The 40 year old
virgin - Blades of Glory - Baby Mama - The Love Guru
Keith Heimann...a RE Lee grad (Lee College,
too), went on to graduate from Juilliard. He has sang with major opera
houses around the world and has appeared on Broadway as well.
His Bio here.
The last interurban railway to
be built in the United States, the Houston North Shore Railway Company,
built twenty-six miles from Houston through Baytown to Goose Creek in 1927.
It operated until 1948. The line, no longer electric, is now an important
industrial branch of the Union Pacific between Houston and Baytown and is
virtually the only vestige of the Texas interurban network that remains.
Robert E. Lee High School Band, AKA, The "Famous" Robert E. Lee High School
Band was the largest band in the state of Texas during the mid 1960's
(2) Doc' Severinsen, who was the Trumpet and Band Leader for the "Tonight
Show Band, Starring Johnny Carson," performed frequently with The Famous
Robert E. Lee Band during the years 1967-1978 with director Charles Forque
(3) The Famous Robert E. Lee Band performed for the opening of the Astrodome
in the 1960's.....
(4) Former President Ford attended a Gander Football game in 1976.
(5) Many people, including those living in Baytown DO NOT realize the
significance the Robert E. Lee Band has played in placing Baytown on the
Colorado Springs, Colorado Former Baytonians and proud former member of the REL Band...
World War 2 a German war prisoner camp was located on Highway 146, south of
I10. AG Dunn
World War 2 the Butyl Rubber Plant in Baytown had a higher priority than the
Atomic Bomb. AG Dunn
Singer Chris Cagle is from Baytown. Graduated Ross Sterling High in 1987.
Father works at Exxon currently. Chris has had many top 10 hits along with a
#1 hit single, "I breathe in, I breathe Out".
is the 278th largest city in the USA. There are only 2 cities named
Baytown in the USA.
Carroll Turner Friendship Trust
about her philanthropy
tidbit is that
Gen. James B. Weaver was the great-grandfather of
"Dennis the Menace" cartoonist Hank Ketchum, and
great-great-grandfather of television actor Stephen Collins, star of
"Seventh Heaven." Wybra Wooster Holland
Country singer Chris Cagle is from Baytown! He
recently won a CMT music award and currently has a popular country album.
Stacy Hopper, CPA
Actor Romany Malco (40 year virgin)
moved to Baytown as a teenager and graduated from Sterling.
German POW camp in Baytown in the
40's information submitted by Don Holloway:
B wrote; Yes I remember . Like on old 146. POWs as I remember, you could see
them milling about from the road. Well cared for it appeared.
Gene PB wrote; Yes I remember the camp. We passed by it several times going to
Paul wrote; POWs on line hard back. At the end of WW11 the USA had 425,000 POWs
in 511 camps with Texas having the most because of mild weather. Very
interesting about the POWs that helped out our farmers who didn't have help to
Tufy wrote; And reminded me of the German butcher we had at Hollaways Food
Mkt.(Fred Wherring) also there was a POW camp between Barbers Hill and Dayton,
way back off 146. Some say they had a chained bear there? Why? I do know that
there was one there because I worked with a POW at Hollaways, after the war he
got his family here. He was happy to be here, Good worker. He was a
Lonnie B wrote; Yes there was a camp East of hwy 146 where the Abby addition
was built in the 50s. My dad used German POWs to harvest his rice crops during
the war. I was 4 yrs old and remember going to Liberty to get the men each day.
The POW camp was located on FM563 at the fair grounds. I used to steal the
guards lunch every day, He put it where I could find it easy, they thought it
was funny. The guard would eat a good hot meal my mother would bring the workers
every day. I can tell you several stories about the German workers. They were
glad to work in the USA away from the war zone.
Ashbel Smith was one of eight
Goose Creek area families who owned
slaves. He owned 32 slaves.
1900, the growing communities of Lynchburg, Wooster,
Creek, Cedar Bayou, Barbers Hill, and Cove were established in this
1921 Clan #4 of the
Goose Creek Ku Klux Klan held weekly parades on Texas
Bay and Burnet Drive in Lakewood is named after
David G. Burnet
to this area in 1831. His name is pronounced "Burn-it".
is bordered by
Burnet, Crystal, Scott, Mitchell,
Duck, San Jacinto, Tabbs, and Galveston Bay.
12th, 1908, the first oil well came in at the
Goose Creek Oil field.
Shaw Sterling left school at the age of twelve after the death of his
father, to help provide for his family.
The big oak tree in the middle of Texas
Avenue is one of Baytown's oldest landmarks.
Lynch came to this area in 1822, started the Lynchburg Ferry and became a
Bayou had at least 4 ferries, the most famous being Ilfrey's Ferry where
Cedar Bayou Road meets Ferry Road.
Island, located in the Ship Channel was at one time Lovers lane for
1927 to 1961 the Houston North Shore Railroad provided 'The Interurban'
electrical railcar/Railbus service from Houston to Baytown.
than half the Toluene produced in WW ll came from the Baytown Humble
Refinery. Toluene is the second T in TNT.
first outlaw motorcycle group in Baytown was the Iron Horsemen. Jack
dances were held on main street in downtown
Wayne's 'Hell Fighters' was partially filmed on Evergreen Road.
'Robocop ll', on Texas Avenue, and 'Silkwood' with Merryl Streep and Cher
was shot with the Exxon backdrop on Ashby Street, in Wooster.
Baytown-La Porte tunnel was to be cut in 3 pieces, raised to the surface with
air, and towed to the Gulf to be sunk as an artificial reef. The real
possibility of it sinking and blocking the ship Channel changed this idea.
Instead, it was demolished.
Fred Hartman Bridge is named after the publisher and editor of the
newspaper 'Baytown Sun' and formally opened September 30th, 1995 almost
exactly 10 years after it was approved.
were known as Pelly Rats, the origin
of which is unknown at this time.
Carla hit Baytown in 1961, Hurricane Alicia came in 1983.
Jennifer Garner Affleck
Busey (Actor), Blue
Fuller (singer), Buddy
Silver Fox of the Blues, and
and 'the Die Hards' are
all from Baytown. The
popular Country Western singer, Joe Stampley, also went to school here. I
was friends with him at Cedar Bayou Junior High in 1957 or so
("Dandy" Don Cunningham).
the Tri-cities consolidated,
many streets were
name Baytown was first applied to the area around 1859.
industries were ship-building, cotton, ranching, rice farming, and
first successful oil well was established in the Goose Creek (located in
Pelly) oil field in 1907.
1912 and 1925, the Goose Creek oil field produced over 53 million barrels
of oil (53,373,391), making it the fourth largest oil producer in the
State of Texas.
1920 the Tri-City area numbered a couple of hundred people. By 1928,
it grew to almost 20,000.
Civil War Veterans
buried in Baytown found in the
Bayou Masonic Cemetery.
least 4 Civil War Veterans
buried in Magnolia
cemetery off of 3rd Street and Fayle Street. Charles Swick
Renee Zellweger, Oscar winner in 2003
for her supporting role in “Cold Mountain,” was an Oscar nominee for
best actress in 2001 for “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and for “Chicago” in
2002. Her family once lived in Chaparral Village in Baytown. Renee
attended Stephen F. Austin Elementary School, belonged to a Brownie
Scout Troop and attended Trinity Episcopal Church. W. Orton
Gary Busey — born in Goose Creek’s
Lillie-Duke Hospital, 1944 — was nominated in 1978 for best actor in
“The Buddy Holly Story,” best picture of the year. Even before he became
famous, Sun staffers kept up with Gary‘s career through his aunt Zenobia
Booth. Nobie frequently brought club news to The Sun newsroom and the
conversation often led to her sister’s son. The former Virginia Arnett,
Gary’s mom graduated from Robert E. Lee High School where she was a
member of the Lee Brigadiers.(Gary mentioned that once on the Johnny
Carson Show.) She later worked as a secretary in the office at REL. W.
Much of the information on this page comes from the
excellent book 'Baytown Vignettes', or 'The History of Baytown' available
Sterling Municipal Library and the
Baytown Historical Museum located at 220
W. Defee. *information on Buddy Ace supplied
by Mean Gene Kelton