in a SeashellStarted
as a resort for beach lovers back in the 1930s, it was originally known as Clifton-by-the-Sea
until after WWII.
The population was a mere 50 residents in 1933, doubling in time for the 1940
census. It wasn’t until 1961 that the community received its own post office when
the population was around 1,700 residents.
By 1986 Bacliff had a population
of nearly 5,000 – most of whom commuted to work. For the 2000 census it was 5,549.
Photo courtesy Ken
of Clifton-by-the-Sea Established
in 1910 through the partnership of area landowners G. C. Perkins and W. Y. Fuqua,
Clifton-by-the-Sea is a reminder of the era in which prosperity returned to Galveston
County following the devastating 1900
storm. Developed as a bayside resort for families, Clifton-by-the-Sea was
one of several mainland communities between Galveston
that grew up along the rail line that paralleled the western shore of Galveston
The resort featured parklands, a hotel, summer homes, and a bathhouse
and open-air pavilion built on a pier out over the water at this site. By 1913,
telephone service extended to Clifton-by-the-Sea, and the main street was a long
boulevard known as Grand Avenue. The 1915 hurricane destroyed many of these improvements,
but by 1924 the bathhouse and pavilion were rebuilt and summer residents were
returning to the community. The pavilion-built once again after a 1929 fire destroyed
it-hosted numerous summer dances with music provided by Houston
and Galveston orchestras. A 1943
hurricane destroyed the bathhouse and pavilion for the final time.
World War II, this area
became home for workers in the nearby petrochemical plants. The Bayshore Community
Club sponsored a variety of civic projects as the face of the community changed.
When a post office was established in 1948, the name Bacliff was adopted,
but its origins as Clifton-by-the-Sea remain a strong part of its heritage.
Galveston County map showing Clifton-by-the-Sea|
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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