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EAST COLUMBIA, TEXAS

Brazoria County, Texas Gulf Coast
Hwy 35, two miles E of Hwy 36
East of West Columbia
W of Angleton
Population: 95 (unchanged from 1974)


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East Columbia Tx - Belle's Landing
Bell's Landing Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012

History in a Pecan Shell

Josiah Hughes Bell is credited with founding the town in 1823. His plantation, known as Bell's Landing supplied other settlements along the river. In 1824 Bell platted a town and called it Marion. Lots were sold in 1829, but were unsuccessful. In 1831 the town had a mere handful of cabins, a store and Bell's home. Wharves and warehouses were built and ships shuttled between East Columbia and New Orleans.

Bell sold the growing town to Walter C. White in 1827, but the town was still called "Bell's Landing" through 1840. Two years later it was known as West Columbia, and finally was renamed East Columbia. When Houston became the capital of Texas, East Columbia prospered. It received another boost with the arrival of the Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad in 1859. The onset of the Civil War stopped East Columbia's prosperity. The town had a population of 800 in the mid 1880s and a few years later it hit 1,500. Another period of decline set in and by 1914 it was down to 150.

The local post office once known as Columbia, was renamed East Columbia in 1927. The population declined to a low of 89 in the early 70s.

Photographer's Note:
"The Belle's Landing site, on the east shore of the Brazos, is actually totally different from where the Bell's Landing site was, down stream on the western shore of the Brazos." - Barclay Gibson
East Columbia Tx - Belle's Landing
Belle's Landing
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
East Columbia Tx - Bell's Landing
Bell's Landing Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
Historical Marker Text

Bell's Landing

Founded 1823 as Brazos River landing for Josiah H. Bell's plantation. Townsite of Marion laid out in 1824. Later named East Columbia. Army enlistment point and ferrying dock during Texas Revolution. Key river port and trade center during Republic of Texas days.
(1965)
East Columbia Tx - Bethel Presbyterian Church
Bethel Presbyterian Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
More Texas Churches
East Columbia Tx
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
East Columbia Tx
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
East Columbia Tx
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
East Columbia Tx - Site of Carry Nation's Hotel

Site of Carry Nation's Hotel Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2012
See Rooms with a Past

Brazoria County and Ft Bend County Texas 1920s map
1920s Brazoria County map showing "Columbia"
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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Angleton
Houston
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