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    GULF, TEXAS
    AKA Old Gulf, Gulf Hill and Big Hill

    Texas Ghost Town
    Matagorda County, Texas Gulf Coast
    About 16 Miles S of Bay City
    N of Matagorda
    Population: 0

    Gulf, Texas Area Hotels:
    Bay City Hotels

    History in a Pecan Shell

    In 1901, after the astounding success of Beaumont’s Spindletop, men immediately started searching for similar geologic structures. Here they found the Big Hill (or Gulf Hill) dome. Although some oil deposits were found, it paled in comparison to the Beaumont/ Port Arthur discovery. However, huge deposits of sulphur were found which led to this town’s prosperity (1919-1932).

    A post office was granted in 1918 and the site became a stop on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad. Production began in earnest in 1919. Its isolation and lack of housing made Gulf a company town. Houses were furnished for workers and company executives by the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company. At the time, this was the second-largest sulphur mining operation.

    A school was built in 1921 and the company provided the community’s own diary. In a shrewd move, the company rented commercial buildings (they had built) to merchants. This provided the people with their needs, while avoiding the headaches of day-to-day operations.

    At the time of the stock market crash, the population of Gulf was around 1,500. The sulphur field didn’t last forever and by 1932 production had stopped. Nevertheless, the community retained its 1,500 residents as well as twelve businesses through the darkest days of the Great Depression. By 1943 Gulf had been reduced to a mere 300 people served by a single business.

    Population figures weren’t reported after 1949 and the school merged with the Matagorda ISD in 1949. The homes and buildings were cannibalized or moved and by 1952 none were standing on site. It was dropped from maps and no longer appears even on Matagorda County maps.

    See 1920 Matagorda County Map >

    Gulf, Texas Forum

    Subject: Another ghost town - Old Gulf
    It would be interesting to see images, if there are any, of the ghost town near Matagorda, TX. Old Gulf was the site for mining before it was move to New Gulf [near Boling TX]. Since you have New Gulf, I thought you might like to include Old Gulf, since their histories tie together. I've put TexasEscapes on my desk top. As always, it's fun & interesting! Thanks for all you do. - Kathryn Cockroft
    Matagorda County TX 1920s Map
    1920s Matagorda County map showing Gulf, Texas
    (Below "G" in "MATAGORDA")
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos of their town/subject, please contact us.

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    Bay City
    Matagorda
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