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PORT NECHES, TEXAS

Jefferson County, Texas Gulf Coast

Highway 347, FMs 365 and 366
7 miles NW of Port Arthur
10 miles SE of Beaumont
33 miles SW of Orange
95 miles E of Houston
Population: 12,992 (2010 13,601 (2000) 14,500 (1990)

Port Neches, Texas Area Hotels
Beaumont Hotels | Port Arthur Hotels
History in a Seashell

For the first 60 years of it's life Port Neches was known as Grigsby's Bluff. Settlers found that the area had previously been an Indian village and started retrieving relics from the time they arrived.

In the 1830s a man named McKinney surveyed his land on which he was planning a town he wanted to name Georgia. McKinney sold the property, however and it was bought by Joseph Grigsby who had no intentions of naming the place Georgia. Grigsby modestly named the place Grigsby's Bluff and established a plantation and boat landing.

In 1862 The Confederate Army erected Fort Grigsby to block a Union invasion of the area. Federal forces were repulsed in October 1862, and Fort Grigsby was abandoned in January 1863.

A post office was opened shortly before the war, closed for the war, reopened and closed again (for good) in 1893 when the population of Grigsby's Bluff was less than 100 persons.

On its way to Port Arthur, the Kansas City railroad put a stop at Grigsby's Bluff and called it Port Neches. Even though there was no post office to officially undergo a name change, Port Neches sounded like growth to the citizens and the Grigsby name was soon dropped.

The newly-formed Texas Oil Company from nearby Spindletop opened a refinery at Port Neches in 1906.

In 1915 rice production and oranges groves were major crops, but interest in citrus waned after hurricanes and frosts. With the demand for refinery and oil well workers, Port Neches grew rapidly during World War II.

'Big Tooth' alligator in Port Neches, Texas
'Big Tooth'
Photo courtesy W. T. Block

Port Neches Chronicles

  • Demise of Reptilian 'Big Tooth' drew crowds by W. T. Block
    Eastland, Texas may have had Ol' Rip, but Southeast Texas had 'Big Tooth.'

  • Port Neches, Texas Area Destinations:
    See Jefferson County | Texas Gulf Coast
    Port Arthur | Beaumont | Orange

    Book Hotel Here:
    Beaumont Hotels | Port Arthur Hotels | More Hotels

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



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