National Register Listings in
Calhoun County, Texas

Texas has been a major oil-producing state for over a century. The first big oil discovery in Texas was the Spindletop field near Beaumont in 1901, which set off a massive oil boom that transformed the state's economy and made Texas one of the wealthiest states in the country.
Calhoun County, located in southeastern Texas, has a rich and diverse history that dates back centuries. The region was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Karankawa and Coahuiltecan peoples. European exploration began in the 16th century when Spanish explorers arrived, followed by French and English settlers in the 18th century.

During the early 19th century, Calhoun County became a part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. However, with the Texas Revolution in 1836, the region gained independence from Mexico and became a part of the Republic of Texas. The county was officially established in 1846 and was named after John C. Calhoun, a prominent statesman and U.S. Vice President.

The economy of Calhoun County has always been closely tied to agriculture, particularly rice and cotton farming. The presence of rich soil and a favorable climate made the region ideal for agricultural production. Later, after the construction of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in the early 20th century, the county's economy grew with the expansion of the fishing and shrimping industries.

One significant event in the county's history occurred in 1942 when the U.S. Army established the Matagorda Island Army Airfield. The airfield served as a training facility during World War II and trained thousands of pilots. Today, it is part of the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area and is a popular tourist destination.

Calhoun County's history is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its people. The region continues to flourish, balancing its agricultural heritage with advancements in energy, tourism, and commerce, making it a vibrant and thriving community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Calhoun County, Texas.

  • 1832 - The area now known as Calhoun County is part of the Mexican territory of Coahuila y Tejas.
  • 1836 - Texas gains independence from Mexico and Calhoun County is established as a separate entity.
  • 1839 - The town of Indianola is founded and becomes a major port on the Texas coast.
  • 1852 - Calhoun County is officially organized, with Indianola as its county seat.
  • 1875 - A hurricane devastates Indianola, leading to the decline of the town as a major port.
  • 1886 - Port Lavaca becomes the new county seat of Calhoun County.
  • 1931 - The Discovery Well is drilled, leading to the discovery of oil in Calhoun County.
  • 1945 - The Calhoun County Navigation District is created to oversee the development and maintenance of the Port of Port Lavaca.
  • 1961 - The Texas Gulf Sulphur Company begins operations in Calhoun County, leading to a significant economic boost.
  • Today - Calhoun County is a thriving coastal community with a strong economy based on industries such as petrochemicals, agriculture, and tourism.