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MORGAN'S POINT, TX

Claudia Hazlewood

MORGAN'S POINT, TEXAS. Morgan's Point, also known as Rightor's, Hunter's, and Clopper's Point, a resort and residential district, is twenty miles south of Houston at the junction of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River, at the northwestern extremity of Galveston Bay in southeastern Harris County. The community was first settled around 1822 by Nicholas Rightor, who lived at the end of the point. He sold the property by 1824 to Johnson Calhoun Hunter, after which it was known as Hunter's Point. About 1828 Joseph C. Clopper and his three sons bought the site, renamed it Clopper's Point, and planted orange and lemon seeds. Nicholas Clopper sold James Morgan a 1,600-acre strip of land between the San Jacinto River and Galveston Bay on December 22, 1834. By 1835 Morgan had opened a store, built a warehouse, and, acting as agent for the New Washington Association, founded a colony called New Washington. The planned development failed but left orange groves and herds of cattle in the area. A few buildings had been erected by 1836, when Mexican troops under Juan N. Almonte camped at the site, secured supplies, and burned warehouses.

Early interest in channel improvement on Buffalo Bayou was delayed by the Civil War, but the establishment of a Confederate shipyard at the mouth of Goose Creek in 1864 proved the feasibility of dredging the harbors. Charles Morgan, the "father of the Houston Ship Channel," was instrumental in completing the work to Morgan's Point in 1876. The Tabbs Bay Causeway and Morgan Point ferry connected the north and south sides of the Houston Ship Channel by 1933, replacing the free ferry that had operated since 1917; the causeway was later destroyed by Hurricane Carla (see HURRICANES). Morgan's Point was incorporated in 1949. The Baytown-La Porte tunnel under San Jacinto Bay was completed in 1953. It closed in 1995 after the opening of the Fred Hartman Bridge. In the 1970s encroachment on the community by a nearby containerized shipping center prompted residents to campaign for preservation of the town's cemetery, city hall, and nineteenth-century homes. The population rose from fifty in 1946 to 650 in 1953, then fluctuated from a high of 716 in 1980 to a low of 428 in 1983. In 1990 it was 460. By 2000 the population was 336, and in 2010 it was 339. The Morgan's Point Cemetery, started by James Morgan on Orange Grove, the family estate, is marked by a state historical marker.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

June A. Begeman, "Lynchburg, Cedar Bayou and Morgan's Point Ferryboats: Historical Highlights," Touchstone 7 (1988). R. M. Farrar, The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel (Houston Chamber of Commerce, 1926). Houston Metropolitan Research Center Files, Houston Public Library.

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Claudia Hazlewood, "MORGAN'S POINT, TX," accessed March 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm89.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on October 9, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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