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Claudia Hazlewood

OLD TOWN, TEXAS. Old Town, also known as Goose Creek, was ten miles west of Cedar Bayou on Tabbs Bay and south of the site of Pelly in southern Harris County. Old Town was the first of three separate successive communities (the other two were Middletown and New Town) that developed as settlers were forced to move further away from the expanding Goose Creek oilfield. The community of Goose Creek grew up in 1916 around the dock and warehouse area of John Gaillard's and Busch's Landing, when a major oil strike was made nearby. Within a week, roughnecks had erected tents and tar-paper shacks and laid mud streets on the east bank of Goose Creek. After a gas explosion in late 1916 buried the community in debris, however, most residents moved inland to the site of what is now Pelly, then called Middletown. They continued to work in the oilfield. New Town was the name for Ross Sterling's railroad settlement, which was developed further to the north. A post office, originally located on Tabbs Bay, was moved to Pelly in 1917. The designations were used through the early 1920s, after which a second move and the combination of the three settlements resulted in modern Baytown.

Margaret Swett Henson, History of Baytown (Baytown, Texas: Bay Area Heritage Society, 1986). "Historical and Biographical Baytown, Texas, 1952," Baytown, Highlands and La Porte, Texas Modern City Directory, 1952–53, n.d. Sterling Municipal Library Files, Baytown, Texas. Buck A. Young, "A Remembered Utopia," East Texas Historical Journal 20 (1982).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Claudia Hazlewood, "OLD TOWN, TX," accessed April 19, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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