MOSES LAKE. Moses Lake is on the western shore of Galveston Bay in northern Galveston County (at 29°26' N, 94°56' W). The lake, which is two miles wide and four miles long, has a narrow opening that allows it to drain into Galveston Bay at Miller Point. The lagoon on the eastern side of the lake is called Dollar Bay, after the community of Dollar Point. Moses Lake may have been named for Moses Austin by his daughter, Emily M. Perry, who laid out the town of Austinia on the Dollar Point peninsula in 1839. The lake is fed on the western end by Moses Bayou. This small stream runs through flat, rich prairie country, which nineteenth-century geographers described as having large numbers of deer and some buffalo and wild fowl. In 1974 an eleven-foot-deep channel was dredged from Moses Bayou to Miller Point to accommodate a shrimp fleet that harbors there. Moses Lake is a mile from the Gillock South oilfield and has producing oil wells and storage tanks along the shoreline. Most of the lake is surrounded by marsh.

On January 20, 1954, Texas City annexed the lake. In constructing the seawall protection from hurricane tides in Galveston Bay, in 1966 the United States Army Corps of Engineers installed a tidal control gate twenty-two feet above sea level at Miller Point. The mean low-tide lake level is between one and three feet. During heavy rainstorms, however, the lake used to crest at five feet. To stop flooding from an increase in the lake level, Texas City installed an eight-foot levee on the south end of Moses Lake with ponding areas and Archimedes screw pumps behind it. The pumps control the lake level and lift storm waters from the city a maximum of eleven feet over levees into Moses Lake.


Andrew Forest Muir, "Railroad Enterprise in Texas, 1836–1841," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 47 (April 1944). Texas in 1840, or the Emigrant's Guide to the New Republic (New York: Allen, 1840; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1973).

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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, "MOSES LAKE," accessed March 26, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on February 15, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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