PALACIOS POINT. Palacios Point is a sea-level cape (at 28°35' N, 96°14' W) on Tres Palacios and Matagorda bays south of Oyster Lake and eight miles south of Palacios in southwestern Matagorda County. The cape is near the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway where it cuts south of Half Moon Reef, an oyster reef where a lighthouse was built in 1858. The name of the point was probably derived from that of José Felix Trespalacios, after whom Tres Palacios Bay was also likely named. The sandy loam soils on the point support grasses. Henri Joutel's description of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's 1685 investigation of the Texas coast suggests to some scholars that the exploration party may have made one of its landings some five miles east of Palacios Point. Later several attempts were made to establish settlements at the point, including the communities of Palacios Point in 1838 and Portsmouth around 1900.

Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., 1986–88).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, "PALACIOS POINT," accessed July 17, 2019,

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

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox