Galena Park Texas History:
In 1824, Ezekiel Thomas settled on a portion of his Mexican land grant located at the current day site of Galena Park. After Thomas’ 1835 death, Isaac Batterson purchased the land and built the community of Clinton on Buffalo Bayou. Clinton was a farming and ranching community. In the 1870s Clinton resident Charles Morgan, owner of the Morgan Steam Ship Company, dredged Buffalo Bayou and excavated a canal opposite the town of Morgan’s Point to form the Houston Ship Channel which allowed the building of the Port of Houston. Clinton became the terminus for much of the bayou shipping until a turning basin was constructed in later years. By the early 1880s, Clinton was a railroad and shipping center. In the early 1900s the petroleum industry moved into the area. The Galena Signal Oil Company established a refinery; the company was later bought out by Texaco. Another refinery was eventually purchased by Gulf Oil Corporation. In 1935, Clinton changed its name to Galena Park. By 1936, Galena Park had 300 residents. In the late 1930s the development of Houston as a major port caused the rapid expansion of the Galena Park. The town’s population peaked at 12,645 in the mid-1970s. This highly industrial town is bordered on the south by Buffalo Bayou. Galena Park is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of East Loop Freeway (IH-610) and IH 10 (East Freeway), 11.8 miles southeast of Houston, 25 miles south of Humble, 2.5 miles south of Jacinto City, 13.7 miles southwest of Sheldon, 10 miles southwest of Channelview, 19 miles west of Baytown, 15.7 miles northwest of la Porte, 24.7 miles northwest of League City, 49.4 miles northwest of Galveston, 8 miles northwest of Deer Park, 4.3 miles northwest of Pasadena, and 32 miles northeast of Sugar Land, Texas.
Port of Houston & Sam Houston Boat Tours:
The Port of Houston is a 25 mile long complex of private and public facilities; it is the 10th
largest port in the country; it is ranked first in the nation in foreign waterborne tonnage, and second in the nation in total tonnage. Over 8,000 vessels navigate the Houston Ship Channel to the Port of Houston each year. The Bayport Cruise Terminal is located in Pasadena. Though it handled cruise ships during the 1908 Hurricane Ike, as of summer 2010, it was not handing cruise ships. The channel has numerous terminals and berthing locations along the Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay; the major public terminals are the Turning Basin, Barbours Cut, and Bayport. Today the channel is 530 feet wide and 45 feet deep. The islands in the ship channel are part of the ongoing widening and deepening project; the islands are formed from soil pulled up by dredging, and the salt marshes and bird islands are part of the Houston Port Authority’s beneficial use and environmental mitigation responsibilities. Vehicular crossings of the Houston Ship Channel include the Washburn Tunnel between Galena Park and Pasadena, the Sidney Sherman Bridge (known as the IH 610 or Ship Channel Bridge), the Sam Houston Tollway Ship channel Bridge (formerly the Jesse Jones Toll Bridge and popularly known as the Beltway 8 Bridge), the Fred Hartman Bridge which replaced the tunnel between Baytown and La Porte, and the Lynchburg Ferry which provides a 7 to 10 minute ferry ride across the San Jacinto River between Baytown (1001 S. Lynchburg Road) and the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site & Battleship Texas (both are located on the ship channel). The free 90 minute round trip Sam Houston Boat Tour
of the Houston Ship Channel departs from the Sam Houston Pavilion. Visitors view the international cargo vessels and the operations at the Turning Basin Terminal. The air conditioned boat carries 90 passengers; a free beverage is provided on the boat; no food or drinks allowed in the pavilion or on the boat except those provided by the port. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance; ID is required. Reservations may be made online
; you must print out your reservation page and bring it with you to the boat. Reservations may also be made by phone by calling (713) 670-2416, Mon-Thu, 10am-4pm. From East Loop 610, exit at the Clinton Drive Exit #28. Go west on Clinton past McCarty to Gate 8. Enter the Gate and stay to the right; a security guard and signs will direct you to the pavilion.
(713) 670-2400. 111 East Loop 610 North, Houston, Texas 77029.
Washburn Tunnel, Galena Park-Pasadena:
This toll-free 2 lane tunnel connects Galena Park, an east end suburb of Houston, with Pasadena, Texas. It was completed in 1950. It travels north-south underneath the Houston Ship Channel, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tunnel use by 18 wheeler traffic is prohibited. The tunnel is open 24/7, except for cleaning and maintenance hours which are every Thursday at midnight to 4am Friday, and on the second Saturday of each month from 10pm Saturday to 10am Sunday. The tunnel is located on Federal Road and is managed by Harris County Precinct 2. The tunnel management office is located at 3100 Federal Road, Houston 77015. (713) 274-2050. Email
San Jacinto Community College Galena Park High School Extension Center:
(281) 998-6150. 1000 Keene Street 77547.