Gulf Coast
2010 Census - Unknown
2000 Census - 1,200
Port Bolivar, Texas
Port Bolivar Texas History:
The Port Bolivar Peninsula was once inhabited by Karankawa Indians. The first white settler was probably James Long who arrived in 1819. Most of the early settlers settled around Fort Travis. The Republic of Texas granted Samuel D. Parr a league of land on the peninsula. In 1838, he surveyed land near present day Port Bolivar. The town that developed on this survey was known as Parrsville. The Parrsville post office operated from 1884-1892. In 1892, the Parrsville was renamed Pepper Grove. Parr also sold land to Archibald Wynn and William Lawrence, who established a community named Ismail or Ishmael. Another post office operated in Point Bolivar in 1876. Port Bolivar was established in 1893 by a townsite company who owned approximately 3,000 acres of land. In 1896, the Gulf and Interstate Railway began providing service between Port Bolivar and Beaumont. Barges moved freight cars and passengers across Bolivar Roads between Port Bolivar and Galveston until a private ferry company began operations in 1929. The ferry service is now owned and managed by the Texas Department of Transportation. Port Bolivar’s industries include cattle, fishing and tourism. The town is located on SH 87 at the southeastern end of the Bolivar Peninsula, approximately 3 miles northeast of Galveston (by ferry or boat), 9.7 miles southwest of Crystal Beach, 27.7 miles southwest of High Island, and 19.7 miles southwest of Gilchrist,
Port Bolivar Lighthouse, 1852 & 1872:
In 1847, the U.S. government set aside $15,000 for the construction of the Port bolivar and the Matagorda Bay Lighthouses. The sixty-five foot tall Port Bolivar lighthouse and the gate keeper’s cottage were completed in 1852. After harbor pilots complained about the lighthouse, the tower was raised by 24 feet and a third-order Fresnel lens was added. During the Civil War (1861-1865) the lighthouse was completely dismantled. The iron from the lighthouse disappeared. After the war ended in 1865, a temporary 34 foot wood tower was built near the original lighthouse site and a fourth-order Fresnel lens was activated. A permanent 117 foot iron tower was completed at a cost of $25,850. Its third-order Fresnel lens was lit on November 19, 1872. The tower was painted in vertical black and white stripes. The wooden light keeper’s cottage was completed the same year. Harbor pilots soon complained that the light was not as bright as the1852 Fresnel lens. The lens was determined to be defective and a second-order Fresnel lens was installed in 1882. During the Great Hurricane of 1900, over 120 people safely rode out the hurricane on the lighthouse’s internal steps. Almost 60 people took refuge in the tower during the 1915 hurricane. The Galveston Jetty Lighthouse became operational in 1918. When its candlepower was increased in 1930, the Lighthouse Commissioner recommended discontinuing the Bolivar Point Lighthouse, but public outrage temporarily prevented its closure until 1933. In 1947, the lighthouse was sold to E.V. Boyt for $5,500. It has remained in the Boyt family since that time. The tower’s third order Fresnel lens can be seen at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. The lighthouse is not open to the public. It is located adjacent to the Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary in Port Bolivar.
Bolivar Peninsula:
The peninsula is a narrow strip of eroding land stretching 27 miles along the Texas Gulf Coast in a northeasterly direction. It is three miles wide at its widest point between Crystal Beach and Caplen, Texas. It is 0.25 miles wide at its narrowest point where Rollover Pass divides the town of Gilchrist. Less than three miles of water separate the southwestern end of the peninsula from Galveston Island which is located southwest of the peninsula. The body of water between the southwest end of Bolivar Peninsula and the northeast end of Galveston Island is named Bolivar Roads. Bolivar Roads serves as the marine entrance from the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston Bay. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway extends the length of the most northern side of the peninsula. Access to the Bolivar Peninsula by land is only possible through southern Chambers County (SH 124 from Winnie down to High Island). A free, 24 hour ferry runs between the most northeastern tip of Galveston Island and the most southwestern tip of Bolivar Peninsula at Port Bolivar. Towns on the peninsula include Gilchrist, Crystal Beach, Caplen, Port Bolivar and High Island.Much of the peninsula land is undeveloped and the state has severely restricted land use. Permitted beach activities include driving personal vehicles and golf carts on the beach, building reasonably sized bonfires, and camping near the dunes. Driving 4 wheelers on the beach is prohibited. Bolivar Beach Parking Stickers are required. Porta-potties are available at the convenience stores located on the highway.
Port Bolivar-Galveston Island Ferry on SH 87:
The ferry runs from Galveston Island to the town of Port Bolivar on the Bolivar Peninsula. This free ferry operates every 20 minutes, 24 hours a day. The 2.7 mile trip takes approximately 18 minutes. The ferry operation consists of five boats, each of which can carry approximately 70 vehicles, 500 passengers and six crewmembers. Each ferry is capable of carrying eight 18-wheel trucks weighing 80,000 pounds each. All of the boats are double-ended with a pilothouse on each end; The Captain changes from one pilothouse to the other to go in the opposite direction. The ferries are named Bibb Gilchrist, R.C. Lanier, C.C. Greer, Ray Stoker, Jr., and the R.H. Deman. (409) 795-2230. Aerial Map
Annual Galveston County Fair & Rodeo, April:
Activities include livestock shows, Rodeo Arena events, a cook-off, a carnival, Las Vegas Nights, Boots N’ Wine, Winterfest, and more. Jack Brooks Park and the Galveston County Fairgrounds are located The park and fairgrounds are located at 5700 FM 2004 at SH 6, Hitchcock, TX 77563. (409) 986-6490. 
Stingaree Marina and Restaurant, Crystal Beach, TX:
Amenities include a bait camp, 32 waterfront RV spaces with full hookups, gas & diesel fuel, and a boat ramp. The Stingaree Restaurant serves excellent seafood. Marina: (409) 684-9530. Restaurant: (409) 684-2731. 1295 Stingaree Road. Stingaree Road is located at the Intracoastal Canal. Email  Reviews