Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 17,614
2000 Census - 18,677
Bay City, Texas
Bay City Texas History:
In 1894, Colorado mining millionaire David Swickheimer and the Enterprise Land and Colonizing Company formed the Bay City Town Company in partnership with Nicholas King, N.M. Vogelsang, and G.M. Magill. They purchased 320 acres of Bay Prairie land from D.P. Moore and another 320 acres from the Mensing brothers of Galveston. They donated one square mile to the new Bay City townsite. In August 1884, they began promoting the town by circulating their “Bay City Breeze,” newspaper in which they committed to building a courthouse should voters elect Bay City the county seat of Matagorda County. In September, 1894, the voters selected Bay City as the county seat. Within a week, the town promoters admitted the town did not exist, and building construction was only beginning. The town company and newspaper office was the first building. A small wood house moved overland from Matagorda served as the first county courthouse. The dry goods store and post office building was also moved to Bay City from Matagorda. By 1903 the town had telephone service, a mill, a rice warehouse, four groceries, three saloons, butcher shops, barbershops, confectioneries, drugstores, dry goods stores, a bakery, a laundry, a blacksmith shop, a brick making plant, a broom factory, and a lumberyard. Several railroads served the town over a period of years, and oil was discovered in Matagorda County in 1904. Between 1960 and 1970 an airport was built, and a barge canal was constructed to link Bay City to the Intracoastal Waterway. The port was completed and an inflatable rubber dam on the Colorado River provide water for rice irrigation. The population of Bay City grew in the 1970s and 1980s as Celanese, the South Texas Nuclear Project, Occidental Chemical Company, and other employers entered the county. By 1990 the town’s population was 19,684; in 2000 there were 18,677 residents. The Matagorda Harbor is located on the mouth of the Colorado River in Matagorda, Texas, approximately 25 miles south of Bay City, Texas. Bay City is located on the Colorado River and Caney Creek, 20 miles from the coast at the intersection of SH 60 and SH 35, 25 miles southeast of Wharton, 35 miles southeast of El Campo, 21 miles north of Matagorda, 29 miles northeast of Palacios, 17.5 miles northeast of Blessing, and 24 miles west of West Columbia, Texas. 
Elliot's Ferry, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“During the early days of Anglo-American colonization in Texas, the Matagorda Bay Prairie area was an important route for people traveling between settlements. A convenient river crossing was a necessity, and a ferry was established on the Thomas Cayce league of land near this site. Known as Cayce's Ferry, the site was garrisoned by a small army post. In January 1839 George Elliott (1806-1862) purchased land on the west bank of the Colorado River from Thomas Cayce, and from that time the ferry crossing was known as Elliott's Ferry. George Elliott was assisted in his endeavors by two nephews, William Elliott and John Elliott, who continued the ferry business after George Elliott's death. By 1863 a small settlement had grown up around Elliott's Ferry. A small mercantile business and a post office known as Elliott's Ferry, Texas, were in operation in 1872. In 1893 the post office name was changed to Elliott, Texas, and a year later was moved to Bay City. In 1902 a bridge was built over the Colorado River two miles northwest of Bay City. Known as the "Old River Bridge", its completion resulted in the demise of Elliott's Ferry.”
Matagorda Harbor, Port of Bay City Authority in Matagorda, Texas:
Matagorda Harbor opened in 1990 as part of the Mouth of the Colorado River Project. Port amenities include slips for approximately 222 pleasure boats, limited bulkhead space for transient boats, boat trailer storage, four public paved boat ramps, a sheltered and screened fish cleaning station, a reservable dockside tournament pavilion, a reservable pavilion located across from the D boat house, a reservable air-conditioned recreation hall with restrooms, showers and a store, and 26 RV spaces available to boat slip patrons. The Waterfront Restaurant and Skipper’s Bait and Tackle are located nearby. The harbor is home port of the Texas A & M Marine Advisory Service classroom vessel, Karma. (979) 863-2103. The Harbor is located on the Intracoastal Waterway at Texas mile 440, at the intersection of SH 60 South and CR 255 in Matagorda, Texas, approximately 25 miles south of Bay City, Texas. Email   
Matagorda County Courthouse, 1965:
This concrete courthouse was designed in modern style by architect Rusty, Martin & Vale. The 2010 Matagorda County census was 36,706. 1700 7th Street, Bay City, TX 77414.
Palacios-Bay City Shuttle:
The shuttle leaves Palacios for Bay City on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30am; it returns at 4:30pm. The trip to Bay City costs $150 each way. Rides within the City of Palacios cost $0.50; children under 12 ride free. Riders must have exact change. (979) 245-6800. Schedule