The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel Page: 8
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'Buflalo 'Bayou and Houston Ship Channel, 1820-1926
The earliest definite mention of Buffalo Bayou in the
history of Texas appears to be on the occasion of "in
the year 1820 Col. Knight and Walter C. White burned
off a cane brake and raised a crop of corn at a point on
Buffalo Bayou in what is now Harris County, Texas."
Below the junction of Buffalo
Bayou and the San Jacinto
River, on the East bank, is the
town of Lynchburg, while opposite
it, on the west bank, was the
town of San Jacinto which was
destroyed in the storm of 1875.
Lynchburg was established by
Nathaniel Lynch in 1822.
In 1837 at the mouth of
Green's Bayou was plotted a
townsite, "Pokersville", but the
name probably killed it. At the
mouth of Vince's Bayou there
was plotted another town, "Buffalo,"
but it, too, failed to survive.
Harrisburg, some seven miles
east of Houston, was founded initHalland
1826 by Jno. R. Harris, and from
that time on, ocean going vessels regularly plied the
waters of Buffalo Bayou. The little town was destroyed
by the Mexican Army shortly before daylight on April
16th, 1836, and was soon rebuilt. In 1858 its population
was greater than Houston's.
The Mexican forces on April 20th, 1836, also burned a
vessel and warehouses at the old town of New Washington
on San Jacinto Bay-a short distance north of the
present residence of Hon. H. B. Rice, a short distance
east of the present town of LaPorte-on the evening of
April 20th they established camp at a point less than a
mile from Buffalo Bayou.
Sam Houston's army crossed
Buffalo Bayou on April 18th19th,
immediately east of Harrisburg,
at the present site of the
,:~~;: :: Texas Chemical Company plant.
r-a ~ 's,0 The Texas Army established its
camp on the morning of April
20th, 1836, on the south bank of
the stream in a beautiful grove
of live oaks. The battle was
fought nearby on the afternoon
of April 21st, 1836. The San Jacinto
State Park commemorates
this important event.
A Doctor Phelps, his wife, two
children, and his mother-in-law,
a House. 1876 Mrs. Wilkin, are said to have
lived in 1822 in what is now
Houston. Houston was established
in 1837 by A. C. and John K. Allen and thereafter
light draft craft and barges regularly navigated the
stream as far as Houston, and regular steamboat service
was established in 1837 to and from the town of Galveston
and other points on Galveston Bay. The first
Steamboat to arrive at Houston was the "Laura"
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Farrar, R. M. The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel, book, 1926; Houston, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth46820/m1/10/: accessed October 1, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .