The Story of Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel Page: 10
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i'uffalo 'Bayou and Houston Ship Channel, 1820-1926
Peter W. Gray,Jas. T. D.Wilson, and E. W. Cave. The traffic
of the I louston Direct Navigation Company had grown
to such an extent that "three-fourths of the freights and
products of the interior were borne upon the waters of
Buffalo Bayou," and freight was carried direct to and
from the Gulf of Mexico on
barges, avoiding the charges and
losses incident to handling at
Galveston, and it was estimated
that the saving amounted to "a . -
million dollars per annum."
On January 23rd, 1869, the
"Buffalo Bayou Ship Channel
Company" was organized, the
purpose of its charter being "to
construct, own and maintain a
Ship Channel from any point at
or within the corporate limits of
the City of Houston through
Buffalo Bayou, d e e p e n i n g,
straightening and widening the
same, and through the waters,
connecting the Bayou with the
Gulf at Bolivar Channel." This Footof M
was authorized at the Constitutional
Convention in 1869, and the company was formally
incorporated by the Legislature on July 28th, 1870.
This company undertook to "straighten out the Bayou
to Morgan's Point." The Directors were: A. S. Richardson,
W. J. Hutchins, T. H. Mundine, Jno. Shearn, T.
W. House, S. Harper, Eugene Pillot, J. W. McDonald,
Peter Gable, R. O. Love, W. M. Rice, A. Groesbeck, J.
R. Morris, H. R. Allen, E. W. Cave, 1-. E. Perkins, J.
C. Tracy, and T. H. Scanlan.
The first steamboat service between Houston and Galveston
was established in 1837, and on another page
appears a fac simile of the advertisement
of Houston's first
steamboat line, as the same appeared
in the "Telegraph," published
at Columbia, Texas. From
then on steamboat service was
maintained. The old "Diana"
othr _a o was one of the most elaborate
boats of those days. According
to the local papers, in April,
1839, there were five steamboats
plying between Houston and
Galveston. In May, 1840, the
owners agreed upon a scale of
freight and passenger rates between
Houston and Galveston:
"Cabin passage $;5.00; Deck
$2.50; Freight 50c per barrel.
Passenger rates include supper,
lodging, and breakfast."
In 1866 the following steamboats appear to have been
in daily service: "T. M. Bagby," "Silver Cloud," "St.
Clair," "Shreveport," "Rob Roy," and "Arizona." Many
other steamboats operated between Galveston and Houston
at other periods, and some were quite palatial.
The usual time between Galveston and Houston was,
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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/m1/12/: accessed September 26, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .