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SAN LEON, TX

SAN LEON, TEXAS. San Leon is on Farm Road 517 four miles east of Dickinson in northeastern Galveston County. The site is on a 5,000-acre peninsula surrounded by Galveston, Trinity, and Dickinson bays and originally known as Edward's Point and later as North Galveston. In the late 1800s North Galveston had nearly 2,000 residents. Around 1900 it had a hotel, a railroad and roundhouse, a wool-processing factory, a cigar factory, a bank, a church, and a dance pavilion. The North Galveston, Houston and Kansas City Railroad started at North Galveston in 1893. A post office was established in 1892. In 1912 the town was sold to Thomas B. Brian of Chicago, who set up a graveyard with free plots. Later, Joe Vega bought the town, and the name San Leon was chosen in a contest. In 1914 the town had a population of 150, a general store, and a grocery store. The site had been a Karankawa Indian campsite, and Jean Laffite had maintained a stronghold on the point. Slaves were landed and sold at Eagle Point, at the northern tip of the peninsula. In the early 1900s San Leon was proposed as a summer and winter resort, and investors were sought to establish the "next Atlantic City." Despite the good location San Leon has remained small. The hurricanes of 1900 and 1915 were devastating, and the community never recovered. It reported a population of about 100 from the 1940s to 1989. The San Leon schools were eliminated when the Dickinson Independent School District was established. In 1990 the population was reported as 3,328. The population reached 4,365 in 2000. Most homes were summer homes. San Leon had a volunteer fire department, a municipal utility district, the Blume fig farm, and an American Legion hall. The local economy is based on shrimp and oysters harvested near the Houston Ship Channel.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Galveston Daily News, February 22, 1970. Houston Chronicle Magazine, April 24, 1960. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Vertical File, Rosenberg Library, Galveston.

Leigh Gard

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Leigh Gard, "SAN LEON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls12), accessed October 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on January 23, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.