Barrett, just south of U.S. Highway 90 on Farm roads 1942 and 2100 in eastern Harris County, began during Reconstruction as a black community. The community was named for former slave Harrison Barrett, known as "Uncle Harrison," who had been born in Texas around 1845 to slave parents. After emancipation, Barrett settled his family on part of Reuben White's league east of the San Jacinto River and, in 1889, purchased the land for fifty cents an acre. It became one of the largest holdings in Harris County to be acquired by a former slave. Barrett named the property Barrett's Settlement. The community began with seven houses, which Barrett helped to build with lumber from his land. He helped members of his family to set up farms, established a sawmill, a gristmill, and a coffee mill and granted others open access to fish and crayfish in the spring and gully near his homestead. Harrison donated land for Shiloh Baptist Church, which also served as a school. In 1947 a high school and a post office branch known as Barrett Station opened. Barrett, who died in 1917, was buried in Journey's End Cemetery in the settlement, and a museum and park were later named in his honor. State highway maps in 1936 showed a school, St. Martin Cemetery, and a camp at the townsite. The population reached 2,364 in 1960. U.S. Highway 90 was built through the area in the 1970s, and by 1990 the population was 3,644. In 2000 the population dropped to 2,872. The town celebrates its heritage every Juneteenth.