Caplen, TX

By: A. Pat Daniels

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: December 1, 1994

Caplen, a residential area of Bolivar Peninsula on State Highway 87 near the Rollover Pass in eastern Galveston County adjoins the west end of Gilchrist. The Gilchrist post office serves the Caplen area. Caplen has been a resort since the late 1800s and was eventually named for John Caplen, a property owner who surveyed the area in 1909. At one time the local marshlands produced large quantities of muskrats for trappers. Caplen's summer population for a time was between 300 and 500, and two hotels served the visitors. In 1915 Caplen had a population of 200, a post office, a general store, and three hotels. The hurricane of 1915 scared people away until about 1930, when a gradual influx of residents again started. In the 1940s, Caplen was a ranching, tourist, and fishing community that reported two businesses and a population of seventy-five. Its year-round population in 1990 and again in 2000 was about thirty. In earlier years the site reportedly was a favorite of Indians, who left a burial ground there. Several important archeological finds have led to detailed excavations at the Caplen Site.

Thomas N. Campbell, "Archeological Investigations at the Caplen Site, Galveston County, Texas," Texas Journal of Science 9 (December 1957). A. Pat Daniels, Bolivar! Gulf Coast Peninsula (Crystal Beach, Texas: Peninsula, 1985). Houston Chronicle, July 21, 1963, May 10, 1982. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Bolivar Peninsula).
  • Communities

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

A. Pat Daniels, “Caplen, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994

Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: No
  • Is Incorporated: No
Belongs to
  • Galveston County
Associated Names


  • Latitude: 29.49967630°
  • Longitude: -94.52324690°
Population Counts
People Year
60 2014