PINE ISLAND BAYOU
PINE ISLAND BAYOU. Pine Island Bayou rises two miles south of Fuqua in northeastern Liberty County (at 30°25' N, 94°44' W). Intermittent in its upper reaches, the bayou follows a southeasterly course into Hardin County, then takes a more easterly turn, dipping briefly back into Liberty County before forming the boundary between Hardin and Jefferson counties. Approximately seventy-six miles long, Pine Island Bayou reaches its mouth at the Neches River, six miles north of downtown Beaumont (at 30°10' N, 94°07' W). The bayou passes through flat to rolling terrain with local escarpments. The soil is characterized by sandy loams, and the vegetation consists of hardwood forests and conifers. Many of the earliest recorded settlers in Hardin and Jefferson counties settled along the banks of the bayou, and nineteenth-century steamboats navigated its lower waters, trading with many of the region's inhabitants. When rice became a more prominent crop in much of Southeast Texas, the Beaumont Irrigation Company built a pumping plant for irrigation on Pine Island Bayou in 1898. The lower stages of the watercourse are now protected as part of the Big Thicket National Preserve (Little Pine Island and Beaumont corridors).
W. T. Block, A History of Jefferson County, Texas, from Wilderness to Reconstruction (M.A. thesis, Lamar University, 1974; Nederland, Texas: Nederland Publishing, 1976). Mary Lou Proctor, A History of Hardin County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1950). Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940).