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Bolivar Point
 
It is thought that Privateer Luis-Michele de Aury first used the name Bolivar to honor Simon Bolivar, liberator and president of five Latin American nations. Filibuster expeditions of Henry Perry, Warren Hall, and James Long started at Bolivar Point with a goal to end Spanish rule and start new republics. Long’s wife, Jane, braved harsh elements and gave birth to a daughter while waiting for her husband who did not return from his adventure.
 

By 1896, the Gulf and Interstate Railroad to Beaumont stopped in Bolivar Point, allowing local farmers to ship their produce to market on iced rail cars. Previously, produce was taken to Galveston by boat. Trains connecting to Galveston were taken across the bay on a barge.

Jane Herbert Willkinson Long is often called the Mother of Texas. She is one of the earliest Anglo women to settle in Texas when she lived on Bolivar. She later ran a boarding house on the Brazos River and played an instrumental role in Texas’ battle for independence.


Collection of the Galveston County Historical Museum, courtesy of Elsie Dedear
By 1896, the Gulf and Interstate Railroad to Beaumont stopped in Bolivar Point, allowing local farmers to ship their produce to market on iced rail cars. Previously, produce was taken to Galveston by boat. Trains connecting to Galveston were taken across the bay on a barge.
 
Fort Travis was built in 1898 and functioned through both world wars. For a time before World War I, cargo shipments were accepted at the port, but the 1915 storm devastated all dock improvements and most of the town. The residents that remained maintained small cattle farms and harvested seafood. Roads and a ferry were built in 1930. Before this, the only way to travel on the Peninsula was to drive along the beach.
The construction of Fort Travis
Courtesy of Ralph Stenzel