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Freeport's History
Velasco & Freeport

Freeport has a rich history. In 1528, Cabeza de Vaca landed in the area and named the river "Los Brazos de Dios."

In 1821, Stephen F. Austin and 38 men landed at the mouth of the Brazos River on the schooner Lively.

Mr. Austin and his "Old Three Hundred" colonists settled the area and in 1831 founded Velasco.  It was the site of the Battle of Velasco in 1832.

Velasco consisted of a single house until 1831, when Mexico set up a customs port there and dispatched troops to help the customs collector. More than 25,000 settlers entered through the port. The town was named for a Mexican general, as was Quintana, on the opposite side of the river.

In 1836 following the decisive battle of San Jacinto, Velasco was made the first capital of the Republic of Texas by interim President David G. Burnet.

Freeport was founded as a European-American settlement in November 1912 by the Freeport Sulphur Company. The population was 300. In 1929, the river was diverted south of town, leaving the Old Brazos riverbed as a protected harbor leading to the Gulf of Mexico and the population had grown to 3,500, and to 4,100 by 1939, influencing a steady increase of economic expansion in Freeport.  
Freeport's most substantial economic growth began with the construction of Dow Chemical Company facilities in the city during 1939. This company is the community's largest employer.  Freeport has the company's largest single manufacturing site in the 21st century.

Originally two towns, Velasco & Freeport, on opposites of the Old Brazos River, joined to become the City of Freeport in 1957. Freeport is a part of the Texas Independence Trail.


Did you know Velasco had a lighthouse?



Check out other interesting facts about Freeport and Velasco at our Freeport Historical Museum

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