It was owned for some time by W.B. and Peggy Anderson of Beach City. With the efforts of the League City Historical Society, the school was moved to League City in December of 1992 and restored. It is now at the corner of Kansas and Second Street in League City.
This little schoolhouse was formally dedicated as the West Bay Common School Children's Museum on October 21, 1993. For visitors, a schoolmarm brings history to life with an award winning program that includes a pen and ink lesson, reading at the recitation bench, slate lessons and a spelling bee. A recess program follows in the Barn Museum .
By the early twentieth century, the relatively temperate bay breezes and good views and fishing began to lure people from nearby towns to the Beach City area. About 1930 Joseph Weingarten, who built the Weingarten's chain of grocery stores, constructed a mansion summer house just inland from the former site of Houston's Ravenmoor. The Weingarten house, under different ownership, was being remodeled circa 1981 and caught fire. The fire was believed to have been caused by a heating gun used by workers to remove old wall paper. The home was a total loss. A new home was later constructed on this site.
Around 1950 the state built FM-2354, a road that ran from Baytown most of the way around the Cedar Point peninsula. This road was authorized by the Colson-Briscoe Act of 1949. A bascule drawbridge, which continued to operate until 1983, crossed Cedar Bayou at the lower end of the bayou.
With the boom economy after World War II, people had time and money for recreation. People from Baytown especially began to take advantage of the drawbridge and built small summer/weekend houses or "fishing camps" along the shoreline of the present Beach City. By the early 1950s, they had nicknamed FM-2354 "Tri-City Beach Road", because the present Baytown resulted from a merger of three smaller towns in 1948.
However, a number who came for recreation decided to stay. By the early 1960s the community commonly called Tri-City Beach had about 500 permanent residents. At that time, the Texas legislature began to consider annexation reform. Previously, Texas municipalities had almost unfettered power to annex adjacent lands. Cities could control vast territories by annexing ten-feet-wide strips surrounding them. During that period, Baytown controlled an area larger than the California city of Los Angeles did. Larger cities could even annex smaller cities, after they had annexed to surround them.
Knowing that reform was pending, many cities began a flurry of annexations. Defensively, a number of unincorporated communities began proceedings to incorporate as municipalities. The Tri-City Beach community was one of those.
On April 6, 1963, the Tri-City Beach Civic Association was formed. They met to discuss ways to better their community. The officers were Hayden Harper, a local grocer, President; Nina Harper, Secretary; Georgia Mackrell, Chairman of Publicity; and John Jennings, Chairman of the Membership Committee.
The association explored a number of ideas, including the construction of a breakwater, and then began considering incorporation as a city. An Incorporation Committee was formed consisting of George Armer, Ruth Hoover, Eloice Jordan, J.D. Nicholson, and Bill White.
Ms. Jordan met with County Judge Oscar F. Nelson, Jr. on March 8, 1966, and presented him with a petition for an incorporation election. On March 24, 1966, the Baytown City Council adopted Ordinance 788, consenting to the inclusion of an unspecified part of what Baytown then claimed as its extraterritorial jurisdiction within the proposed new municipality to be known as the City of Beach City. On April 5, 1966, an election was held to determine if the area would become a municipality. The results were 103 for incorporation to 4 opposed. The incorporation of Beach City was finalized by a decree issued by Judge Nelson on April 11, 1966.
Beach City was originally incorporated as a Type B General Law City under Texas law, and was later changed to a Type A General Law City by resolution of the City Council, under the provisions of law. The original boundaries of the city were, roughly, Cedar Point Road to the south, FM-2354 to the west, Point Barrow Road to the north, and Trinity Bay to the east.
Under Texas law, when a city is incorporated some adjacent territory not already controlled by another city automatically comes under its limited jurisdiction, and other cities may not exercise jurisdiction there. The territory is called the city's extraterritorial jurisdiction or ETJ. However, Baytown executed six different strip annexations into what Beach City believed was to have been its ETJ, including five that were completed after Beach City's incorporation. Those annexations were completed on March 4, May 12, June 23, June 25, September 9, and November 9, 1966.These completed a ring around the planned USX industrial site. The stated purpose was to protect Baytown's ability to form an industrial district. These conflicting assertions of jurisdiction have been disputed since that time, as will be discussed further.
An election was held on May 21, 1966, to select the first municipal officers. Eloice Jordan was elected mayor. W.D. Bush, Alvin J. Crawley, William D. Daniel, J.R. Holland, and J.D. Nicholson were chosen as aldermen for the first city council. Gus Dauzat became the first city marshal. Later Ruth Hoover was appointed by the Council as city secretary and Claude Galloway as deputy marshal.
The mayors of the city have been, by date of election:
:Eloice Jordan - May 21, 1966
:Carl Slaughter - July 25, 1967
:Eloice Jordan - April 6, 1968
:Jimmy McClellan - April 7, 1970
:Herschel Scott - April 27, 1976
:Jim Ainsworth - May, 1982
:A.R. "Rusty" Senac - April, 1986
:James Standridge - May 26, 1992
:A.R. "Rusty" Senac - May 23, 2000
:Guido Persiani - May 25, 2004
:Billy Combs - May 8, 2010
The Beach City Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1967 and still exists. A Tri-City Beach Emergency Medical service organization had been formed before the City's incorporation and has since been merged into a county-wide emergency medical service.
We strive to produce an accurate history of our community. We welcome suggestions if you have a favorite anecdote you would like to see included. If you see anything that needs updating, clarification, or correction, please drop us a line. Send you comments via e mail to: Jim Standridge, firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com , A. R. Rusty Senac firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com or to the Beach City Office at firstname.lastname@example.org mailto:email@example.com . The mailing address: City of Beach City, Attention: City Secretary, 12723 F.M. 2354, Beach City, Texas 77523.
The Texas annexation reform process, and the widespread annexation fervor, continued for several years.
With Baytown's concurrence, Beach City increased its area on August 19, 1968, by annexing approximately 1,781 acres near Point Barrow Road and taking in McCollum Park. The 1968 annexation moved the northern boundary of the city to Lawrence Road. This annexation brought into the city limits the historic home site of early pioneer Solomon Barrow (1801-1858), whose land included the area where McCollum Park is now located. The park, as a matter of record, contains the last resting place of Barrow, his wife Elizabeth Winfree, and Barton Clark, the first husband of their daughter Narcissa Ophelia Henrietta Jane Barrow.
On October 27, 1970, again with Baytown's concurrence, Beach City annexed the area where the Beach City Community Building and the Beach City VFD fire station are located. That is the only part of the city limits that extends west of FM-2354.
Meanwhile, there were rumors that Baytown intended to annex the community of Cove. On September 22, 1970, Beach City received a petition of 84 residents of Cove to annex the community. The mayor of Beach City at the time was Jimmy McClellan. On November 24, 1970, Beach City annexed Cove, an area bounded generally on the west by FM-2354, on the east by the Old and Lost Rivers, on the south by Lawrence Road, and on the north by a line just north of FM-565.On December 2, 1970 Beach City extended its Cove annexation to include the property where the old Cove Community Building sits.
This time Baytown did not concur. In 1971, Baytown sued Beach City in an attempt to stop the annexation of Cove.
In 1973, Beach City released its claim to what are now the city limits of Cove. An incorporation election was held and the City of Cove was incorporated on May 23, 1973. Leroy Stevens was Cove's first mayor. The City Council of Beach City presented to Mayor Stevens Cove's first municipal seal, which is believed to be the one still in use.
However, the original area of Beach City's Cove annexation had extended beyond what eventually became the Cove city limits, and Beach City continued to assert the validity of its claim over the rest of that area. The legal issue continued for years, and the potential cost of litigation to Beach City was controversial, the assets of the city at the time being approximately $5,000. The issue was apparently never resolved in the courts. Rather, Beach City's annexation north of Lawrence Road was apparently repealed by action of its City Council in 1976, after Herschel Scott replaced Jimmy McClellan as Mayor and John Lefebvre replaced Eugene Jenson as City Attorney.
In 1986, Beach City celebrated its twentieth anniversary and the State of Texas celebrated its 150th, or the Sesquicentennial of the Republic of Texas. By that time Beach City had grown to a population estimated at 1,200, with about 600 residences of which about 60% were primary residences.
A number of celebrations were held in September of that year. The theme for the one in Beach City was "Get it --- Beach City Spirit". At that event, Mayor A.R. "Rusty" Senac stated, "I am extremely proud of our community. There are no taxes except utility franchise fees. There are no sales taxes or City property taxes. Our greatest resources are the members of our community. The willingness of everyone in Beach City to donate and devote their time and effort to improve our city makes our community an exceptional area. Our fire department, our emergency medical service, our marshal, and numerous civic and service organizations are all volunteer organizations. Each performs exceptionally well, always striving to protect the well-being of our citizenry, providing educational and recreational opportunities, or simply lending a helping hand to a neighbor in need. The American and Texas spirit that exists in Beach City cannot be describe appropriately using the written word. It must be experienced to be understood. All of us in Beach City are also proud to be Texans and Americans. We do not have problems in Beach City. We only have opportunities that we must capitalize upon. People in Beach City have Beach City Spirit."
In that same year, Mayor Senac and the City Council initiated a series of periodic public opinion surveys, asking City residents about their goals and expectations of the City and its government. That practice has continued to the present, and has guided the City Council to maintain the course that it has followed since the incorporation of the city - minimal interference, minimal services, and minimal taxation.
On June 10, 2006, the City observed its fortieth anniversary with a celebration called "Beach City - West Bay, An Oral History". Approximately 85 people attended, including our first mayor Eloice Jordan, current and former elected City officials, and Sam Houston IV. It was an afternoon of history and anecdote and continued celebration of the Beach City Spirit.