Houston History celebrates the Houston Ship Channel’s centennial.
The Fall 2014 issue explores the deep-water channel from its initial concept in the 1830s to one of the world’s largest ports today. The magazine also pays tribute to the men and women who make the Port of Houston a success, like lineman Bobby Kersey, shown on the cover, who has worked there for over half a century. Click on the “Continue Reading” link below for a description of the articles.
The Allen brothers’ mission to create a city where none had been before was fueled by the same philosophy that led to Houston’s long-term success: dream big, and do everything possible to realize your dreams. The realization of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel is a tale of promotion, ingenuity, and decades of dedicated effort by civic leaders.
Fifty-two miles long and recognized as a public works engineering marvel, the Houston Ship Channel gave birth to the nation’s busiest port, its leading export port, its leading break bulk port, and its largest petrochemical complex. Indeed, the town that built a port that built a city sums up the Houston Ship Channel’s first century.
Houston is often called the city that built the port that built the city. The measure of success, however, should not be in the building of what has become the nation’s largest inland port but rather in the hundreds of thousands of ships the Houston Pilots have quietly and safely guided along the channel over ten decades.
Long before its formal entry into the Second World War in December 1941, the United States was actively supporting Great Britain and its allies in the struggle against Germany through the Lend-Lease program and other efforts. Part of this assistance was the U.S. Maritime Commission’s decision in late 1940 to accept a contract to build sixty standardized freighters for the British government.
By Debbie Z. Harwell The success of the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston is built on more than the determination of businessmen, however. Since its earliest days the city has acted as a magnet for people coming here to look for work, particularly in jobs associated with the ship channel and the […]
The Houston Maritime Museum has educated and entertained visitors for fourteen years with the mission “To capture and preserve the wonder and influence of maritime history and the marine industry with focus on the development of Houston, the Texas Gulf Coast, and the State of Texas.” Located on the outskirts of the Museum District, the museum has eight galleries filled with model ships, images, and artifacts that trace maritime navigation from the Bronze Age to the present.
From the Gulf of Mexico to the heart of downtown, the Houston Ship Channel has proved to be a vital piece of the city’s growth for one hundred years. Through history, we can trace how Houston’s economic ethos has transformed a narrow, winding bayou into an international epicenter of import.