History of La Marque
La Marque's history extends back to the days of the Republic of Texas. Located along the banks of Highland Bayou, the largely rural town was settled and named Highlands. During the Civil War, soldiers stopped on their route between Galveston and Houston to purchase buttermilk, earning Highlands the nickname "Buttermilk Station." During the 1890's it was learned that another community existed with the same name. Postmistress Madam St. Ambrose renamed the town La Marque, a French term for "the mark" or "my spot".
La Marque was the largest unincorporated residential community in Texas until an attempted annexation from City of Texas City promoted city leaders to go through incorporation in 1953. La Marque is situated in Galveston County, 15 miles south of Houston and four miles north of Galveston Island. La Marque. In 2018, La Marque was named the second-fastest-growing city in the County with an estimated population of 16,000, an area of 14.25 square miles and boasting 14.3 miles of I-45 frontage—more than any other city in Galveston County. Citizens and visitors also enjoy easy access to State Highway 3, and Farm Roads 146, 519, 1764 and 1765.
The community's post office operated from 1887 until the 1930s. During the Civil War, the town was known as Buttermilk Station after the soldiers' practice of purchasing buttermilk there on the trip between Galveston and Houston. In 1867 the town had six families and its residents raised cattle or rice. The local population rose from 100 in 1890 to 175 in 1896, when the community had a Baptist church and several fruit growers. A school with 14 students existed before 1895, when Amos Stewart gave land for a larger facility. By 1909 two teachers served an enrollment of 55 students, and in 1913 further construction began.
Railroads & Population Expansion
By 1914 the community had been reached by four railroads:
- The Galveston, Houston and Henderson
- The International and Great Northern
- The Interurban
- The Missouri, Kansas and Texas
At that time, La Marque had both a railroad station and general store located in a private home. The town's population reached 500 in 1914, and 1,500 by 1952, when it had 90 businesses. As it grew together with nearby Texas City, La Marque served as a residential community for employees at a nearby Union Carbide plant and other plants in the La Marque-Texas City area, as well as the Galveston Island Medical Center. The town had a population of 17,000 and 130 businesses in 1977. In 1988 it had 15,697 residents and 158 businesses, and in 1991, some 14,258 residents and 272 businesses.
In 2019, citizens enjoy easy, breezy coastal living, abundant housing options and the security of a hurricane protection levee system. La Marque is a sportsman's paradise and offers access to world-class medical, travel and entertainment options. Citizens and visitors enjoy Bayou Fest, an early fall concert series and BBQ Cook Off offering free family fun; Magical Winter Lights, a 52-day holiday lantern festival; and Crawfish Bash, an annual crawfish cook off that earned a Guinness World Record in 2017. For business, La Marque offers prime I-45 frontage, creative incentives, an abundance of commercial property, a budding downtown revitalization and build-to-suit opportunities.
La Marque is the Gateway to the Gulf and the Hub of the Mainland.