Get to know Port Arthur, TX

The area around present day Port Arthur saw several attempted settlements throughout the 19th century.  None succeeded until Arthur Stilwell founded Port Arthur in 1895.  Stilwell also founded the Port Arthur Channel and Dock Company.  The port opened officially in 1899 when the British steamer Saint Oswald arrived, and the community quickly developed into a seaport.  The discovery of oil in the 20th century led to Port Arthur becoming the center of the largest network of oil refineries in the world for a time.  The commercial center peaked in the early 1900s before suburbanization caused wealthy residents and business to move away between 1960 and 1974.  Recession set in during the second half of the 20th century, and further stagnation occurred as the oil industry declined.  The 21st century has seen some revival in Port Arthur.  Large infrastructural projects are underway and renewed investment in the Port Arthur refineries has occurred.  It is home to the Museum of the Gulf Coast, the premier collection of items from Port Arthur and the surrounding communities.   The city has seen damage from several hurricanes, including Rita, Humberto, and Ike.  One notable resident was Janis Joplin.

Quick Facts

Population: 54,685

Median Household Income: $31,736

Median Property Value: $66,200

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