The city of Baytown, Texas on the state's Gulf Coast is part of the Houston-Sugar Land - Baytown Metropolitan Area, a thriving industrial portion of the Lone Star State dominated by the petroleum business. Exxon-Mobil, for instance, operates ten refineries in the area.
There is a local community institution of higher learning, Lee College. Baytown, Texas takes pride in this school which offers a two-year associate degree program. The school was established in 1934 and was originally housed on a high school campus, Robert E. Lee High School, hence the name Lee College. Baytown, Texas supports the school through a vigorous partnership to hire students and graduates alike.
Originally a ferry crossing on the San Jacinto River, the city of Baytown, Texas was isolated for much of the nineteenth century with the easiest access being by water. In 1908, however, oil was discovered in the region and the city of Baytown, Texas underwent an infrastructure renaissance.
The Lynchburg Ferry continues to operate in the city, however, and is located near the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site which also features the Battleship Texas (the first battleship museum in the United States) and the 561 foot San Jacinto Monument. The monument, a column, is topped by a massive star (220 tons) commemorating the pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution under the leadership of General Sam Houston. This commemorative column has the distinction of being the tallest such memorial structure in the world. The city of Baytown, Texas also is home to a 400-acre park, the Baytown Nature Preserve and the Fred Hartman Bridge across the Houston Ship Channel.
In the year 2000 the city of Baytown, Texas was made up of more than 66,000 people of whom sixty-eight percent claimed Caucasian heritage, thirty-two percent Hispanic, and thirteen percent African-American. The average household income was approximately $40,000; for a family, $45,000. Retail sales in the town are more than $600 million annually, lending a comfortable prosperity to the community. (Not surprisingly then, the town has seven banks and four credit unions.)
In the summer the average temperature in Baytown is approximately ninety degrees and in the mild winters, about sixty-five degrees. Because it rests at the northern shore of Galveston Bay, Baytown enjoys the semi-tropical climate of the Texas Gulf Coast. Consequently, the major source of news is The Houston Chronicle although Baytown does have a local newspaper, The Baytown Sun. The community is served by the five-hundred bed Texas Medical Center with a staff of some three hundred doctors.
For entertainment venues, Baytown is in easy driving distance to anything available in Houston but a particular local favorite is the Houston Raceway Park, a 440-acre complex for drag racing. For those interested in a more sedate pastime, Baytown also offers the Evergreen Point Golf Course.
Overall, Baytown is a prosperous Gulf Coast community where a thriving local economy makes a pleasant, middle-class existence easily available to the majority of residents.