Lake Jackson is an incorporated residential community ten miles upriver from the mouth of the Brazos River in south-central Brazoria County. The 3000-acre sugar and cotton plantation of Abner Jackson occupied the site from 1843 to 1845. It originally used as many as eighty-two slaves to produce cotton, sugar, and corn, and later used convict labor to cultivate sugar after Jackson’s death in 1861. As the plantation declined, the area became a Black community, which had a single school and one teacher as late as 1937.
In 1942 the plantation was purchased for use as a townsite for employees of the Dow Chemical Company. A model community, named for Abner Jackson, was designed by Alden B. Dow of Midland, Michigan, with the assistance of engineer J. P. Dunbar. The new town, operated by the Lake Jackson Company, encompasses Jackson Lake, Flagg Lake, and two other unnamed lakes. Though primarily concerned with employee housing, Dow left room for private development, thereby encouraging Lake Jackson to become more than simply a company town.
The community was established in 1943, incorporated in April 1944, and received a post office in 1945, by which time it had become part of the expanding Brazosport industrial area. The first school, opened in 1943 and initially part of the Clute school district, offered classes through the eighth grade. High school students attended Freeport High School. In 1944 area school districts voted to form the Brazosport Independent School District.
In 1954 residents voted to become a home-rule city with a council-manager form of government. By 1969 the district had two high schools. Business grew slowly at first, but increased steadily during the 1960s and 1970s, and in 1976 a regional shopping mall opened within the city limits. The town attracted professional people as well as several financial institutions, and completion of the South Freeway accelerated growth in the area.
The Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences in Lake Jackson offers an art gallery, two theaters, a museum of natural science, and a nature center and planetarium, while the city maintains a number of parks, including Wilderness Park, a large undeveloped area that extends to the bank of the Brazos. The Lake Jackson Historical Association was formed in 1983. A reproduction of Abner Jackson’s plantation house built by Dow Chemical Company near the original site is used as a recreation facility. (source)
Founded in the 1840s, the Jackson Plantation was the second of three plantations developed by Abner Jackson. Originally known as “Lake Place,” the site was once a bustling sugar plantation that stretched over 4642 acres with more than 80 enslaved workers.
The site is significant to the history of industrialized sugar production in Brazoria County, it has been designated as a State Antiquities Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission. Visitors can explore the archeological remains of this historic site, most notably those of the main house and sugar mill. Admission is by donation only, and the site is open the first Saturday of every month from 10AM-5PM.
Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, fish hatchery and education center located on 75 acres in Lake Jackson, Texas. It is operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in partnership with the Coastal Conservation Association, The Dow Chemical Company and US Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Funds.
The facility opened in 1996 and includes a visitor center with aquaria and exhibits of Texas marine life, the largest redfish hatchery in the world, 36 one-acre fish culture ponds, an outdoor wetland exhibit and a youth fishing pond. No food is available for sale at the facility. Picnic areas for large groups are located nearby at McLean Park. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Binoculars, a wheelchair, and walker are available for use on a first-come first-serve basis.
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is an independent non-profit organization headquartered on the upper Texas coast. They have become recognized as an innovative conservation organization, designing and conducting a significant number of large avian conservation projects including migration studies, habitat enhancement, land acquisition, regional habitat mapping, and others.
They accumulate, assess, and distribute high-quality bird population and conservation information that will provide a scientific basis for the protection of birds and their habitats around the Gulf of Mexico and far beyond. They fulfill their mission of protecting the birds and their habitats by using sound scientific research, land protection and enhancement, community engagement, and educational outreach. For the Birds!
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