Two events in the early days of the 20th century forever changed the face of a handful of sleepy communities nestled between the San Jacinto River and Cedar Bayou along the shores of Goose Creek.
The upstart town of Houston had the audacity to build a port nearly 50 miles from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, reshaping Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto into a maritime superhighway, and oil was discovered on Tabbs Bay at the mouth of Goose Creek.
In 1919, the Humble Oil and Refining Company made strategic use of those two happenings and built a refinery on the eastern shore of the river at the edge of the oilfield. From that point on, the Baytown Refinery and the communities around it, which would eventually consolidate into a city that shared its name, would grow from their infancy, closely interwoven with one another.
“Baytown and ExxonMobil share a unique, intertwined history,” said Dan Helgesen, Baytown Refinery manager.
“It’s always fascinating to hear about all of the ways in which the Complex and the community grew up together over the years.
“The key to our mutual success has been helping one another and contributing to each other’s successes. It’s a relationship we don’t take for granted; we will always stand up for Baytown just as they’ve always stood up for us.
“Ultimately, it is the people of ExxonMobil and Baytown who have made this partnership so strong. Without the contributions of generations of Baytown residents over the past century, we definitely would not be where we are today.
“I have no doubt that we will continue to achieve many more successes over the course of the 100 years. We can’t wait to see what the future looks like – both for Baytown and the ExxonMobil Complex.”
On Sept. 27, ExxonMobil will celebrate the 100th anniversary of being in Baytown with a celebration 6-10 p.m. at Town Square, 213 W. Texas Avenue.
The celebration will include food trucks, prizes and more, all with live music provided by Joseph Mitchell at 6 p.m., Don Vickers & Kaitlyn Alyse at 7 p.m. and Cory Morrow at 8 p.m.