Clear Lake Texas
Clear Lake, or the Clear Lake Area, is a region in parts of Harris and Galveston County in Texas, United States. It is part of the Galveston Bay Area, which itself is a section of the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area. The area is geographically characterized by the bodies of water in it and around it, including Clear Lake, Taylor Lake, Clear Creek, and Galveston Bay.
Clear Lake is relatively affluent with a thriving business community. The area's most important business sectors are aerospace and tourism. It is home to the Johnson Space Center and numerous aerospace contracting firms. The lake itself is home to one of the largest concentrations of recreational boats and marinas in the nation.
The Clear Lake region is named, as it implies, for Clear Lake, a brackish lake, fed by Clear Creek, that empties into Galveston Bay.
The name "Clear Lake" is often used in a variety of ways depending on the source. Apart from referring to the lake itself or the region defined by the chamber of commerce, the name can refer to the Clear Lake City residential development, the Clear Lake area of Houston (a Houston "superneighborhood" including Clear Lake City, Johnson Space Center, and surrounding areas), the Clear Lake area of Pasadena, and other geographies as well.
At the time Europeans arrived the area around Galveston Bay was largely inhabited by Akokisa and Karankawa tribes. The first substantial European presence in the area came as a result of the pirate kingdom established by Jean Lafitte in the early 19th century from his base on Galveston Island. One of the earliest settlers in the region was Anson Taylor, namesake of Taylor Lake, who supplied Lafitte's Galveston colony with produce and game from around Armand Bayou (though his homestead was actually near the Trinity River).
During most the 19th century the Clear Lake Area remained largely undeveloped. Ranches such as the famed Allen Ranch used much of the area as a cattle range. Toward the end of the century small farming and fishing communities developed. Railroads grew up near the area as well connecting the nearby commercial centers of Galveston, Harrisburg, and Houston spawning new communities such as Clear Creek (League City) and Webster.
In 1901 the oil gusher at Spindletop launched the Texas Oil Boom. Soon oil wells and refineries were built in nearby Goose Creek (modern Baytown) and Texas City. Houston rapidly became established as the main commercial center in the area for the oil industry. The Clear Lake Area became an attractive recreational destination for the new class of wealthy oil businessmen. Much of the area was developed as retreats for the wealthy including a large ranch estate owned by Houston businessman James West. The population increased rapidly including significant immigration from overseas. The Maceo crime syndicate, which ran Galveston at that time, created casino districts in Kemah and other areas of Galveston County (though they were shut down in the mid-20th century).
In 1963 NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) was established in the area. That and the explosive growth of neighboring Houston in the mid-20th century, especially the 1970s and 80s, caused significant urbanization. The Clear Lake City community was created by the Friendswood Development Company, a venture of Humble Oil and Dell E. Webb Corporation, to support residential growth near the new NASA facility. Some of the communities around Clear Lake reoriented toward aerospace-related industries. Still tourism and recreation remain core industries of the area today.
Clear Lake Realtor