Port of Beaumont Celebrates Centennial
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Port of Beaumont, a major deepwater port in Southeast Texas. A series of celebrations and public events began October 20th, when the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce presented the port with its Spindletop Award for outstanding corporate citizenship. A record crowd of 800 people were on hand for the 112th annual Chamber meeting, where keynote speaker, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, saluted the port for 100 years of service.
Port officials have planned a number of events over the next six months to commemorate the Centennial. A Centennial history book will be released in early summer. Other activities in celebration of the history of the port will be announced during the next few months.
By the 1920’s, additional waterfront land was purchased and the waterway was deepened to 30 feet. The waterway was deepened in 1937 to 34 feet and again in 1947 to 36 feet. In 1949, a new political subdivision, the Port of Beaumont Navigation District, was created by the 51st Texas Legislature to own and operate the port.
Over the years, bonds, earned revenues and grants have allowed the port to expand and improve infrastructure, gaining the Port of Beaumont the reputation as one of the most competitive and innovative ports on the Gulf Coast.
The growth of the energy industry in Southeast Texas, combined with public and private investment, allows the Sabine-Neches Waterway to be recognized as one of the most productive ship channels in the world, handling some 71,000 commercial transits and 100 million tons of cargo annually. Most of the cargo is crude oil, and places the waterway third on the list of the nation's busiest waterways.