History

La Marque, also known as Highlands and as Buttermilk Station, is an incorporated residential community on Interstate Highway 45, State Highway 3, and Farm roads 519, 1765, and 2004, some 12 miles northwest of Galveston in northwestern Galveston County. The community was originally known as Highlands, probably for its location near Highland Creek, and was renamed in the 1890s when residents learned of another mainland community of the same name. Madam St. Ambrose, postmistress, chose the new name, which in French means "the mark."

Formative Years
The community's post office operated from 1887 until the 1930s. During the Civil War, the town was known as Buttermilk Station after the soldiers' practice of purchasing buttermilk there on the trip between Galveston and Houston. In 1867 the town had 6 families and its residents raised cattle or rice. The local population rose from 100 in 1890 to 175 in 1896, when the community had a Baptist church and several fruit growers. A school with 14 students existed before 1895, when Amos Stewart gave land for a larger facility. By 1909 2 teachers served an enrollment of 55 students, and in 1913 further construction began.

Railroads & Population Expansion
By 1914 the community had been reached by 4 railroads:
  • The Galveston, Houston, and Henderson
  • The International and Great Northern
  • The Interurban
  • the Missouri, Kansas and Texas
At that time, La Marque had both a railroad station and general store located in a private home. The town's population reached 500 in 1914, and 1,500 by 1952, when it had 90 businesses. As it grew together with nearby Texas City, La Marque served as a residential community for employees at a nearby Union Carbide plant and other plants in the La Marque-Texas City area, as well as the Galveston Island Medical Center. The town had a population of 17,000 and 130 businesses in 1977. In 1988 it had 15,697 residents and 158 businesses, and in 1991, some 14,258 residents and 272 businesses.