Sour Lake, Texas

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Sour Lake, Texas
City
Sour Lake historic district
Sour Lake historic district
Location of Sour Lake, Texas
Location of Sour Lake, Texas
Hardin County SourLake.svg
Coordinates: 30°8′13″N 94°24′27″W / 30.13694°N 94.40750°W / 30.13694; -94.40750Coordinates: 30°8′13″N 94°24′27″W / 30.13694°N 94.40750°W / 30.13694; -94.40750
Country United States
State Texas
County Hardin
Government
 • Mayor Bruce Robinson[1]
Area
 • Total 1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)
 • Land 1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 49 ft (15 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,813
 • Density 964.0/sq mi (372.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 77659
Area code(s) 409
FIPS code 48-68828[2]
GNIS feature ID 1347394[3]
Oil derricks at Sour Lake, circa 1910.

Sour Lake is a city in Hardin County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,813 at the 2010 census. It was originally named Sour Lake Springs, after the sulphurous spring water that flowed into the nearby lake; the sulphur was a sign of the crude oil that lay in proximity to local groundwater.[4] The city is part of the BeaumontPort Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. Sour Lake is the oldest surviving town in Hardin County.[4] It is called by some the "Gateway to the Big Thicket".

History[edit]

Sour Lake was first settled around 1835 when the Mexican State of Coahuilla y Tejas granted Stephen Jackson one league of land covering 4,428 acres (17.92 km2) by land grant.[4] Sam Houston visited Sour Lake in his later years.[4] The town is also home to one of the biggest sinkholes in Texas.

Sour Lake became a short-lived boomtown with the discovery of oil in 1901, shortly after oil was found at the nearby Spindletop salt dome.[4] It is known as the birthplace of Texaco.[4] Formed in 1903, the Texas Company (Texaco's former corporate name) is one of the three major oil companies that can trace its origins to the oil fields around Southeast Texas. The Sour Lake oilfield produced about 90,000,000 barrels (14,000,000 m3) of oil up to 1948, when it was producing about 3,500 barrels (560 m3) daily and new drilling was still underway.[4] Today the Sour Lake oilfield is the oldest continuously-producing oil field in the world.

The town of Atcheson in Bruce McCandless's 2012 novel Sour Lake appears to be based at least loosely on the real Sour Lake. Atcheson, like the real-life Sour Lake, is situated in the Big Thicket and experienced a short-lived oil boom in early years of the 20th Century. Yvette Benavides, in a San Antonio Express-News review of the book, noted, "There is a lot that is historically factual in this novel. That's part of the fun of reading Sour Lake.”[5]

The Ecuadorian jungle town commonly referred to as Lago Agrio was named after Sour Lake by Texaco when the company established the oil-producing settlement. Lago Agrio is Spanish for Sour Lake. The official name of the town is Nuevo Loja.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), of which, 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it is land and 0.57% is water.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 1,504
1950 1,630 8.4%
1960 1,602 −1.7%
1970 1,694 5.7%
1980 1,807 6.7%
1990 1,547 −14.4%
2000 1,667 7.8%
2010 1,813 8.8%
Est. 2016 1,832 [6] 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,667 people, 672 households, and 446 families residing in the city. The population density was 964.0 people per square mile (372.0/km²). There were 752 housing units at an average density of 434.9 per square mile (167.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.36% White, 3.18% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.

There were 672 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,300, and the median income for a family was $39,605. Males had a median income of $36,406 versus $24,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,497. About 8.5% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

The City of Sour Lake is served by the Hardin-Jefferson Independent School District.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.cityofsourlake.com/city-hall/
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Diana J. Kleiner. "Sour Lake, Texas". The Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]