Located on a salt dome in Chambers County, the community was established in 1849 as Barbers Hill. Postal authorities suggested a name change to Mont Belvieu to avoid confusion with other offices of similar names. The community lay quietly as a center for farming and cattle-raising until oil was discovered in 1916. Though this early discovery was limited, land lease speculators quickly grabbed up leases, buying and selling in a frenzy. In 1926, wildcatter Mills Bennett tapped the first gusher into production. The salt-dome storage capabilities were initiated in the 1950s and expanded. Today, products processed through the grand underground caverns are shipped worldwide, providing the life-blood for nearly all of the petrochemical industry. On I-10, the city is closely tied to the Houston-Baytown area.
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