The first permanent settlement occurred in 1821 when a Spanish fortress was made the port of entry for American colonists. The name's origin is uncertain—perhaps derived from a pre-Aztec Nawatlan tribe or later Native American word. Today, it is the seat of Chambers County and a rice, cattle, seafood and oil-producing area.
Named Alligator Capital of Texas by the Texas Legislature, Anahuac boasts more alligators than people. Home of Texas Gatorfest, staged two days each September in Fort Anahuac Park.