This is "The Museum Capital of Texas." Settlement began when a trading post was established in the early 1800s. The city dates from 1824 when it was known as Tevis Bluff after the first settlers, Noah and Nancy Tevis. In 1835, Henry Millard and partners bought the Tevis' property for a planned town. Beaumont was Millard's wife's maiden name. The First Congress of the Republic of Texas granted a charter in 1838, and Beaumont was designated as the Jefferson County seat. The city came of age in 1901 with the Spindletop oil gusher. Today, it is an industrial giant, major port, agricultural center and home to Lamar University.
A number of entertainment options are available. The South Texas State Fair draws more than 600,000 visitors annually in the spring. Ford Park includes an arena, exhibit hall, fairground, RV park, softball complex and amphitheater. 409/951-5400. The Julie Rogers Theatre hosts the Symphony of Southeast Texas, Beaumont Civic Opera, Beaumont Civic Ballet and Beaumont Ballet Theatre performances. 765 Pearl St. 409/838-3435 or 800/782-3081.
The St. Anthony Cathedral is modeled after St. Paul's Basilica in Rome. 700 Jefferson Drive. For appointment: 409/833-6433.