Baytown, Texas, is a study in contrasts. While proud of their historic traditions, this is after all the home of the Battle of San Jacinto, one of the most significant events in Texas history; the people of Baytown look forward to the future with some of the largest industrial and technological complexes in the United States. Indeed, Baytown is home to one of the largest refineries in the world, yet also has one of the most pristine wetland preserves in the nation with the Baytown Nature Center which supports more than 300 species of birds.
The discovery of oil at the turn of the century led to a boom in the region and the establishment of 3 separate towns, all of which were eventually merged into Baytown shortly after WWII. In 1916, the first offshore oil platform in Texas and the second in the United States was built at Baytown by former Governor Ross Sterling under Humble Oil. Humble later built the Baytown refinery which was eventually acquired by Exxon. Baytown has long been a center for oil refining and industrial manufacturing.