Amongst the many chemical plants and silos in La Porte, Tx is the United States’ tallest monument at 570 ft (15 ft taller than the Washington Monument): The San Jacinto Monument.
This massive stone pillar was built in commemoration of those who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21st, 1836. The Texans’ defeat over Mexico allowed the United States to expand almost another third to include Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Utah and pieces of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. One of the more amazing feats of building this structure was the fact that no one lost their lives in the construction process!
Right before you get to the park entrance is a small cafe called Besaw’s. It’s not much to look at, but the food is quite good! Depending on when you go, it can be overly crowded with plant workers at lunch time, but if you’re at an off time I recommend grabbing a burger or BBQ sandwich while you’re there! FYI…Battleground Road has been renamed to Independence Pkwy.
Driving through the entrance, the first thing that should stand out are all of the beautiful Oak trees. There may have been a Pecan tree or two as well.
In the park is the San Jacinto Monument (to the right, which we’ll get to in a bit) and the Battleship Texas (to the left). There is a nice little park in the battleship area for relaxing and enjoying the weather (as long as it’s cool!).
You can go on deck as well, but I didn’t make it this go ’round. Across the street is the San Jac Monument. The carvings all around the outside show the story. The tale is also etched into the stone under the carvings.
Around the left side is a reflecting pool where you can still see the Battleship Texas. There are a couple of benches for visitors among the shade trees.
When you walk into the building, there is a museum to the left and elevators to the observation tower straight ahead. In the elevator area is a small art gallery dedicated to Texas’ fight for independence.
There are also tiny dioramas depicting the different scenes. All of them were well done!
The elevator ride to the observation deck is very quick and opens up into a rather small room with multiple windows for viewing.
There is a video that runs a constant loop describing what the area looked like back before the battle and the events that lead up to the end of the war between the US and Mexico. The windows overlook the front of the monument where plants line the street:
The reflection pool with a view of the skyline of Downtown Houston in good weather:
and last is the Ship Channel, one of the busiest ports in the US:
If you take your time and look around the battlefield, battleship and the monument you’ll see a small part of Texas’ history that many overlook because they can’t see past the chemical plants.