city, Harris county, southeastern Texas, U.S., at the mouth of the San Jacinto River on Galveston Bay, 22 miles (35 km) east of Houston. The area was settled in 1822; in 1864 a Confederate shipyard was built at Goose Creek. The unincorporated community of Baytown was annexed by Pelly (incorporated 1920) in 1945; in 1948 Pelly and Goose Creek (incorporated 1919) were consolidated to form the present city of Baytown. Oil (discovered locally in 1916) is shipped from docks on the Houston Ship Channel at Baytown, which has oil refineries, petrochemical and synthetic-rubber plants, and steel-plate mills. Lee (community) College (1934) is located in the city. The Baytown Nature Center-created after 1983, when Hurricane Alicia destroyed the city's Brownwood subdivision-is an official stop on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Houston Raceway Park outside of Baytown is a major drag racing venue for the National Hot Rod Association and hosts a number of racing events, featuring monster trucks, motorcycles, and race car events. The San Jacinto Battleground and Battleship Texas state historic sites are nearby. Located at the battleground site, the San Jacinto Monument at 570 feet (174 metres) is said to be the tallest stone column memorial structure in the world. Pop. (1990) 63,850; (2000) 66,430.
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