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New Gulf


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#1 2fatcats

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 9:55 AM

Has anyone ever been to New Gulf, Texas? It is a little place not far from Wharton and was once a company town for TexasGulf Sulphur company. The area was supposed to be one of the largest Sulpher domes in the country and mining went on there from the late 1920's until the 1970's. New Gulf had a reasonable population in it's heyday of the 30's-50's and the town boasted churches, a theater, school, hospital and several small businesses. Today there is nothing there but the abandoned sulphur works and several rows of company houses which stand empty amidst some beautiful old trees. It is a strange place to go to as they keep it mowed and neat, but the empty houses give it the appearance of another time. Recently part of the property has been sold off for development and there are some new houses going up close by, but you can still drive down the narrow streets laid out in a large grid, and view some of the leftovers from when New Gulf was a busy place. There is an excellent website for New Gulf which shows many photos of the town when it was inhabited. You can see this at http://www.newgulftexas.com/

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Edited by 2fatcats, Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 10:13 AM.


#2 Heights2Bastrop

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 10:18 AM

Iíve been there many times, but not since the early 60s. We had relatives in Bay City we visited often, and we would often drive through the sulfur plant at my request. I thought it was neat how the sulfur was processed, and those huge, bright yellow monoliths were most impressive.

I did a report on sulfur mining in Elementary school, so I knew more about it than most kids then. I have a number of photos of the plant at Momís. Wish I had them now so I could post a few.

#3 2fatcats

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 12:30 PM

Iíve been there many times, but not since the early 60s. We had relatives in Bay City we visited often, and we would often drive through the sulfur plant at my request. I thought it was neat how the sulfur was processed, and those huge, bright yellow monoliths were most impressive.
I did a report on sulfur mining in Elementary school, so I knew more about it than most kids then. I have a number of photos of the plant at Momís. Wish I had them now so I could post a few.<<Heights2Bastrop

I think it's an interesting place and have been there several times photographing what's left of it. There is still an elementary school there which is being used by the district and also the golf course and clubhouse are still being used. There are maybe two or three houses still occupied out of the twenty or so left standing and there are about 10 new houses built nearby in the new subdivision going up. Other than a handful of empty buildings used for offices and the old sulphur works , that's about all that is there. I think it would be a great place to live.

#4 Heights2Bastrop

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 2:25 PM

Since posting my reply, I got to thinking about the Newgulf area. I can almost remember the bends in the highway, and there was one in particular that, as soon as you passed it, the two stacks came into view. I guess I even made a game of trying to spot them as soon as I could.

I also recall that, depending upon the prevailing winds, sometimes I would smell the sulfur before I spotted the stacks. Rarely did we pass the place that the odor of sulfur wasnít overpowering. But, I never really minded it.

I now wonder if there are any harmful residues that remain in the area. After you passed the main plant, there was one area where there was a well, and the ground around the well was always covered in yellow.

Thatís the only well that I knew of, but there had to be many wells in the vicinity. I wonder if they have all been cleaned up? Or does it really matter, healthwise?

#5 2fatcats

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Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Thatís the only well that I knew of, but there had to be many wells in the vicinity. I wonder if they have all been cleaned up? Or does it really matter, healthwise?<<Heights2Bastrop


That's a good question. I believe I had read someplace that when production stopped there, it was because Sulphur was no longer needed as it had been in the past and this lack of demand was the reason for the plant being shut down. It's my understanding there is still sulphur there to be mined if someone wanted to. As for the cleanup, knowing how things go, I would wager there wasn't any. What's sad to me is that if you look at those photos on the website, New Gulf was a very busy little community at one time and now it's just a spot in the road with a few empty houses. I always pass through places like that and wonder what they were like in their heyday.

#6 sevfiv

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Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 at 12:04 AM

been there several times - very interesting but eerie place.

that being said, the people there have been quite nasty about non-locals looking around -
i won't be going back there anytime soon

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#7 TheNiche

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Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 at 12:52 AM

been there several times - very interesting but eerie place.

that being said, the people there have been quite nasty about non-locals looking around -
i won't be going back there anytime soon


I felt like taking a drive down there earlier today after having seen the pics, but it was getting late in the afternoon, so I decided to hold off on it. Mind if I ask what happened to you?

#8 sevfiv

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Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 at 1:34 PM

I felt like taking a drive down there earlier today after having seen the pics, but it was getting late in the afternoon, so I decided to hold off on it. Mind if I ask what happened to you?

the first couple times i had been there, it was quite desolate without any bother

recently, though, there seems to be more activity in the area (golf course, new development, perhaps) and someone called the police - nothing came of it, of course, but it seemed that they were bored and trying to find something...not sure if there has been recent crime or vandals in the area, but they seemed a little on edge

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#9 2fatcats

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Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 at 8:20 PM

recently, though, there seems to be more activity in the area (golf course, new development, perhaps) and someone called the police - nothing came of it, of course, but it seemed that they were bored and trying to find something...not sure if there has been recent crime or vandals in the area, but they seemed a little on edge<<sevfiv


That's interesting. I was down there about six months ago and nobody bothered me. The only thing different I noticed was that the road to the sulphur works was blocked off where you couldn't get close to the building anymore. I think the new development proabably has something to do with their being on edge. I certainly don't advocate tresspassing, but it is still a public road and there is no law that says you can't drive around there.

#10 plumber2

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Posted Monday, February 19, 2007 at 3:21 PM

There was another company town just outside the Phillips plant (now ConocoPhillips) in Old Ocean, south of West Columbia. Same types of houses, recreation building and such. Most of it is all gone now. The trees and abandoned streets give the location away as you drive by.

#11 Watch4Snakes

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Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2007 at 3:59 PM

I grew up in Wharton (Hungerford, actually) and had many family members and friends that attended school in Newgulf / Iago / Boling.

It was a shame to watch it all so quickly disappear. When they abandoned the railroad tracks to Newgulf, you knew the town was dead.
Some people are like slinkies....They don't really have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.