Port Neches is a city in Jefferson County, Texas, United States. The population was 13,040 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The area known as Port Neches was once inhabited by tribes of the coastal-dwelling Karankawa and Atakapa Native Americans. Smith’s Bluff (the future site of Sun Oil and Union Oil of California riverside property) and Grigsby’s Bluff (now Port Neches) were the only two high land bluffs on the Neches River south of Beaumont. Port Neches was also the site of Fort Grigsby, a set of American Civil War-era defenses intended to stop a Union advance up the Neches River. The fort was constructed in October 1862, and abandoned sometime after July 1863.
Over 130 years later, Her Majesty Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, appointed W. T. Block Jr. (his son) as “Knight of the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau” in a ceremony held at the Tex Ritter Park in Nederland, Texas. The award was presented by the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. W.T. Block, Jr. is known for his work in reconstructing the history of Dutch settlers in the Port Neches areas.
Through its history, beginning in 1834 as Grigsby’s Bluff and continuing after its incorporation in 1902, the City of Port Neches has had a special relationship with the natural environment, particularly the Neches River. From agriculture and timber to oil and synthetics, the City has depended heavily on the river as its lifeline. Today, the greater Neches River Basin is an international attraction for “experiential” tourism; whether that might be fishing, hunting, birding, boating or many other out-door experiences that are abundant and readily available.