Port Arthur is on the northwest shore of Sabine Lake nine miles from Gulf of Mexico. In 1840, this was the site of a settlement known as Aurora. The city was named for Arthur E. Stilwell, a Kansas City financier who was instrumental in building a railroad to the edge of town. It is the home of Lamar State College (formerly Port Arthur College).

Port Arthur comes alive during Mardi Gras. The family-oriented pre-Lenten celebration is growing in this Cajun city.

The city is a year-round fisherman's destination. The average temperature varies from 55 degrees in winter to 82 in summer. The convention and visitors bureau offers a Waterways Guide, which provides information on area freshwater and saltwater fishing.

From the port, view the harbor and the largest gantry crane on the Gulf Coast, and see the Rainbow and Veterans' memorial bridges. The Rainbow Bridge's 176-foot clearance height resulted from a requirement that any U.S. Navy ship at that time (1938) could pass under. Veterans' Bridge, completed in 1991, with 143-foot navigation clearance, is the first cable-stayed bridge on Texas highways.


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