“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
La Porte in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Besson Building

Besson Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jim Evans, May 18, 2019
1. Besson Building Marker
Inscription.  In 1893, Madame Martha Fontaine-Besson who was at the World's Fair when the founders were promoting La Porte, decided to investigate the wonders of Texas. She journeyed to La Porte on one of the excursion trains from Chicago.

Madame Fontaine-Besson invested in many properties around the new town. Among her investments were a cottage as Sylvan Beach, a farm in Lomax, and a town lot on the corner of Main and Second Street. Madam Besson stayed in La Porte long enough to make her investments and oversee the beginning of the construction of a three-story brick building on her town lot. She then returned to England and never visited La Porte again although she did have agents taking care of her property.

The three-story building that was erected on this spot was built from brick manufactured at at the brick yards north of town. Over the years, the building housed a number of businesses. The first Board of Trade (Chamber of Commerce) was organized in this building. The third floor had been set aside as a general meeting room for different groups.

In 1915, one of the the tenants owned the Quick Service Garage in the
Besson Building Location image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jim Evans, May 18, 2019
2. Besson Building Location
The building was destroyed. The marker can be seen on the nearest corner of the store that is there today.
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back part of the first floor which was half shell and half wood. It was here on June 5, 1915 that a fire started from spark that ignited a container of gasoline. It was the worst fire the city had ever had. This fire destroyed not only this building, but most of downtown La Porte. The townspeople had just begun rebuilding their damaged town when the Great Storm of 1915 destroyed all of their efforts. Thus was a great setback but the town was rebuilt.
Erected by The City of La Porte.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersNotable BuildingsWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1893.
Location. 29° 39.922′ N, 95° 1.291′ W. Marker is in La Porte, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and 2nd Street when traveling east on Main Street. Marker is on the southeast corner of Main & 2nd Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: La Porte TX 77571, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First City Hall and Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Five Points - The Hub of the City (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); La Porte (approx. 0.9 miles away); Saint Mary's Seminary (approx. one mile away); La Porte's Original Library (approx. one mile
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away); John A. Grimes Memorial Park (approx. one mile away); The La Porte-Sylvan Beach Depot (approx. one mile away); New Washington (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in La Porte.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 19, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 18, 2019, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 260 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 18, 2019, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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May. 18, 2022