Velasco, in southern Brazoria County, is one of the oldest towns in Texas. In 1821, the first of Stephen F. Austin's colonists landed at Old Velasco and over 25,000 settlers entered through that port between 1821 and 1835. It was the scene of the Battle of Velasco during Texas' war with Mexico, and was temporarily the capital of the Republic of Texas. The Treaty of Velasco was signed there on May 14, 1836.
The town grew, and became known as a summer resort area for a time, but it declined after the Civil War, and was destroyed by a hurricane in 1875. The new town of Velasco was built in 1891, four miles upriver from the original site. It too, began to grow until another storm in 1900 wrecked the town. It rebuilt slowly, enduring fluctuations of poverty and prosperity.