Rumor Has It: Myth-Busting Lake Jackson Trivia

There is no doubt that Lake Jackson, Texas is a town steeped in history, between ghost stories, celebrity sightings, and unique street names. With this rich history, it’s easy to see how these stories could get exaggerated over time. But sometimes, things really are as good as they sound! In this blog, we verify and myth-bust some of the most common rumors about LJTX with help from The Lake Jackson Historical Association.

Downtown Lake Jackson was designed to look like a rose or butterfly. 

False! When Alden B. Dow was designing the city of Lake Jackson, he designed it to mimic the natural curves of Oyster Creek, intentionally going around trees to develop that scenic beauty that LJ is now known for. Dow also wanted the streets to be curved rather than straight so that when looking at the street the viewer would want to keep going to see what was around the corner. That being said, the city was not designed to look like any sort of flower or butterfly.

There is a lake named Lake Jackson.

True! Lake Jackson is a naturally occurring lake, born from the surrounding Brazos River and various creeks. The lake is located in the middle of the popular Lake Jackson neighborhood, Lake Jackson Farms. 

A headless ghost haunts the Abner Jackson plantation site, who is thought to be one of Abner Jackson’s sons, who was murdered and beheaded by his brother.

False! Sort of… It has been proven that one of Jackson’s sons did shoot and kill the other son, but it is widely believed that he did not behead his brother. This part of the story has been embellished over the years. That detail does not appear in any of the police records or other official files. Therefore, to much relief, we can deduce that you’re not likely to see any headless ghosts haunting the area. 

Lake Jackson has a mascot. 

True! Charlie Chipper is the official mascot of Keep Lake Jackson Beautiful, a commission of the City of Lake Jackson that promotes keeping LJ “clean & green.” So, if you see this big and brave critter out and about in the city, he is there to show the city’s commitment to the environment and encourage folks to do their part to keep Lake Jackson litter-free and beautiful.

Lake Jackson has main streets with extremely vague (and confusing) names, like “This Way” and “That Way.” 

True! So, this one isn’t exactly a rumor, but it’s a story you all need to hear! After seeing Alden B. Dow’s design plans for the city hanging on the wall, his secretary offhandedly said, “You’ve got streets going this way and that way!” Alden was inspired by this comment to give these iconic streets their vague, yet memorable names. These streets, such as “This Way” and “That Way,” continue to receive national attention on platforms like NBC News and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. 

Over time, the city became very separated in terms of where residents lived and where businesses were built. 

False! The separation between the residential areas and commercial areas was extremely intentional. Alden B. Dow and Dr. A.P. Beutel, the two men who are considered the founding fathers of Lake Jackson, very specifically wanted these areas to be separated in an effort to support work-life balance for the Dow Chemical plant employees and other citizens. There was nothing accidental about it. 

Selena Quintanilla lived in Lake Jackson as a young girl.

True! Selena’s family owned a Mexican food restaurant named Papa Gayo’s in downtown LJ. She performed in the area during her early years, before ultimately moving to Corpus Christi in 1982. Other notable people from Lake Jackson include former presidential candidate Ron Paul and Beaver Aplin, founder of a Texas favorite – Buc-ee’s. 

To learn even more about the lovely city of Lake Jackson, come see for yourself! Have lunch downtown and then head over to the Lake Jackson Historical Museum for more LJ-related history. You never know what you’ll learn.

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