Conroe, Texas

Article by Merrill Baum
Photography by George Hosek

In the mid 1830’s a sawmill settlement started what is now the City of Conroe, Texas. A Houston lumberman named Isaac Conroe setup a sawmill east of the railroad line in 1881.

Three years later the post office was opened as Conroe’s Switch, named after a union officer and the first postmaster, which was soon shortened to Conroe. In 1889, the population grew to 300 and the city was established as the Montgomery county seat and was incorporated in 1904.

The community was a mecca for the shipping of lumber, cotton, and bricks. By the 1920’s, hospitals, banks, a fire department, and the school district had been established. When oil was discovered in 1931, it added to the prosperity of the city.

Located north of Houston, Conroe has grown into a major recreational area attracting visitors, businesses, and new residents. Today, with a population of almost thirty thousand, Conroe offers a kaleidoscope of recreational activities, and economic advancement.


The development of the Lake Conroe resort area, the building of the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, golf courses, a major downtown renovation project add to the many other points of interests available in the area.

Run by the mayor and five city council members, the city has established a sound government dedicated to the service of its residents. Police and fire emergencies are channeled through a central dispatch facility that is equipped with the state of the art technology.

The utility district provides an economically affordable source of power and a water is provided by deep wells. Digital high technology communication systems offer a complete range of telephone, media, and internet services. The Courier is the city newspaper.

The Lone Star Convention and Expo Center is located 9055 Airport Road (FM 1484) and is home to the Convention, Exp, and Equestrian Centers, and The Horseshoe Club. The Convention center is a 56,000 square foot venue which is used for meetings, conferences, and banquets.

The state of the art facility can accommodate most requirements. The Lone Star Expo Center is a 111,000 square foot facility with a 5,000 seat arena that is home to the Montgomery County Fair. It seats up to 7.500 people and has a 31,250 square foot dirt ring hosting rodeos, boat shows, boxing and wrestling events, animal shows, circuses, equestrian and sports events, and the BMX races.

The downtown Conroe renovation project has committed to the economic enhancement of the city’s core. With the support of the existing businesses the aim is to attract new businesses while supporting the existing commerce.

This endeavor started in 1999 to renovate the building facades and finance the improvement of the street décor. The projected results will encourage the development of the entertainment industry, cultural activities, and dining pleasures.

This would implement the growth of professional and entrepreneurial services. The Crighton Theatre is a restored vaudeville theater that was built in 1934. It is the home of live stage performances of plays, concerts, operas, ballets, and other special events.

Conroe attracts a diversification of industries and businesses, while offering a safe residential community for its residents.

Hospitals, schools, and jobs add to the areas recreation spots do not deter the small town atmosphere to draw new families.

Just west on Highway 105 is Montgomery, Texas. There are shops that feature crafts, antiques, and collectibles. Several restaurants provide a pleasant stop.

There are twenty parks located throughout the city providing playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas, biking and hiking trails, which includes exercise apparatus along the route. All of these parks provide ample parking.
Candy Cane Park is the home to Heritage Museum of Montgomery County. This museum features the pioneer home of Charles B. Stewart, who designed the flag of Texas and the Texas state seal. It is located north of Highway 105 off I-45. Heritage Place is a popular site for weddings, festivals, and concerts.
Carl Barton Park Jr. was named after the former mayor who served from 1979 to 1989 and has a fishing pond, is a popular meeting place for reunions and birthday parties.

A visitor center is located at 1504 I-45 in a recreated railroad depot. It provides maps to recreational areas and information to points of interests, golf courses, marinas, restaurants and other points of interest.
Paddle Wheeler Southern Empress
Travel back in time to a grand era of sumptuous hospitality and Victorian splendor on board the Southern Empress. Sightseeing cruises on Lake Conroe Sat & Sun. at 3 p.m. Dinner cruises are offered Thurs. - Sat.; Sun. brunch. Reservations required. Departs from Del Lago Resort and Conference Center. Tex 105 west to Walden Road. Call 936-588-3000 for more information.
Featured marine recreation and golf is a draw at Lake Conroe. Here there are a multitude of golf clubs and course offer a wide variety of golfing experiences at world renown designed courses. Boating clubs dot the shore of Lake Conroe and there are restaurants along the shore to meet all types of dining pleasures. Resorts, RV parks and clean comfortable accommodations are available for tourists. Boat ramps can be found along the shore.

There are two unique organizations to the Conroe area. Leap of Faith, an equine assisted therapy program and is an extension of the YMCA facility. The Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary is located five minutes west of Montgomery south of Highway 105. It is a registered charity dedicated to the care of wolves and wolfdogs that cannot be released into the wild.


City of Conroe, 936-522-3000

Conroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, 936-538-7112

Chamber of Commerce, 936-756-6644

Montgomery County Fair & Rodeo, 936-760-3631

Crighton Theater, 936-441-7469

Conroe Outlet Center, 936-756-0999

Heritage Museum, 936-539-6873

Montgomery College, 936-273-7000

Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival







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