Located on Matagorda Bay at the mouth of the Colorado River, the town of Matagorda lies near the site where French explorer LaSalle landed with some 200 colonists in February of 1685. It was there that LaSalle established the short-lived settlement of Fort St. Louis.
The present town of Matagorda was founded in the late 1820's following Stephen Austin's grant to build a town at the mouth of the Colorado River. The town grew rapidly to a population of over 1500 by 1832.
Matagorda became an important port until a destructive storm in 1894 resulted in the county seat to be moved to Bay City.