Caplen, a residential area of Bolivar Peninsula on State Highway 87 near the Rollover Pass in eastern Galveston County adjoins the west end of Gilchrist. The Gilchrist post office serves the Caplen area. Caplen has been a resort since the late 1800s and was eventually named for John Caplen, a property owner who surveyed the area in 1909. At one time the local marshlands produced large quantities of muskrats for trappers. Caplen's summer population for a time was between 300 and 500, and two hotels served the visitors. In 1915 Caplen had a population of 200, a post office, a general store, and three hotels. The hurricane of 1915 scared people away until about 1930, when a gradual influx of residents again started. In the 1940s, Caplen was a ranching, tourist, and fishing community that reported two businesses and a population of seventy-five. Its year-round population in 1990 and again in 2000 was about thirty. In earlier years the site reportedly was a favorite of Indians, who left a burial ground there. Several important archeological finds have led to detailed excavations at the Caplen Site.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Caplen by the Numbers

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60 2014 Local Officials