Frenchtown was a neighborhood of four square blocks located on the northern edge of Houston's Fifth Ward in Harris County. It comprised approximately 500 Creoles of French, Spanish, and African descent from Louisiana. These “Creoles of Color” were descendants of a mostly free, mixed-race population that lived in colonial southwestern Louisiana in the eighteenth century and came to northeastern Houston and organized a community in 1922.

Early Frenchtown residents came to Houston, which was booming in the 1920s, to seek economic opportunity. Many Frenchtown skilled or semiskilled workers, including mechanics, carpenters, sawmill workers, and bricklayers, were recruited and employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Others worked in the oil industry and other Houston industries along the Houston Ship Channel. More Creoles moved to Houston after the devastating Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, and another wave of migration was spurred by Houston’s employment growth during World War II. The area, a neighborhood primarily of shotgun houses, was bounded (in the 2010s) by Collingsworth Street to the north, Russell Street to the east, Liberty Road to the south, and Jensen Drive to the west. The name Frenchtown was in common use by the late 1930s by both residents and outsiders.

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Diana J. Kleiner, Ron Bass | © TSHA

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

Belongs to

Frenchtown is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Frenchtown is classified as a Town

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated