Product photo
Promotion: Nearby Map of Wharton County

Shanghai was a mile from Wharton on the west side of the Colorado River in central Wharton County. It was established on a rail spur from the Southern Pacific Railroad, formerly the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway, in 1899. Abel H. "Shanghai" Pierce decided to farm his land on the west bank of the Colorado River and built a convict settlement. Pierce contracted in 1897 with the state of Texas for convicts to cut off the timber and burn the canebrake. The spur was built to bring in supplies and men and later as a shipping route for the gin that was built. After the fashion set for naming stops along the rail line between Richmond and Victoria, Pierce named this one after himself, by giving it his colorful nickname. The spur was retired in September 1940. All that remains is the quarters that housed the convicts, now used as a barn by the Pierce Ranch. The windows are still barred.

Continue Reading

Merle R. Hudgins | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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

Shanghai is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Shanghai is classified as a Town

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated