Brazos Bend State Park, approximately 28 miles southwest of Houston, covers roughly 5,000 acres, with an eastern boundary of 3.2 miles fronting on the Brazos River on the southeast border of Fort Bend County. This was the area of Texas' first Anglo colonization. It was purchased by the state in 1976-77 and was opened to the public in 1984.
Archeological materials show that prehistoric people visited this area, possibly as early as 300 BC; in early historical times, the Capoque band of the Karankawa Indians roamed between the mouth of the Brazos River and Galveston Bay and may have traveled inland as far as Brazos Bend.
In the early 19th century, this area of Texas was the site of Stephen F. Austin's first colonial land grant from Mexico, and present park land was included in a grant to Abner Harris and a partner named William Barrett in 1827. Most of the riverfront was sold shortly after the Texas Revolution, and records show that in 1845, part of the park and 2,400 feet of river frontage were in the hands of cotton brokers who lived in Brazoria. At the time, the Brazos River was one of the principal routes of commerce, and it may be that the brokerage firm used the area for one of its riverboat landings.
In recent times, the land on which the park is located was used for cattle grazing and pecan harvesting, as well as a private hunting preserve.