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Location DB > United States > Texas > Channelview > The Ordnance Depot
The Ordnance Depot
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 Database Info
created by 2Xplorations on 6/17/2007 10:58 PM
last modified by 2Xplorations on 10/22/2015 5:34 PM
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This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
Thousands of acres of abandoned ammunition and hundreds of weapons storage bunkers on the Houston Ship Channel. Many of the depot buildings have been demolished but a few buildings survived and most of the concrete storage bunkers called igloos remain intact.

Some are visible from the public roads, and some are now on active private property and have been repurposed for storage or workshops. A few still have the earthen berms piled up over the top giving them an "igloo" like appearance. Most of these dirt mounds however have long since eroded away revealing the distinctive half round shape of the concrete structure itself.

Many of the bunkers are in areas of dense underbrush and swampy forest. Others are adjacent to public roads and some are next to high security port facilities. Common sense and caution is advised. Nature has been slowly reclaiming this area since it was mothballed and the buildings are suffering from severe deterioration and vandalism.

 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: worth the trip
 Physical Information
Jacintoport Rd
Channelview, Texas
United States
Owner: Houston Channel Industrial Corporation
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
  • asbestos
  • rust
  • water
  • debris, snakes, poison ivy, West Nile Virus, quicksand near the river and 3 missing 500lb chemical bombs
  •  Interesting Features
    Woods, swamp, jungle, decay more jungle and some woods.
     Security Measures
  • locked gates
  • Belongs to port authority just FYI, RR property and oil storage property nearby
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1941
    Closed: 1959
     Required Equipment
  • long pants / sleeves
  • 100% DEET insect repellant
  •  Recommended Equipment

    Under a dense forest canopy in a dank festering swamp along the San Jacinto River is one of Houstons best kept military secrets. A WWII era munitions storage facility right in the midst of all the petroleum storage and commercial shipping traffic.

    There was once a great military seaport and depot here and all classes U.S. Navy vessels from submarines to the Battleship Texas would tie up at the docks to be resupplied with bombs, shells, torpedos, propellant and projectiles from this massive and well concealed complex.

    Fearing potential attack from German warships off the shore of Galveston and New Orleans, the San Jacinto Ordnance Depot was built farther inland on what locals call; "The Old River" now officially known as the Houston Ship Channel putting it out of range of Axis naval guns.

    The S.J.O.D. remained operational through the end of Korean War and all types of conventional explosive and chemical ammo were stored here including phosgene and mustard gas!

    In 1959 it was handed over to the Army Corp of Engineers. In 1964 the CoE sold it to the Houston Channel authority for over $10 million. Recently environmental concerns have been raised about unexploded ordnance and chemical weapons that records suggest were buried at this site.

    UPDATE 2011 December: field report suggests some of this last remaining section of the base may be demolished however waiting for verification before declaring it all gone 2011 satellite imagery shows it intact map coords updated so its easier to find. Any locals feel free to check on it and post photos.

    UPDATE 2014 May: October 2013 satellite images show area to be intact, while an old image does overlap part of this area I sort of doubt any of it has been demolished.

    UPDATE 20015 October: Just visited this site and most of the buildings that were along the long parallel roads are gone (see story and photos). Still a few of these buildings around but they are on private property and at least one is locked up tight.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    A costly clean up at some point, or a maybe just a cover up.
    Heart of Darkness
    Wed, Oct 21st, 2015
    posted by Peptic Ulcer
    City Ordnance
    Mon, Jun 18th, 2007
    posted by 2Xplorations

    Add your own story
     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Ammo Dump
    Mon, Jun 18th, 2007
    posted by 2Xplorations
    12 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    City Ordnance
    Mon, Jun 18th, 2007
    posted by 2Xplorations
    18 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Heart of Darkness
    Wed, Oct 21st, 2015
    posted by Peptic Ulcer
    9 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Two Views
    Fri, Nov 6th, 2015
    posted by 2Xplorations
    2 pictures

    Add your own photos

    Mark all galleries as Seen
     Web Links
    All the research you'll ever need about ordnance records can be found in the National Archives

    Edit this Location
     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    Category Rating
    Photography 8 / 10
    Coolness 9 / 10
    Content Quality 10 / 10
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Mike Dijital on 11/6/2015 11:00 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Nov 6 15 at 23:00, Mike Dijital validated this location
  • on Nov 6 15 at 22:03, 2Xplorations updated gallery picture Satellite view 2015
  • on Nov 6 15 at 22:03, 2Xplorations updated gallery picture Satellite view
  • on Nov 6 15 at 22:02, 2Xplorations updated gallery picture Aerial view 1953
  • on Nov 6 15 at 22:02, 2Xplorations updated gallery picture Satellite view
  • on Nov 6 15 at 22:00, 2Xplorations updated gallery picture Aerial view 1953
  • on Nov 6 15 at 21:57, 2Xplorations swapped pictures 0 and 1
  • on Nov 6 15 at 21:57, 2Xplorations added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Nov 6 15 at 21:56, 2Xplorations updated gallery Two Views
  • on Nov 6 15 at 21:56, 2Xplorations created a new gallery
  •  Forum Threads about this Location
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     SubjectStarted ByRepliesViewsLast Post
    You must log in for this feature to work.Call before digging!2Xplorations016210/22/2015 5:40 PM by 2Xplorations
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