Established in 1910 through the partnership of area landowners G. C. Perkins and W. Y. Fuqua, Clifton-by-the-Sea is a reminder of the era in which prosperity returned to Galveston County following the devastating 1900 storm. Developed as a bayside resort for families, Clifton-by-the-Sea was one of several mainland communities between Galveston and Houston that grew up along the rail line that paralleled the western shore of Galveston Bay.
The resort featured parklands, a hotel, summer homes, and a bathhouse and open-air pavilion built on a pier out over the water at this site. By 1913, telephone service extended to Clifton-by-the-Sea, and the main street was a long boulevard known as Grand Avenue. The 1915 hurricane destroyed many of these improvements, but by 1924 the bathhouse and pavilion were rebuilt and summer residents were returning to the community. The pavilion-built once again after a 1929 fire destroyed it-hosted numerous summer dances with music provided by Houston and Galveston orchestras. A 1943 hurricane destroyed the bathhouse and pavilion for the final time.
After World War II, this area became home for workers in the nearby petrochemical plants. The Bayshore Community Club sponsored a variety of civic projects as the face of the community changed. When a post office was established in 1948, the name Bacliff was adopted, but its origins as Clifton-by-the-Sea remain a strong part of its heritage.