Gilchrist, Texas is an unincorporated residential community and beachfront resort along State Highway 87, located seventeen miles east of Bolivar Point in the Bolivar Peninsula census-designated place, inGalveston County, Texas, United States.
In 1990 and 2000, Gilchrist's core population was about 750, but would see more residents due to seasonal visitors. When the settlement was decimated by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008, about 1,000 permanent residents had lived there, but were under evacuation orders. Several businesses in the community had operated to furnish necessities for permanent residents as well as tourists.
Located in Galveston County, this community was named for Gibb Gilchrist (1887-1972) who relocated and rebuilt the rail line from High Island to Port Bolivar following the 1915 hurricane destruction. This settlement before this event was called Rollover.
In 1950, a post office was opened at Gilchrist. A notable feature of the community is the Rollover Pass (or Rollover Fish Pass), which divides Bolivar Peninsula as well as Gilchrist and carries water between East Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. It is regarded among sportsmen as a very popular fishing location in Texas with some the largest fish in the state. Rollover Pass was a natural pass that had been closed until 1955, when it was opened by the Texas Game and Fish Commission as part of its efforts to preserve and improve fish and wildlife resources.
Hurricane Carla caused damage to Gilchrist. In 1990 and 2000, Gilchrist's core population was about 750, but would see more residents due to seasonal visitors. On April 23, 1991 the community, and other areas of Galveston County, received an enhanced 9-1-1 system which routes calls to proper dispatchers and allows dispatchers to automatically view the address of the caller.