Once known as Grigsby's Bluff, Port Neches is located in eastern Jefferson County. The area was formerly the site of an Atakapa Indian village. In the antebellum era, Grigsby's Bluff was an important landing for Neches River traffic. Port Neches was the site of Fort Grigsby, a set of Civil War-era defenses intended to stop a Union advance up the Neches River. The fort was then abandoned in January 1863. From agriculture and timber to oil and synthetics, the city has depended heavily on the river as its lifeline. Today, it is an international attraction for "experiential" tourism.