Prior to the construction of the Manned Space Center, what is today Nassau Bay was ranch land in the unincorporated southernmost portion of Harris County. The nearest cities were Webster, League City, and Seabrook. In 1962, a community was planned which would be an exclusive residential and commercial area emphasizing its pioneers and at a then-staggering cost of $49 million.
From 1927 to 1962, most of Nassau Bay was part of the 1776 Ranch owned by Colonel Raymond Pearson. Colonel Pearson of Houston sold the 570-acre 1776 ranch to Jack Kamin's group of developers. The plan was to build Nassau Bay in the middle of raw acreage ranch land adjacent to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's laboratory, the only planned development in the area.
The name was chosen by the original developers of raw land known as Colonel Pearson's 1776 Ranch. Our historian reports that the developers chose the name because of the tropical feeling it generates. At the time, NASA was moving personnel from several areas in the United States with a high quality of life, including California and notably, Florida.
Initially these personnel were moving somewhat reluctantly, and the developers sought to create an atmosphere that would be familiar and comfortable to them. When Nassau Bay was incorporated in 1970, the name of the development was retained as the City's name.