The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers created Pleasure Island from deposits dredged while constructing the Port Arthur Canal, completed in 1899, and the Sabine Neches Intracoastal Waterway, completed in 1908.
In 1913 a dance hall and roller coaster were constructed. In 1941 a private investor built the Pleasure Pier Ballroom, a midway, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and the largest roller coaster in the south. A fine 18-hole golf course was enjoyed for years. Pleasure Island was Port Arthur's playground for decades until the Pleasure Pier bridge, which opened in 1931 and was frequently hit by ships, was taken out of service in 1967, making it difficult to reach the island. Storms, fires, and erosion eventually destroyed all of the existing facilities.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge and the Sabine Causeway now connect Pleasure Island to Port Arthur and Louisiana. Residents and tourists alike are enjoying the development of Pleasure Island.