Traveling west from the Gulf of Mexico the land rises gradually and becomes Alta Loma (Spanish for high land) in this area of Galveston County. In 1893 the Alta Loma Investment and Improvement Company platted a townsite here along a Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad line built in the late 1870s.
The company developed water, electric, and telephone utility systems and helped establish churches, a depot, hotel, lumber company, general store, school, and a post office. Many of Alta Loma's new residents engaged in the farm production of pears, plums, figs, strawberries, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables.
The school, depot, and businesses throughout Alta Loma were damaged in the 1900 storm. The town rebuilt and witnessed a period of rapid growth fueled by truck farming and a burgeoning dairy industry. Alta Loma and the nearby towns of Algoa and Arcadia formed the Santa Fe Consolidated School District in 1928.
In the 1930s many Alta Lomans left farming for jobs in Texas City's burgeoning petroleum industry. the town continued to grow and in 1966 the Alta Loma Business Association was formed. Alta Loma and its neighboring community, Arcadia, officially merged in 1978 to form the incorporated city of Santa Fe.