El Copano (Ghost Town)

The port of El Copano, was established by the Spanish in 1722 to service the Spanish missions and military garrisons at Refugio, Goliad, and San Antonio. The port of Copano became strategically important to both the Mexican and Texas armies during the Texas Revolution. On September 20, 1835, the Mexican Army lead by General Martín Perfecto de Cos landed at Copano on their trek to Goliad and Bexar. The next month General Sam Houston issued orders that Copano be fortified. The Texans held the site and used it as a port of entry for supplies and provisions until the spring of 1836, when the port once again fell to the Mexican Army.

By 1852 over a dozen homes had been built at the site. A school and two stores were constructed in the town. One store housed the post office, which operated between 1851 and 1867. Three wharves stretched into the harbor. The main items shipped through the port were cotton, hides, and tallow. Copano thrived during the Civil War. Most Southern ports were blockaded, but because Copano was located on an inlet, ships could be loaded there unobserved by Union forces and could easily slip out to sea. However, in response to blockade running, a Union gunboat fleet anchored at the port in 1864, and the town's inhabitants fled and remained away until the Yankees left a few days later.

Passed by the railroad and hit by hurricanes, the port eventually declined and was virtually abandoned by the 1880's. In 2008 the Port of El Copano was listed as one of Texas' most endangered Historic places.

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