Area History

Including Aransas County,
Lamar and Bayside

For many hundreds of years, the area around Rockport was inhabited by Karankawa Indians who fished and hunted the shallow bays
and islands in the area.

In 1746, a Spanish explorer named an unknown stream in southeast Texas after a Saint,
Rio Nuestra Seņora de Aranzazu (Our Lady of Aranzazu). Aranzazu means thorns and the Saint had seen a vision of the Virgin Mary on a thorn bush. Somehow, the name eventually became associated with the river now known as Aransas and the same name was later given to the Bay and to the Pass, all of which are now known by the name Aransas.

Rockport was established after the Civil War
as a port for local cattle slaughtering and meatpacking operations. In 1867 Col. George Ware Fulton, founded the town of Fulton and built a grand home there - The Fulton Mansion.

In 1871, the coastal portions of Refugio County were split off to create Aransas County and Rockport became the county seat.

During the 1880s, shipbuilding and fishing became important industries and when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad arrived in 1888, Rockport became a popular resort destination. For a brief time during the 1890s, Rockport was known as Aransas Pass. In 1919, the area was devastated by a powerful hurricane
but was quickly rebuilt.

During the early 1920s, area leaders lobbied Congress to have a deep water port built in the region. Rockport was one of several areas considered for the port, but Corpus Christi was eventually chosen.

Follow the links below for more information about the History of Rockport-Fulton
and Aransas County

Historical Sites and Stories
Aransas City (Ghost Town)
Black Point (Ghost Town)
Connie Hagar (Rockport)
El Copano (Ghost Town) (Refugio Co.)
Fulton Mansion
John Fagan (Rockport)
Port Preston (Ghost Town)
St. Mary's (Ghost Town) (Refugio Co.)
The Legend of Vincents Treasure (Aransas Co.)
The Old Driscoll Homestead (Bayside)
Historical Markers
Aransas County (Rockport)
Aransas County (Rockport)
Baylor-Norvell House (Rockport)
First Baptist Church of Rockport (Rockport)
First National Bank of Rockport (Rockport)
First Presbyterian Church of Rockport (Rockport)
Fulton Cemetery
Fulton Mansion
Fulton-Bruhl House (Rockport)
Home of George W. Fulton
Hoopes-Smith House (Rockport)
Mathis House (Rockport)
Old Saint Mary's Cemetery (Bayside)
Port Bay Hunting and Fishing Club (Rockport)
Rockport (Rockport)
Sacred Heart Catholic Church (Rockport)
Site of Aransas Hotel (Rockport)
Site of Heldenfels Shipyard (Rockport)
Site of Marion Packing Co. (Fulton)
Site of One of the Homes of James Power (Rockport)
Site of the Town of Copano (Bayside)
Site of the Town of Lamar (Rockport)
St. Peter's Episcopal Church (Rockport)
Stella Maris Chapel (Lamar)
The Lamar Cemetery (Lamar)
The Rockport Pilot (Rockport)
The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in Rockport (Rockport)

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The Fulton Mansion in the 1950's, before restoration


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