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Old 01-11-2021, 12:44 PM   #1
Man
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Default Coastal Town Lore

Does anybody got any good unknown historical facts about our major coastal towns that they think most people don't know about? ie...Galveston, Matagorda, Port O Conner, Corpus Christi, Rockport etc. Looking for a couple of little hidden gems for a piece I am writing. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:46 PM   #2
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As far as lore goes, you’ll probably want to add Indianola to your list.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:51 PM   #3
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Corpus has a lot of Indian heritage. Check out the names of some of the downtown streets. Carancua for example.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:53 PM   #4
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https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/new...315217364.html

German subs off POC. This always amazed me.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neskora View Post
As far as lore goes, youíll probably want to add Indianola to your list.
That was my first! Indianola, our first road trip that way we found this giant stature of this German guy right on the water. Apparently, that is the landing point when they went up the Gaudalupe River and founded New Braunfels. That area has some great history.
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:36 PM   #6
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Of course, much has been written over the years about the tragedies of Galveston and Indianola, and, more recently, the shipwreck La Salle; however, when I was working on a La Salle project at the Bullock Museum in Austin, I had occasion to partner with the Museum of the Coastal Bend and was impressed with their knowledge of early Texas history such as the indigenous people, French exploration, Spanish exploration, and early cattle ranching (they assert the the concept started there, I believe).

If this is not quite what you’re looking for, you should ask them to point you in the direction of other museums or, better yet, historical societies, that might be able to help. Now that I think about it, mining the numerous and various historical societies in the many small towns along the coast may yield a lot of good information as these groups tend to focus on how life was lived back when “history was happening.”

Is this the kind of information you are looking for?
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by armadillophil View Post
https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/new...315217364.html

German subs off POC. This always amazed me.
This is pretty cool, I haven't heard of it before today!
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Old 01-11-2021, 01:59 PM   #8
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Look up the article “sleeping booty” in Texas monthly. Cool story of a shipwreck in the mission river between city Refugio and copano bay somewhere along the mission river. Every time we duck hunt that area this article comes to mind.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:08 PM   #9
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There was a Confederate ship found and recovered on Caney Creek just north of Sargent. It was a pretty cool find. It was hidden in plain sight.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:12 PM   #10
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https://segwaygalveston.com/

Schedule a private adult tour with the Rat Pack theme.
Tell the guy or gal guide to not hold anything back.
Don't take your kids.

There is a very dark side to Galveston and its interesting if your into that kinda stuff.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:13 PM   #11
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Not sure if this is common knowledge, but:
1) concrete ship history, very interesting
2) Jean Lafitte established a colony on Galveston Island named Campeche that earned millions of dollars from stolen or smuggled coins/goods
3) 3 Spanish ships wrecked off the Padre Island National Seashore, and that is one reason metal detecting is illegal
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin nicholls View Post
There was a Confederate ship found and recovered on Caney Creek just north of Sargent. It was a pretty cool find. It was hidden in plain sight.
No tellin how many times someone rolled by that thing and never knew it.



All I can come up with is there was a story of some GWs that rolled into the Big Boggy area of matagorda to follow up on a poacher report via airboat. They parked the boat and went to hiking (not easy over there) toward the sound of gunshots in an attempt to catch said poacher. When they did not catch the hunter they returned to their airboat to find the prop shot smooth of the engine.

This was way before cell phones.......


There is also a church built by the spanish up the old river we used to visit when I was a kid. At that time only accessible by boat
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:38 PM   #13
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Indianola was one of the major ports for the Nation many years ago- Lots of history in that little town
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hog_down View Post
Not sure if this is common knowledge, but:
1) concrete ship history, very interesting
2) Jean Lafitte established a colony on Galveston Island named Campeche that earned millions of dollars from stolen or smuggled coins/goods
3) 3 Spanish ships wrecked off the Padre Island National Seashore, and that is one reason metal detecting is illegal
Had no idea metal detecting was illegal on PINS
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by armadillophil View Post
https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/new...315217364.html

German subs off POC. This always amazed me.
Thanks for that link. Cool read.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:41 PM   #16
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In for hopefully great stories. Lots of history in the coastal towns. I can not remember for the life of me but the Light tower near Port Aransas had something interesting about it. On a fishing charter I took one time the captain told us some pretty interesting facts about it. I have slept a lot since that day and cannot remember
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neskora View Post
Had no idea metal detecting was illegal on PINS
Should have said 'not permitted', see link below. Also nudity is on that list, just a heads up!


https://www.nps.gov/pais/planyourvisit/things2know.htm
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:47 PM   #18
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Had no idea metal detecting was illegal on PINS
Same here and now I want a metal detector to see what they are keeping secret. Lol
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ThisLadyHunts View Post
Is this the kind of information you are looking for?
Actually I shouldn't' have said "historical" in my initial post. Pretty much all historical data is easily accessible and I have combed tons of it for use in other stuff. I guess I was looking for more of a off the grid story/incident thats tied to the coastal town, its bays and waterways. Never hurts to throw out a line and see what I get. Something like..."My dad used to say that the Mob used to sink all their victims cars in Carancuha Bay" or something like that.
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Old 01-11-2021, 03:54 PM   #20
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Ah, yes. I see where youíre going with this. The myths, legends, and lore of these various communities.

I still think the local historical societies might be the place to go to start pulling those threads. They tend to be the elderly offspring of a communityĎs founding- or at least long-time members whose families have been there for generations. They know where all the bodies are buriedóboth literally and figuratively.

Iíll think on it some more, though.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:17 PM   #21
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Lots of cool (and some sad and sobering) side stories about the days leading up to, the night of, and the few days after the Galveston 1900 Hurricane in the book Isaacís Storm


Obviously not suggesting plagiarism but there were a few that I always thought would be cool to research more to get the entire story
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:26 PM   #22
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There is also a church built by the spanish up the old river we used to visit when I was a kid. At that time only accessible by boat
Are you sure that wasn't the Tadmore House?

http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/tadmor.htm
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:56 PM   #23
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Matagorda has alot of history.

Battle Island
http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatag...tle_island.htm

Tadmor- http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/tadmor.htm The Tadmor house was a two story, eight sided house build of concrete. During the civil war union gunboats mistook it for a fort and shelled it. The remains are still there today.

The Matagorda Incident- http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatag...daincident.htm

How Matagorda Bay became East and West Matagorda Bay- https://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2006/jul/ed_5/
https://coloradoriver.org/wp-content...rado-River.pdf

The Halfmoon Reef Lighthouse is interesting too. https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=155 I can't imagine living out there back then.

I don't know if this is the kind of stuff you are interested in.
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Old 01-11-2021, 04:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal Ducks View Post
Are you sure that wasn't the Tadmore House?

http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/tadmor.htm
What a great read. I grew up in Matagorda county but had forgotten about this piece of history. I often think how cool it would be to step back in time and experience life in those days. Except for the thought of the mosquitos!
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:19 PM   #25
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https://www.texasobserver.org/forres...ist-laid-bare/


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Old 01-11-2021, 05:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hog_down View Post
Should have said 'not permitted', see link below. Also nudity is on that list, just a heads up!


https://www.nps.gov/pais/planyourvisit/things2know.htm
Those shipwrecks is what caused the Texas Antiquities Code to be drafted. People came from out of state to plunder what they found and the state does not take kindly to that sort of behavior.

Basically anything on public land (city, county, school district, etc) is off limits and any land disturbance on these areas must include some type of archaeological review
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Man View Post
Actually I shouldn't' have said "historical" in my initial post. Pretty much all historical data is easily accessible and I have combed tons of it for use in other stuff. I guess I was looking for more of a off the grid story/incident thats tied to the coastal town, its bays and waterways. Never hurts to throw out a line and see what I get. Something like..."My dad used to say that the Mob used to sink all their victims cars in Carancuha Bay" or something like that.
Along those lines...

I had an old timer tell me during prohibition they had a club on the Matagorda Peninsula where wealthy guys would go for drinking, gambling and prostitution. I don't know that it is true or not. I never have seen anything that would substantiate it. It would have been the perfect location since you had to go by boat and there wasn't any law enforcement around.

I grew up hearing lots of stories about smugglers and smuggling. One about a local guy who disappeared and his plane turned up in South America with bullet holes in it. I also use to hear lots of stories about different shrimpers awho were running drugs. But then that is sorta the way of the coastal town. Always were refuges for those who live on the fringe of society.

Another story was about a painter named Forrest Bess. He lived in Chinquapin as a hermit. He was pretty out there. The story goes that he operated on himself to make himself a hermaphrodite in an attempt to become immortal. You can look up Forrest Bess, he became pretty famous as an artist. It's the other stories about him that are out there.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:36 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal Ducks View Post
Are you sure that wasn't the Tadmore House?



http://www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/tadmor.htm
If thats up the old river a ways same place. I thought dad said it was a church.

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Old 01-11-2021, 05:38 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by John Paul View Post
That was my first! Indianola, our first road trip that way we found this giant stature of this German guy right on the water. Apparently, that is the landing point when they went up the Gaudalupe River and founded New Braunfels. That area has some great history.
One time I was there after a hurricane and you could see where that statue shifted on base from wind or tide surge...
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:38 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Pin Oak DXT View Post
What a great read. I grew up in Matagorda county but had forgotten about this piece of history. I often think how cool it would be to step back in time and experience life in those days. Except for the thought of the mosquitos!
I can't even imagine what it would have been like to try to raise a family and live down there back then. It had to be a rough place to live.
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:07 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Coastal Ducks View Post
Along those lines...

I had an old timer tell me during prohibition they had a club on the Matagorda Peninsula where wealthy guys would go for drinking, gambling and prostitution. I don't know that it is true or not. I never have seen anything that would substantiate it. It would have been the perfect location since you had to go by boat and there wasn't any law enforcement around.

I grew up hearing lots of stories about smugglers and smuggling. One about a local guy who disappeared and his plane turned up in South America with bullet holes in it. I also use to hear lots of stories about different shrimpers awho were running drugs. But then that is sorta the way of the coastal town. Always were refuges for those who live on the fringe of society.

Another story was about a painter named Forrest Bess. He lived in Chinquapin as a hermit. He was pretty out there. The story goes that he operated on himself to make himself a hermaphrodite in an attempt to become immortal. You can look up Forrest Bess, he became pretty famous as an artist. It's the other stories about him that are out there.

The link I posted was about Forrest Bess. Yeah, dude was a space cadet. The old piling from his old place were there for years while I was spending my summer in chinquapin.

I could only imagine living there in those days with the mosquitoes and no AC.


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Old 01-11-2021, 06:11 PM   #32
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My Paw daddy had a old picture that he took after hurricane Carla of Chinquapin. Man it was a awesome photo, but was lost in a flood in 94. I would give anything to have that picture right now.


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Old 01-11-2021, 06:15 PM   #33
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The story of the Toddville Mansion comes to mind.

A friends Dad told me that the Navy, during WW2, used barges for target practice down in either Christmas or Drum Bay. Can't remember which. He asked me if I knew where the barge moorings were, cause the fishing was good around them. When I told him no, he said, "Oh I better not tell you about that then". I've actually none that man my whole life and he wouldn't tell me his fishing spots! Not even one of them!
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:16 PM   #34
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This place is cool history. I would love to tour the house, but itís not available.

https://www.baycitysentinel.com/arti...completed-1854

http://carolctaylor.com/wordpress/?p=400


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Old 01-11-2021, 06:16 PM   #35
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Tagged to add information later
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:21 PM   #36
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Matagorda.......hmmmmmmmm
I guess I should remain silent, Lol
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Old 01-11-2021, 06:27 PM   #37
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Quote:
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Matagorda.......hmmmmmmmm
I guess I should remain silent, Lol

No, please speak up.


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Old 01-11-2021, 07:24 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Matagorda.......hmmmmmmmm
I guess I should remain silent, Lol
You.......silent??
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:12 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal Ducks View Post
Along those lines...



I had an old timer tell me during prohibition they had a club on the Matagorda Peninsula where wealthy guys would go for drinking, gambling and prostitution. I don't know that it is true or not. I never have seen anything that would substantiate it. It would have been the perfect location since you had to go by boat and there wasn't any law enforcement around.



I grew up hearing lots of stories about smugglers and smuggling. One about a local guy who disappeared and his plane turned up in South America with bullet holes in it. I also use to hear lots of stories about different shrimpers awho were running drugs. But then that is sorta the way of the coastal town. Always were refuges for those who live on the fringe of society.



Another story was about a painter named Forrest Bess. He lived in Chinquapin as a hermit. He was pretty out there. The story goes that he operated on himself to make himself a hermaphrodite in an attempt to become immortal. You can look up Forrest Bess, he became pretty famous as an artist. It's the other stories about him that are out there.
What about the plane that crashed on the beach that ended up being a house for some goats.

I'll never forget goin to the beach and seeing a goat standing on the wing of a crashed plane.

Not mentioned but there was a crazy lady that lived on dimi john island that would run around nude. I don't think she ever owned a razor

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Old 01-11-2021, 08:22 PM   #40
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High island is highest elevation between Mobile Alabama to the Yucatan Peninsula


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Old 01-11-2021, 08:25 PM   #41
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Concrete ships at seawolf park

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Old 01-11-2021, 08:49 PM   #42
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Galveston obviously has a lot of history. If I'm not mistaken, but at the time of the hurricane of 1900, Galveston had a larger population than Houston.

I've heard stories that Rollover pass on the Boliver peninsula got it's name from rum runners up through prohibition that would roll barrels through there as it was the narrowest area of the peninsula in order to avoid customs. Not sure how true that is. Obviously, that was well before the "man-made" pass was dug, but apparently, before even then, bull high-tides could push water from the gulf into the back of East bay.

One random is the Bandido's MC club was apparently founded in San Leon, TX, which is about half way between Kemah and Galveston. I agree with the poster above that said these coastal towns have historically been refuges for the fringes of society.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:54 PM   #43
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Back in the 1800s Indianola and Galveston both were places that mostly German emigrants. At one point Indianola was the big landing point for the new German emigrants. My family came to Texas in 1840, they landed in Indianola, stayed there through both of the big hurricanes that hit Indianola. The first storm wiped out much of the town and drove many people out of the town, the second one finished off Indianola. Sometime after the second hurricane, the town became a ghost town, my family left and moved south.

Other things about the Texas Gulf Coast, if you look, there were many Spanish ships that wrecked on the Texas Gulf Coast. La Salle was one of them.

I know Cabeza de Vaca, also wreck his ship on the Texas Gulf Coast. Most of his men died of disease and starvation, if I remember the story correctly.

Then you have the Karankawa indians. They only lived on the Texas Gulf Coast, they were the tallest off all of the indians, commonly they were over 6 ft. tall. They were feared by the other tribes. One because of their size, but also they were known as cannibals.

Then the last battle of the civil war, was fought on the Texas Gulf Coast. We kicked some ***, from what I have read, that is something I just recently learned about.

Also there was the deal where the Mexican Army got bogged down in the mud somewhere not far from the coast, between two rivers. Don't remember the area. I am pretty sure north of Victoria. That event helped the Texans win the war. I am pretty sure someone on this site, posted up a bunch of info on that subject. I had not heard of that deal before either.

Then there was the dispute between Texas and Mexico for many years, where Mexico decided that the Nueces River was the boundary between Texas and Mexico. Where Texas claimed The Rio Grande to be the boundary.

Then if you search the two big freezes. Twice, once around 1900 and then I think in the 1920s, it froze with temperatures below zero. The bays froze over, people actually were ice skating on the bays. Chickens froze on the roost, cattle died. There are stories out there, from the Corpus area.

There is a lot more interesting history that happened along the Texas Gulf Coast, but I have forgotten most of what I have been taught or heard about. You can check Texas history books, or you might look on places like facebook, for Texas history book. Traces of Texas, and Texas Historical Commission, are two I know of and have read many stories on both. Traces of Texas, has some good stories, many about events on the coast.
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Old 01-11-2021, 08:56 PM   #44
SwampBuck
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My mom has a house down in magnolia right near indianola. That place has always interested me. There’s a few old photos on the wall of that house of saw fish and big jewfish (grouper) that came from the matagorda Bay Area around there.

I bought them a book on indianola. When they’re done with it I plan to read it.

Matagorda is an interesting one to me also, being as I find myself around there a lot. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:19 PM   #45
wickll
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I haven't been to Seadrift or Port O'Connor lately, but I used to pick up copies of Dolphin Talk. I do not remember the name of the column, but it usually contained some cool articles on history of the area.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:25 PM   #46
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Thereís some wild tales from old-timers in Seadrift that Iíve heard. Apparently when Vietnamese refugees arrived in the late 70s, the locals were none too pleased. Lots of racial tension and the grand dragon of the KKK even showed up. Wild Wild West with several murders and other crimes. The way they tell it, itís hard to believe things like that happened only 40 years ago.


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Old 01-11-2021, 09:36 PM   #47
Strummer
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Originally Posted by CentralTXHunter View Post
Thereís some wild tales from old-timers in Seadrift that Iíve heard. Apparently when Vietnamese refugees arrived in the late 70s, the locals were none too pleased. Lots of racial tension and the grand dragon of the KKK even showed up. Wild Wild West with several murders and other crimes. The way they tell it, itís hard to believe things like that happened only 40 years ago.


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There is a movie about it . Canít remember the name . Pretty crazy stuff .
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:52 PM   #48
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Back in the 1800s Indianola and Galveston both were places that mostly German emigrants. At one point Indianola was the big landing point for the new German emigrants. My family came to Texas in 1840, they landed in Indianola, stayed there through both of the big hurricanes that hit Indianola. The first storm wiped out much of the town and drove many people out of the town, the second one finished off Indianola. Sometime after the second hurricane, the town became a ghost town, my family left and moved south.

Other things about the Texas Gulf Coast, if you look, there were many Spanish ships that wrecked on the Texas Gulf Coast. La Salle was one of them.

I know Cabeza de Vaca, also wreck his ship on the Texas Gulf Coast. Most of his men died of disease and starvation, if I remember the story correctly.

Then you have the Karankawa indians. They only lived on the Texas Gulf Coast, they were the tallest off all of the indians, commonly they were over 6 ft. tall. They were feared by the other tribes. One because of their size, but also they were known as cannibals.

Then the last battle of the civil war, was fought on the Texas Gulf Coast. We kicked some ***, from what I have read, that is something I just recently learned about.

Also there was the deal where the Mexican Army got bogged down in the mud somewhere not far from the coast, between two rivers. Don't remember the area. I am pretty sure north of Victoria. That event helped the Texans win the war. I am pretty sure someone on this site, posted up a bunch of info on that subject. I had not heard of that deal before either.

Then there was the dispute between Texas and Mexico for many years, where Mexico decided that the Nueces River was the boundary between Texas and Mexico. Where Texas claimed The Rio Grande to be the boundary.

Then if you search the two big freezes. Twice, once around 1900 and then I think in the 1920s, it froze with temperatures below zero. The bays froze over, people actually were ice skating on the bays. Chickens froze on the roost, cattle died. There are stories out there, from the Corpus area.

There is a lot more interesting history that happened along the Texas Gulf Coast, but I have forgotten most of what I have been taught or heard about. You can check Texas history books, or you might look on places like facebook, for Texas history book. Traces of Texas, and Texas Historical Commission, are two I know of and have read many stories on both. Traces of Texas, has some good stories, many about events on the coast.

For some good reading about the Nueces, you should check out the book about Texas Ranger, Lee Mcnelly.

https://americanwestreview.wordpress.../nueces-strip/


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Old 01-11-2021, 09:54 PM   #49
CentralTXHunter
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There is a movie about it . Canít remember the name . Pretty crazy stuff .

Had no idea there was a movie about it. Itís called Seadrift btw, lol. I may have to rent it and give it a watch.


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Old 01-11-2021, 10:24 PM   #50
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Growing up I was told Portland, Texas is the highest point above sea level on the gulf in Texas. President Taft and even Mark Twain hunted ducks out of a train over what is known as Gum Hollow just outside Portland.
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