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County
Aransas
Region
Gulf Coast
Population
2010 Census - 8,766
2000 Census - 7,385
Nearby
Towns
Rockport, Texas
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Rockport Texas History:
In 1865 William S. Hall built a cattle packing plant in the Rockport area. The next year James M. Doughty and Richard Wood built cattle pens. In 1867, Doughty and John M. and Thomas H. Mathis became partners. They platted the southern half of Rockport. In 1868 Joseph F. Smith and John H. Wood built a shipping wharf and platted the north half of town. Rockport incorporated as a city in 1871, the same year it became county seat of the newly formed Aransas County. The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built a line to Rockport in 1886. That same year the Morgan Lines steamship company quit providing transportation to and from Rockport and the cattle packing industry was discontinued. During the 1880s fishing, boat building and tourism became important industries. In 1935 the Aransas County Navigation District built the Rockport and Fulton Harbors, and built the Rockport Beach and the saltwater swimming pool, a protected area off Aransas Bay. Today the Rockport-Fulton area is considered to have the largest per capita percentage of artists of any community in the country (over 300). The area is also known for its wintering Whooping Cranes. The Rockport-Fulton area offers one of the best, if not the best, birding opportunities in the country. In addition to the famous Whooping Crane tours, this is a great viewing area for hummingbirds; the Hummer/Bird Celebration is held the 2nd weekend of September. It is also an extremely popular fishing area. Rockport and Fulton are so intermingled that they are considered by many to be one town. Rockport is located on SH 35 on Live Oak Peninsula between Copano and Aransas Bays, 11 miles north of Aransas Pass, 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christie, and adjacent to the southern city limits of Fulton, Texas.

Aransas Bay:
The bay is located on the Texas portion of the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is separated from the gulf by San Joseph Island (San Jose Island). Aransas Pass and Port Aransas are located on the southern end of the bay, and Rockport, Texas is located on the northern end of the bay. The bay is bounded on the north by Saint Charles Bay, on the northeast by Mesquite Bay, on the southwest by Redfish Bay, and on the west by Copano Bay.   
 
Historic City of Rockport, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The town of Rockport was founded by cattlemen J.M. and T.H. Mathis in 1867. Originally a part of Refugio County, it became county seat of newly formed Aransas County in 1871. Shipping and fishing provided the primary economic base of the town in its early years. The railroad arrived in 1888 and with it came a decline in the shipping industry. Although shipyards were in operation during World War I and World War II. Rockport has been a popular recreation center over the years, and tourism continues to be important to the local economy.” The marker is located on Orleans Street between the North and South lanes of SH 35. 
 
Fulton Mansion State Historic Site Information, Fulton, TX: 
The Mansion was built in French second empire style in the late 1870s in the Rockport-Fulton area overlooking Aransas Bay. It had the most modern facilities available at the time, including interior gas lighting, running water, flush-toilets, and central heating. Owners engineer George Fulton and his wife Harriet Fulton, eldest daughter of Texas Provisional Governor Harry Smith (1835), spared no expense in building and furnishing their home. The house was restored in the 1880s. A wheelchair lift provides access to the first floor of the mansion. For visitors unable to climb stairs, a full-color notebook illustrates all of the second-floor rooms. This SHS hosts school programs and special events. Volunteer positions are available. Guided tours begin on the hour. Admission fees apply. Open Tue-Sat, 9:30am-4:30pm; Sun, 12:30pm-4:30pm; closed major holidays. (361) 729-0386. 317 S. Fulton Beach Road, Fulton, Texas 78358.For more information read the Park Brochure. Email
 
Aransas County Navigation District No. 1:
The navigation district operates and manages Rockport Harbor, Fulton Harbor, Cove Harbor, and the Copano Bay Causeway Fishing Pier. Each harbor offers boat slips and live-aboard boat slips. Rockport Harbor amenities include a transient restroom and laundry facilities, a public restroom, a pump out station and parking. Fulton Harbor amenities include new fishing piers, a transient restroom and laundry facilities, an oil bilge pump out, a pump out station and parking. Cove Harbor amenities include new restrooms, a fish cleaning station, a reclamation station and two boat ramps. (361) 729-6661. 24 Hour Docking and Emergency Assistance: (361) 385-0524. The Navigation District office is located at 911 Navigation Circle, Rockport, TX. Fulton Harbor: Email     
 
Aransas County Courthouse, 1956:
The brick and steel courthouse was designed in modern style by architect Lynn A. Evans. The 2010 Aransas County census was 23,158. (361) 790-0100. 301 N. Live Oak Street, Rockport, TX 78382.
 
La Salle Odyssey Projects, Museum of the Costal Bend:
Seven museums tell the story of La Salle’s ship La Belle’s ill-fated 1686 expedition, her sinking, and the discovery and excavation of the La Belle and Fort St. Lewis 300 years later. The museums include the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History, The Texas Maritime Museum in Rockport, the Texana Museum in Edna, the Calhoun County Historical Museum in Port Lavaca, the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria, the Matagorda County Museum in Bay City, and the La Petite Belle Homeport and Palacios Area Historical Museum in Palacios, Texas. 
 
Texas Maritime Museum:
The museum is housed in a lighthouse, and features hands-on displays, nautical artifacts, outdoor exhibits, and a gift shop. It is home to the Harold Phenix collection of Texas lighthouse paintings. Open Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, 1-4pm. (361) 729-1271. 1202 Navigation Circle. The museum is located across the street from the Rockport Harbor.
 
Rockport Little Theatre:
They offer several live performances each year. Tickets are available from the Rockport Chamber of Commerce. Performances are held at the former Rockport Elementary School at 619 Live Oak Lane. Chamber: (361) 729-6445. Theater Email 
 
Rockport Center for the Arts:
Center amenities include a 10,000 square foot sculpture garden, a pottery studio, classrooms and a gift shop. The Center displays art exhibits from the works of local, national, and international artists, and offers children’s programs, art education programs, classes and workshops, and special programs, such as the Rockport Film Festival, and a Music Performance Series. Open Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, 1pm-4pm; closed Mondays. Admission is free. (361) 729-5519. 902 Navigation Circle, Rockport, TX 78382.  Email  
 
Rockport Marine Lab Aquarium & Photos:
Managed by the TPWD, the lab is located on the Rockport Harbor and features an aquarium. Open Thu-Mon, 1-4pm. Special tours are available upon request. TPWD: (361) 729-2328. Aquarium: (361) 729-6661. The Aquarium is located at 702 Navigation Circle, Rockport.
 
Aransas County Public Library, Rockport:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 10am-2pm; closed Sundays. (361) 790-0153. 701 E. Mimosa Street.