Jim Wells
South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 1,318
2000 Census - 1,288
Orange Grove, Texas
Orange Grove Texas History:
In 1889, Ventana Ranch owners George and Hannah Reynolds donated 51 acres to the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in return for the railroad building the line through the ranch and constructing a depot on the ranch. The Reynolds and Ernest Miller had set aside 2,500 acres of their ranch land for use in establishing a town. In 1907, Fennell Dibrell and Max Starche established the town of Sandia. In 1908, Reynolds and Miller hired Dibrell and Starche to subdivide and sell the 2,500 acres. Dibrell and Starcke platted streets and named them for their friends. They sold a large portion of the land to German settlers and chose the name Orange Grove for the new town. The Orange Grove Post Office opened in 1909. The Orange Grove Rifle Club was established, and the Hall was built between 1911 and 1912.  Orange Grove is located at the intersection of SH 359 and FM 624, 18 miles northeast of Alice, 5.7 miles southwest of Sandia, 10 miles southwest of La Fruta Park, Lake Corpus Christi and Lake Corpus Christi State Park, and 14 miles southwest of Mathis, Texas.     
San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Depot, 1912:
In 1889, ranch owners George and Hannah Reynolds donated 51 acres to the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in return for the railroad building the line through the ranch and constructing a depot on the ranch. The railroad built the station in 1912. In 1997, the George Peters family of Sandia, Texas donated the depot to the Austin Steam Train Association who moved the building to Bertram for use as the Steam Train’s Bertram stop. The Reynolds and Ernest Miller Ranches also set aside 2,500 acres for the establishment of the City of Orange Grove.
Orange Grove Area Museum:
Exhibits include a music room, family collections, a typical kitchen, Dr. Moets’ tools of trade, bank teller windows, a barber shop and shoe shine, a general store, a very rare Cleveland Carbide stove, a 1907 covered wagon, vintage tools, a model train, a Model T Ford and other vintage vehicles, vintage furnishings, equipment from the community’s first post office, local veteran’s memorabilia, video and audio tapes from the community’s elders, the restored Rock Island caboose (#17754), a typewriter collection, and the Armentrout Chapel building at the Armentrout home). The life size models of al log home, cantina, and a blacksmith’s shop were constructed by the area youth. Open Wed-Fri, 10am-4pm, and by appointment on Saturdays. (361) 384-1300. 119 South Eugenia Street, Orange Grove, Texas 78372.
Orange Grove Rifle Club & Public Dances, 1912:
The club hosts public dances and private events. (361) 384-2858. 400 South Harrod Street. 
6 May 2018
Annual Orange Grove Rifle Club MayFest Queen's Contest:
Activities include pageants, a BBQ lunch, a baking contest, a parade, pumper races, and dancing to live music. This event is held at the Orange Grove Rifle Club, 400 South Harrod Street, Orange Grove.  Contact
Texas Wildflowers:
Due to budget constraints, TX-DOT no longer maintains a website offering spring wildflower sightings. Information is available at the Texas Highways Magazine.
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Central Gulf Coast Region:
Brush Country Loop: Three Rivers, Dinero, Lagarto, Midway, Sandia, San Patricio, Orange Grove, Alfred, Agua Dulce, Alice
Texas Birds Checklist
Bird Checklist for South Texas Brushlands
Lake Corpus Christi State Park Bird Checklist
La Fruta Park on the Nueces River:
This San Patricio County Park features picnic tables & BBQ grills, a large BBQ grill, a small stage, the Lions Club building, tent camping, RV sites, hiking and equestrian trails, an equestrian parking area, kayak rentals, and several Nueces River access points for fishing and kayaking. The small stocked fishing pond amenities include a small pier, a fountain and duck decoys. The pond is stocked with catfish, tilapia, bass, carp, perch, mullet and other fish species. Tent camping amenities include designated camping areas, fire pits, restrooms, and picnic tables. The group of picnic tables around the large BBQ Grill may be rented for private events. The La Fruta Paddling Trail begins at La Fruta Park and ends at San Patricio De Hibernia Park. The park is open Thursday-Tuesday, 8am-5pm. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter Weekends, and closed on Wednesdays for Maintenance. (361) 364-9650. The park is located at 23547 CR 1094. From Mathis take SH 359 towards Lake Corpus Christi. Just before Park Road 25, go left at the La Fruta park sign.
San Patricio De Hibernia Park, 677 Acres on the Nueces River:
This San Patricio County park is located on the former Doughtery Round Lake property. Habitat consists of heavily wooded Nueces River bottomland, open meadows, wetlands, scrub shrubs, riparian habitats and short-grass prairie. Amenities include former ranch livestock pens, windmills and water tanks. The La Fruta Paddling Trail begins at La Fruta Park and ends at San Patricio De Hibernia Park. The property is managed as a preserve by a conservation easement with the Coastal Bends Bays and Estuaries Foundation. Access is by permission only. (361) 547-3004. The park is located near San Patricio.
Chipita Rodriguez Park on the Nueces River, 6 Acres:
This San Patricio County park has steep river banks lined with cedar elm, pecan and hackberry trees draped with Spanish moss. Amenities include a small pier. The park was named after Chipita Rodriguez, the first woman legally hanged in Texas for allegedly murdering a horse trader and stealing his gold. She was later absolved of the crime. A historical plaque was erected in her honor. This park is great for camping or picnics. The park is open by appointment. Call (361) 385-0591. 
Sunrise Beach Campground and Boat Ramp on Lake Corpus Christi:
Amenities include a boat ramp capable of accommodating most boat types, restrooms, a fish cleaning station, a dump station, a small store, restrooms with hot showers, a laundry, 142 RV sites, and tent campsites. Some RV sites have full hookups, and some RV sites are available for long term stays. Fees apply; open year-round. Sunrise Beach hosts the two days long September JetFest Boat Rally. The park is owned and operated by the City of Corpus Christi. (361) 547-3004. The park is located above the dam. From Mathis, take SH 359 four miles south to Park Road 25. Sunrise Beach will be located on your left before the State Park entrance.
Horn Haven Ranch, Orange Grove:
The ranch offers dove, white-tailed deer, giant elk, exotics, and quail hunts. Accommodations include private cabins and a new hunting lodge. (361) 960-2999. The ranch is located at the intersection of SH 359 and FM 624, 8 miles west of Orange Grove, Texas.  Email
Lonesome Bull Ranch, Sandia & Mathis Areas:
They offer white-tailed deer, exotics and dove hunting. The hunting lodges feature Direct TV, full kitchens, BBQ pits, a fire pit and lake views. (361) 683-9744. (361) 547-3840. They are located on 2,600 acres overlooking Lake Corpus Christi at 101 Lard Creek Road, Sandia, Texas. 
DEA Ranch Hunting, Mathis:
They offer guided hunts for white-tailed deer, exotics, dove, spring turkey and quail. They offer airport pick-ups, lodging and food, a walk-in game storage cooler, skeet shooting, and RV and tent campsites. (361) 249-1157. 311 CR 351, Mathis. 
Twin Oaks Ranch Hunting, Mathis:
They offer quail, dove, spring turkey, white-tailed deer and exotics hunting. Amenities include clay pigeon shooting, cast and blast, accommodations and more. (361) 960-3556. This 10,000-acre ranch is on the Nueces River and Lake Mathis at 1031 DM 534, Mathis.  Email
Knolle Farm & Ranch Hunting, Sandia & Mathis:
The ranch is located on the Neches River. Activities include swimming (pool), sporting clays, horseback riding, birding, fishing and other river activities. The ranch also offers waterfowl, deer, dove and quail hunting; day hunts are available. (361) 547-2546. 13016 FM 70, Sandia, TX 78383.  Email
Simonson Ranch Hunting, Mathis:
They offer white-tailed deer, dove, wild hog, duck and wild turkey hunts and fishing. (361) 547-9047. The 700-acre Simonson Ranch is at 300 Jones Road, Mathis.  Email
Inflight Outfitters Hunting, Mathis:
They offer white-tailed deer hunts. Their 7,000 square foot hunting lodge features a commercial kitchen, a pool table and shuffle board table, a fireplace, a dining area, a fire pit, and a chef. The lodge sleeps 42. (361) 960-3556. (361) 547-0495. 1031 FM 534, Mathis.   
Lake Findley (Alice City Lake) & Alice City Park, 247 Surface Acres, Alice, TX:
The lake is #83 on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Primarily a fishing and birding lake, it was formed in 1965 when a dam was constructed on Chiltipin Creek. Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, and redear sunfish. Resident birds include the Least Grebe, Groove-billed Ani, Great Kiskadee, and Green Jay. Sprague’s Pipit winters in the short grass fields. Alice City Park amenities include parking, an unimproved boat ramp, and picnic areas. Open daily, 8am to dark. (361) 668-7210. From Alice, take U.S. 281 North. Just north of the city, go east on FM 3376 (Commerce Road). Proceed 1.5 miles to Texas Boulevard, and turn north (left). Continue 0.5 miles to Lake Alice. Lake Records  Fish Stocking History
Nueces River:
The 315-mile-long Nueces River rises in two forks approximately 50 miles north of Uvalde in north central Edwards and Real Counties. It flows south through the Texas Hill Country past Barksdale and Crystal City. East of Carrizo Springs it turns east across Dimmit, La Salle, and McMullen Counties. South of Three Rivers in central Live Oak County, it is joined by the combined Atascosa River and Frio River (impounded 3 miles northwest of Three Rivers to form Choke Canyon Reservoir) from the northwest. It then it flows southeast past Mathis where it is impounded to form Lake Corpus Christi; it enters Nueces Bay on the Gulf of Mexico at Corpus Christi. The Nueces is known for its largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, native Guadalupe bass, and a variety of panfish such as redbreast sunfish, rock bass, green sunfish and Rio Grande perch.  Nueces River Fish Stocking History
Nueces River Paddling Trail, Mathis & Sandia:
The La Fruta Paddling Trail begins at La Fruta Park and ends at San Patricio De Hibernia Park. La Fruta Park provides seasonal kayak rentals and shuttle services. La Fruta Park provides seasonal kayak rentals and provides shuttle service pick-up at San Patricio De Hibernia Park with 24 hours notice. The La Fruta Park is open Thursday-Tuesday, 8am-5pm. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and Easter Weekends, and closed on Wednesdays for Maintenance. (361) 364-9650. The park is located at 23547 CR 1094. From Mathis take SH 359 towards Lake Corpus Christi. Just before Park Road 25, go left at the La Fruta park sign.
Lake Corpus Christi Information, Mathis:
The La Fruita Dam, the original dam, washed out in November of 1929. Lake Corpus Christi, originally known as Lake Lovenskiod, was reformed by damming the Nueces River in 1935. Because of water leakage, the dam was replaced in 1958 with the Wesley E. Seale Dam which has a height of 75 feet. The 19,251-surface acre reservoir (lake) has a maximum depth of 60 feet. The lake provides water for the City of Corpus Christi. The reservoir provides good largemouth bass and catfish fishing. Lake maps are available at the Lake Corpus Christi State Park office on Park Road 25. The lake is owned by the City of Corpus Christi. It is located 4 miles west of Mathis, and approximately 20 miles northwest of Corpus Christi, Texas.  
Lake Corpus Christi Location Map
Current Lake Corpus Christi Lake Level
Lake Corpus Christi TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Lake Corpus Christi State Park Information, Mathis:
This 356-acre park is in San Patricio, Jim Wells and Live Oak Counties, southwest of Mathis, Texas. The TPWD leased the land from Corpus Christi in 1934. The lease runs until 2032. Many of the park's facilities were built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), Company 886. The CCC was part of the New Deal Program under President FDR during the depression. This program was designed to provide jobs for out of work citizens. The CCC was involved in building many state park facilities across the nation, and some of the CCC's work is outstanding. Of the original CCC facilities at Lake Corpus Christi State Park, only the refectory and old pavilion remain. The Mediterranean style refectory was built of cast blocks of local caliche, and features a large terrace, a pavilion, a lookout tower, and a cast stone staircase leading to the lake trails. The park is in a cove where the counties of San Patricio, Jim Wells, and Live Oak meet. The site of the park overlooks an area on the Nueces River which was a disputed boundary between Texas and Mexico. After the war the Rio Grande River became the official boundary. During the spring the park is a riot of bluebonnets and other wildflowers. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more park information watch the Park Video and read the Park BrochureFrom Mathis: Take FM 1068 south approximately 4 miles to Park Road 25. Turn right on Park Road 25, and drive to the park entrance. The park is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Corpus Christi.  Lake Corpus Christi State Park Facilities Map
Fort Lipantitlan State Historic Site Information, Mathis:
Mexican forces constructed the wooden fort in 1831 in preparation of potential conflicts with Texians.
In 1835, the small Mexican guard force surrendered to Texan forces without a shot being fired. Today, there is nothing left of the fort. The only amenities are 6 picnic tables and Texas Historical markers. Activities include picnicking and birding. Hours and fees do not apply. For more information read Texas Forts History and an article by Charles M. Yates.The fort site is managed by Corpus Christi State Park. It is located 9 miles east of Orange Grove, off Texas State Road 359, FM 624 and FM 70. It is hard to find; call the Corpus Christi State Park for directions.(361) 547-2635. 
Choke Canyon Reservoir Information, Tilden & Three Rivers:
The 141-foot-tall Choke Canyon Dam was built in 1981 and 1982. The 25,670-surface acre Choke Canyon Reservoir was impounded on the Frio River in 1982. The lake has a maximum depth of 95.5 feet. The lake is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation. It is one of the City of Corpus Christi’s water sources and is managed by the city. The lake is located four miles west of Three Rivers, and 65 miles south of San Antonio, Texas. 
Choke Canyon Reservoir Area Map
Current Choke Canyon Reservoir Level
Choke Canyon Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Choke Canyon State Park Information, Tilden & Three Rivers:
This 1,485-acre park is located on the 26,000-surface acre Choke Canyon Reservoir, part of Corpus Christ's water supply source. The reservoir was formed when the Frio River was dammed a few miles upstream from where the Rio, Atascosa, and Nueces Rivers merge near Three Rivers, Texas. Ghost trees are still visible on some portions of the lake. The park consists of two units. The 1,100-acre Calliham Unit is located on a peninsula on SH 72, eleven miles west of Three Rivers in McMullen County. The 385-acre day use only South Shore Unit is in Live Oak County below the dam on SH 72, 4 miles west of Three Rivers, Texas. Camping and other amenities are available in the Calliham Unit. Amenities at the South Shore consist of a day use area. Park habitat consists mainly of thick mesquite forest. The South Shore unit features a 75-surface acre man-made lake. Each unit entrance has a park headquarters. Wildlife sightings include turkey, whitetail deer, javelin, coyote, opossum, fox squirrel, armadillo, raccoon, alligators and skunks. Park entrance and camping fees apply.For more park information, read the Park Brochure and view the Park Video. The South Shore Unit is located 3.5 miles west of Three Rivers, Texas, on SH 72. The Calliham Unit is located 12 miles west of Three Rivers on SH 72 (to Tilden).
Choke Canyon State Park Facilities Map
Hunting the North Shore Unit at Choke Canyon State Park:
The 1,700-acre North Shore Unit is undeveloped. This unit offers archery hunting of white-tailed deer and feral hogs. Hunting is by compartment; baiting is permitted. There are no blinds. Hunters are encouraged to bring portable blinds. Multi-purpose campsites are available at Choke Canyon State Park South Shore Unit. Call the South Shore Park for further information. (361) 786-3868). Access to the North Shore Unit is limited to hunter use during hunting season. The hunter check-in station is located at the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area headquarters between Tilden and Three Rivers. From Jourdanton go approximately 29 miles south on SH 16 to FM 3445 located 3 miles north of Tilden. Go east (left) on FM 3445 and drive 5.5 miles to the WMA entrance.   2017-2018 Hunting Details
James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area Information, Tilden & Three Rivers:
This 4,400-acre WMA is located on the Choke Canyon Reservoir. The WMA occupies five noncontiguous parcels adjacent to the lake. TPWD took over management of the property in 1981. The land is rough with habitat consisting of thorny scrub brush. Activities include hunting and nature study. Amenities include an interpretive nature trail, and a primitive campground used only for those hunting with Special Permits. The campground will open the evening prior to scheduled hunts. WMA access is limited. It is closed for Special Permit Hunts. Bring your own potable water. The WMA is located between Tilden and Three Rivers, Texas. From Jourdanton go approximately 29 miles south on SH 16 to FM 3445 located 3 miles north of Tilden. Go east (left) on FM 3445 and drive 5.5 miles to the WMA entrance.  James E. Daughtrey WMA Hunting Information & Map
Hunting the James E. Daughtrey Wildlife Management Area:
The Choke Canyon Reservoir is considered part of the WMA for purposes of waterfowl hunting. Alligator hunting is by compartment. Archery and gun hunts for white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and coyote are by compartment. Some permanent box blinds available; hunters may bring portable blinds. The WMA offers special youth only hunts and special javelina hunts. Spring turkey hunts are available. The San Miguel boat ramp is closed during flooding and closed to the during hunting dates. Primitive camping is available on the WMA, and camping is also available at the Calliham Unit of the Choke Canyon State Park.  Information & Map
Goose Island State Park Information, Rockport & Lamar: 
This 321.4-acre park is located on the northern tip of Lamar Peninsula on St. Charles Bay, north of Rockport in Lamar, Texas. Initial construction work was completed by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) from 1931-1935. The island beach is made of oyster shell. Cement retaining walls line some of the bank. The marshland consists of smooth cordgrass, marsh-hay cordgrass, saltgrass, saltwort, and glasswort. The habitat of the mainland portion of the park consists of live oak, red-bay woods, tallgrass prairie, and wetlands. The Park is No. 048 on the Aransas Loop of the Great Texas Central Coastal Birding Trail. Whooping Cranes feed in the wetlands. The surrounding bays are filled with seagrass beds and oyster reefs. The park is well known for its “Big Tree," the largest live oak in Texas, and thought to be one of the largest in the nation. The tree is estimated to be over 1,000 years old. It has a circumference of 35 feet, is 45 feet tall, and a crown spread of 90 feet.Occasionally an alligator is seen in the park. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more park information, watch the Park Video and read the Goose Island State Park Brochure.  The park is located 10 miles northeast of Rockport. Take SH 35 to Park Road 13; drive 2 miles east to the park entrance.  Goose Island State Park Facilities Map
Redhead Pond Wildlife Management Area Information, Corpus Christi:
The 10 acres of Wildlife Management Area land were purchased to protect the freshwater wetland habitat for wintering waterfowl and resident birds. Habitat at this bird preserve consists of prairie and marshes and a 10-acre freshwater pond surrounded by marshland. Redhead Pond is #066 on the Mustang Island Loop of the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Wintering bird species include ducks, grebes, and black-crowned night heron. Watch for common goldeneye and hooded merganser, two species that are uncommon along other areas of the coast. Amenities include a parking area and an ADA compliant observation platform. The WMA is open year-round for day use only. Admission is free. (979) 244-7697.The WMA is located in Flour Bluff, and is bordered by Laguna Shores Road, Glenoak Drive, Debra Lane, and Gadwell Street. From South Padre Island Drive (SH 358) just west of the JFK Causeway (Park road 22), exit onto Waldron Road. Go south and return to Laguna Shores Road. Go right and continue 1.5 miles.  Redhead Pond Wildlife Management Area Map
Mustang Island State Park Information, Port Aransas & Corpus Christi:
This 4,060-acre park has an entire barrier island ecosystem with 5 miles of beach on the Gulf of Mexico, sand dunes, prairies, freshwater marshes, tidal marshes, lagoons, mud/salt flats, sea grass beds, saltwater coves, and open bay. All are protected within the park and are important for the protection of and habitat of the endangered Piping Plover, Brown Pelicans, Reddish Egrets, and hundreds of other species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Large areas adjacent to the park are operated as nature preserves, or as very low density private recreational weekend properties. A very small area of the park is designated as a State Archeological Landmark. The jetties at Fish Pass are a great area for fishing, shelling, and nature study. The earliest inhabitants of Mustang Island were the Karankawa Indians. Mercer’s Dock was established as a port town in 1859. Destroyed by an 1875 hurricane, it was replaced with another settlement named Mustang Island. In 1910, the town was renamed Port Aransas. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more information read the Park Brochure and watch the Park VideoMustang Island State Park Facilities Map
Padre Island National Seashore Information, Corpus Christi:
Padre Island is one of 5 barrier islands located on the Texas Gulf Coast and is the longest barrier island in the world. Padre Island is separated from the mainland by the Laguna Madre, one of the few hypersaline lagoons in the world (it is saltier than seawater). The Padre Island National Seashore Park has 66 miles of shoreline on the north end of the island, accounting for more than half of the islands 113 miles of shoreline. The island offers exceptional birding with over 380 species recorded. It is also a nesting ground for the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. During the nesting season, turtle watch groups patrol the beach looking for nests. The eggs are removed from found nests and taken to Port Aransas or SPI where they are protected and cared for until hatching. Once they hatch, the baby turtles are released into the Gulf of Mexico. The City of Corpus Christi is located across the Laguna Madre from the northern portion of the park. The town of South Padre Island is located on the southern end of the Padre Island. The Padre Island National Seashore Visitor Center features exhibits, and hosts programs geared towards school children. The Center is open 9am-4pm during the winter months. Hours are extended during the summer. The park charges an entrance fee and use fees. The park is always open 24/7. For more complete park information, read the Park Brochures and the Park Newspaper. Hatchling releases are scheduled at the last moment whenever the turtles hatch. If you wish to view a Ridley turtle hatchling release on, call the Hatchling Hotline for information about upcoming hatchling releases; (361) 949-7163.  Padre Island National Seashore Park Map
Padre Island National Seashore Hunting the Laguna Madre:
Lawfully taken waterfowl from the Laguna Madre on park waters or neighboring jurisdictions, may be transported by boat to the Bird Island Basin boat ramp, and then transported through the park by vehicle on Bird Island Basin Road and Park Road 22. No other roads and waters within the park may be used to transport lawfully taken wildlife from areas outside the park boundaries. For more information, call (361) 949-9238. 
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery-operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903.  Calendar