Read About the History of Port Aransas | Sandcastle Condominiums

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History of Port Aransas

If you’re looking for a place that includes plenty of sun and warmth for your next getaway, you’ll want to make sure Texas makes the short list for your consideration. After deciding on the Lone Star State, you’ll have to figure out just where you want to spend your time. Zero in on the island sanctuary of Port A. There is nothing more enjoyable than knowing the history of Port Aransas, a small town with plenty of charm to accompany the resort beach atmosphere you’ve been looking for.

Early European Contact

The Karankawa Indians were living a nomadic life in the region when the Spanish began probing the coast in 1519. Governor Francisco de Garay of Jamaica commissioned a fleet of four ships mapped the Texas coastline, marking five passes – including Aransas Pass. Nearly 200 years later, the French began exploring the area to establish their own colony.


The Gulf Coast, including the waters of Port A, was a typical haunt in the early 1800s. From 1800 to the early 1820s, pirates searched the Texas Gulf Coast for treasure. Captain Jean Lafitte and his buccaneers favored Mustang Island for their camp – and to hide treasure! Locals spin tales about treasure buried in a chest and marked with a silver dagger. The dagger is said to be laid on its side with a silver spike driven through the hilt to secure it in place.

Life Saving Station & Lighthouse

In 1850, the United States Life-Saving Service built a station in Port A, with the aim of rescuing shipwrecked mariners. It included a dock that stretched from a boathouse storing a fleet of rescue boats into the channel. Once regular steamship service between New Orleans and Port A began, Congress commissioned the construction of the Aransas Pass Lighthouse, also known as the Lydia Ann Channel Lighthouse in 1855.


During the American Civil War, Port A mostly served the Confederate Army, with Aransas Pass providing passage for supplies like beef, salt, seafood, and cotton for troops. The importance of the pass was the cause of many attacks and control passed between Confederate and Union hands several times throughout the war. During World War II, Congress created the Southern Defense Command, stretching from North Carolina to Brownsville, including Port A. The Port A base hosted a temporary field artillery base featuring 105 MM Howitzers.


Today, the town of Port A is known as a resort town for fishing, beach activities, and more. The small town gets a large population boost – to over 60,000 at times – during the spring break and summer holidays. The town hosts festivals, events, fishing tournaments, and more to bring tourists to share the island life.

Port A’s Interesting History

You came to the Port A area to explore and experience a fun, relaxing getaway with loved ones. Make sure to learn a little about the place while you’re here, too. Enjoy a stress-free, worry-free stay when you book a vacation rental provided by Sandcastle Condos. Book an efficiency unit for your sweetheart getaway, all the way up to a four-bedroom unit and invite the whole family. Make a meal in the fully equipped kitchen, enjoy private outdoor spaces like a balcony or patio, or use our private beach access to get down to the beach in a snap.

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