Welcome to the website for the History Center for Aransas County
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Join us Saturday, April 29, at 10:00 am to meet Cynthia Brandimarte from Texas Parks and Wildlife, where she is Director of Historic Sites and Structures. She will give a presentation in conjunction with our current exhibit about Texas settlers and their buildings, 1860-1930.
An expert on the state’s park system, Brandimarte wrote "Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps," which includes local historic landmarks like Goose Island State Park's shellcrete structures. Brandimarte mined the archives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and the Texas Department of Transportation to compile a rich visual record of how the New Deal program, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, left an indelible stamp on many of the parks we still enjoy today. "Texas State Parks and the CCC" profiles 29 parks, providing a descriptive history of each with detailed accounts of the skilled dedication employed by more than 50,000 men as they constructed trails, cabins, concession buildings, bathhouses, dance pavilions, hotels, and other points of interest in the “Peoples’ Parks” throughout the Lone Star State.
Brandimarte earned a Ph.D. in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked with regional historical societies and museums throughout Texas, joining Texas State Parks (TPWD) first as Historian and later as Director of the Cultural Resources Program. She established the new graduate program in Public History at Texas State University and served as its first director until she returned to TPWD as Director of the Historic Sites and Structures Program. She is the author of two award-winning books, Inside Texas: Culture, Identity, and Houses, 1878-1920 and Texas State Parks and the CCC: the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Her articles on Texas history have appeared in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and Journal of Big Bend Studies and those on American culture in Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture on whose Editorial Board she currently serves.
Friends of the History Center Collectors Corner
New Program for Antique Collectors at The History Center
The History Center is beginning a new series of programs, Collector’s Corner, on the first Sunday afternoon of each month at 2 pm. These programs feature discussions about personal antique collections. The “show and tell” series will feature interactive discussions by collectors of vintage treasures.
The first Collector’s Corner will be held on April 2, 2017 at 2 pm. Kam Wagert will show part of her collection of historic local postcards. Kam co-wrote “Aransas County in Postcards” with Pam Stranahan. Kam has held leadership positions in many local historic organizations, including the Aransas County Historical Commission, the Aransas County Historic Society, the Friends of the History Center for Aransas County, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Click here to view a video of this presentation/program.
Kay Betz will lead the second Collector’s Corner scheduled for Sunday, May 7 at 2 pm with her collection of Mexican arts and crafts from the 1920s through the 1950s. She will discuss her collection of tourist ware pottery, textiles and jewelry that visitors to Mexico gathered on trips down the new Pan American Highway. Tlaquepaque and Art Deco Fantasia ceramics and Taxco jewelry will be featured. Kay is retired from the University of Texas at Austin and is Secretary and Development Chair for the History Center. She edited “The Aransas Pass Light Station: A History” for Charles Butt, the current owner.
Howard Jones will present the third program, scheduled for Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m. His collection focuses on horse-related artifacts and memorabilia. Stories about the history of war-horses from ancient times through the middle ages and modern warfare will be included. Howard has spent a lifetime as a Ferrier, a licensed horse trainer in two countries and two states. He was a racing official for the National Racing Commission of Mexico and retired as the Director of Horse Racing at a major racetrack. He was also on the Board of the History Center and an active volunteer at the Center. He and his wife, Robin, also participate in historic re-enactments throughout the country.
The History Center, located at 801 E. Cedar Street in Rockport, is open on Saturdays from 10 am-4pm and Sundays from 1-4 pm. The Center is a venue of Aransas Pathways.
Texas Settlers & Their Buildings: Old Rockport
Exhibit showing Saturday, March 25, 2017
through Sunday, July 22, 2017
History Center for Aransas County
801 E. Cedar, Rockport, TX
The exhibit, "Texas Settlers & Their Buildings: Old Rockport", focuses on family and community life of Texas settlers reflected in historic buildings, such as the settlers' visions of community and progress, as well as the physical demands and economic realities of everyday life. The architecture, photos and related stories of homes built in Rockport between 1860 and 1930 will be showcased. The exhibit will be displayed until July 16th and is funded in part, by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Exhibit Opening: 25-March-2017
Check back later to see pictures and videos from the opening event.
The History Center for Aransas County showcases local heritage. Outdoor and indoor exhibits tell the stories of the real people of Aransas County. The Center provides space for displays, workshops, meetings and gatherings.
The turn-of-the-century Bruhl-Paul-Johnson house was moved from 910 E. Concho to property at 801 E. Cedar which was donated to the county by Dr. Gary and Rita Gilbert.
Funding in part is by Aransas Pathways, a county venue project, grants from corporations and individuals.
Friends of the History Center is very grateful to the Texas Historical Foundation for their generous support of the History Center of Aransas County. Please visit their website at www.texashistoricalfoundation.org.
"30 Years Through the News/Lens"
Help support the History Center!
“Aransas County in Postcards ” by Kam Wagert and Pam Wheat Stranahan has arrived. Containing 128 pages of scanned vintage postcards of Aransas County including descriptive narratives. This book is sure to be a sell-out, so get your copy now. Click here for more information about this exciting new book offering.
For additional information, contact a member of the Friends of the History Center for Aransas County at 361-727-9214