Welcome to the website for the History Center for Aransas County
The History Center will be CLOSED indefinitely.
So many of our docents, volunteers and potential visitors have been
impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
We will post more information in the coming weeks as
the situation in the area evolves.
Good luck to everyone. Stay Safe!
** UPDATE 9/11/2017 **
Due to damage to the Aransas County Courthouse, certain
county operations are being moved to the History Center.
Consequently, operations at the History Center are suspended
until further notice.
We will keep you informed as this situation changes.
Exhibit showing Saturday, July 22, 2017
through Sunday, October 1, 2017
History Center for Aransas County
801 E. Cedar, Rockport, TX
The Foodways exhibit showcases the area's unique heritage of inhabitants such as Native Americans, who feasted off the bounty of nature. Photographs, posters and artifacts will focus on foraging, hunting, shrimping, fishing, hunting and oystering; turtle and cattle packeries; truck farming; diners, drive-ins and cafes; and community cook-books used as fund-raisers to help non-profit groups. It will highlight historic signage, give-aways and memorabilia from local businesses; vintage collectibles like coastal-themed restaurant china and hand-painted oyster plates; and food-themed work from members of the Rockport-Fulton Art Colony. Multi-cultural aspects of local cuisine, including Mexican, African-American and Vietnamese culinary traditions, are also part of the programs. Oral history interviews, family videos, and historic newsreels will be displayed on the Center’s new TV and computer tablet monitors.
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.
Culinary Lecture Series
A series of free presentations will also be held at the History Center during the course of the exhibit. Chefs, cookbook authors, local historians and experts on vintage collectibles will conduct the programs.
Katy Jones-Gulsby will present “Stir It Up – Collecting Vintage Cookbooks” on Sunday, July 30, at 2:00. A lover of history, the history of objects and the stories they tell of culture and society, Jones-Gulsby has worked selling vintage and antiques for many years. She has a degree in Fashion Journalism from the University of the Arts in London and is the owner of “Shell & Pine” in downtown Rockport.
“Vintage Fishing Lures” will be discussed on Sunday, August 6, at 2:00 by Melissa Cosby Pina, who has researched, collected and sold them for years. She and her father, Charles “PoPo” Cosby managed PoPo’s Gallery for many years, selling art and fishing lures.
John Jackson will talk about his family’s local, three-generation seafood businesses at 2:00 on Sunday, August 13. A fifth-generation Rockport native, Jackson will discuss the trials and tribulations of the seafood business and his family’s deep ties to the history of Rockport. Jackson is the founding partner of The Rockport Group at Morgan Stanley and has been active in local civic and history groups all his life. Copies of his book, "Taking The Tide," will be available for sale, with proceeds benefiting the History Center.
“Texas Gulf Coast Cuisine and The History of Breakfast in Texas” will be the subject of the Sunday, August 20th presentation. Terry Thompson-Anderson will discuss these topics at 2:00. Her book, Texas on the Table: People, Places & Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State, was a finalist in the 2015 James Beard Cookbook Awards. Her ninth book, Breakfast in Texas, was released in April, 2017.
“Vietnamese Culinary Traditions” will be discussed by members of the local community and Dr. Sam Vong, a Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. This presentation, Sunday, September 17, at 2:00, will also offer examples of Vietnamese food to participants. Leah Oliva, a History Center Board Member, will co-ordinate the presentation on history, ingredients and culinary techniques such as drying shrimp.
The last presentation will be on Saturday, September 23, at 2:00 by Karey Swartwout, owner of GLOW Restaurant. Swartwout will discuss how local coastal ingredients such as samphire, mesquite beans and dewberries can be used for culinary purposes, including for cocktails. She will present her method for creating sea salt from bay waters. Swartwout’s background includes working as a caterer in London, writing the GLOW Cookbook and developing a column on local foodways for “The Corpus Christi Caller-Times.”
Tour fabulous historic homes in Fulton and Rockport, and be entertained by docents in period attire as they explain the histories of the homes!!!
Historic Homes on Tour with docents in vintage dress
The holly and mistletoe will festoon the venues for the 2017 Rockport-Fulton Tour of Historic Homes - Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3, 1:00 - 5:00 PM each day. Seven venues will be decorated for the holidays. Each year different homes are featured on the tour to provide new experiences for the guests.
Docents in vintage dress appropriate to the house will greet visitors and provide a commentary. Historical facts about the homes and their owners will connect the visitors to the real history of these local treasures.
Tickets will be available starting in November 2017. Obtain tickets online (here), at the History Center for Aransas County (801 E. Cedar St), at the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, or at any Home Tour venue during the tour.
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