Author: Port Isabel History

  • Late 1970s Downtown Port Isabel

    Downtown Port Isabel in the early-1980s. The 2nd Queen Isabella Causeway opened for traffic in September 1974. The traffic pattern through Port Isabel changed as a result of the new route. Garcia Street (the last street before crossing the causeway) was less traveled and Maxan Street, one block north of Highway 100 became more developed. […]


  • Port Isabel in the Gold Rush Era

    Word of the discovery of gold in California comes late in January 1848, mere days before the Treaty of Guadalupe is signed officially ending the U.S. Mexican War. Point Isabel was profoundly affected by those two events. The arrival of General Zachary Taylor and some 4,500 troops in 1846 swelled the population of Point Isabel […]


  • It Grew Epidemic

    This is a reprint from an 1875 Detroit Free Press article about an event that happened in Point Isabel. There are a couple of subtitles that draw the reader in. “The Curious Mania Which Swept Over a Texas Town.” And this one, “Sane People Organized to Subdue the Craze Created by a Demented Preacher Who […]


  • Port Isabel Man, 120, Is Probably Oldest In Texas

    Inocencio Rosales, Known As ‘Don Chencho’ Helped Build Lighthouse; Recalls Early Valley History The following is an article reprinted from the Brownsville Herald (August 15, 1943) by Clarence LaRoche about Don Chencho. He was a remarkable individual that embodied the spirit of what it takes to pioneer on the south Texas coast. Texas was just […]


  • William Egly, Unsung Hero of the Lower Laguna Madre

    In 1895, William Egly transferred from the Lydia Ann (Aransas Pass) to take over the role as Principal Lighthouse Keeper at the Port Isabel Lighthouse. The Egly’s had relatives in the Rio Grande Valley. There is a record of at least one visit in 1893 during which time the Egly’s stayed for several weeks and […]


  • Capture Giant Sea-Cow

    Monster Taken by Fishermen Weights 3,000 Pounds and is Twelve Feet Long. This story is one of those tales from the sea that fed the traveler’s imagination! The capture of the Manatee nearly caused the death of one local angler in the fray. Reprinted from an article in a Baxter Springs, Kan. newspaper in 1912. […]


  • Port Isabel Road Work Will Open (1930)

    First Piling Here For Construction Of Causeway. Brownsville Herald, August 12, 1930. Construction work on the state highway to Port Isabel will open either Wednesday or Thursday > > >


  • The Killer Storm of August 12, 1880

    The recollection of Judge Pierce, of Brownsville, of a storm that took the lives of two people as recalled 30 years later. Boats were ripped from wharves, high winds and rains forced a search for better shelter and higher ground. Survivors ate pumpkins soaked in Vermouth while waiting for help to get back to Port Isabel. > > >


  • 1912: Hurricane Hits Our Coast

    October 15 & 16, 1912 high winds and rain hit the area. Eye witnesses, including an employee of the U. S. Weather Bureau to the train conductor on the R.G.R.R. share their observations. > > >