Aransas County was formed from Refugio County in 1871. Its county seat is Rockport. The area is commonly referred to as Rockport-Fulton since there are two separate communities in close proximity.
Aransas County is one of the smallest counties in Texas. It is located on the western side of the Gulf of Mexico yet is separated from the Gulf by barrier islands that form the intracoastal canal. While the county covers more than 326 square miles, much of the county is under water. The county is composed of peninsulas, islands and bays.
Aransas and Copano Bays were first documented in 1519 by Captain Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, the first European to sail the Gulf of Mexico. The earliest known inhabitants were the Karankawa Indians, documented by Cabeza de Vaca in 1528. In the 1700s, missions were established in the area by Spain. After the war between Spain and Mexico, the area was claimed by Mexico.
In 1826 James Hewetson and James Power applied for an empresario grant on Aransas Bay. Colonists were recruited from Ireland to settle in the area. The town of Rockport was founded in 1867. George Fulton completed his mansion in 1877 (today’s Fulton Mansion State Historic Site) in the community now known as Fulton, next to Rockport.
History Center for Aransas County. 801 E. Cedar St. at N. Church St., Rockport, Texas.
Texas Maritime Museum near Rockport Harbor. Gulf coast history from pirates to fishing to oil drilling is told through exhibits and artifacts. This is the “Official Maritime Museum of Texas”. 1202 Navigation Circle, Rockport, Texas.
Eleanor’s General Store (3316 Highway 35 N. Fulton, TX 7835) features a showroom filled with old-fashioned candy, collectibles and homemade products including baked goods and honey. And their showroom also includes a collection of “muscle” cars that gives the impression of being in a car museum.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
Rockport Chamber of Commerce
Eleanor’s General Store
Texas Maritime Museum
History Center for Aransas County