Views of the Neighborhood

This week I thought I would give you a quick tour of the Port Aransas museum. The first photo is an external shot of the building which is a fine example of a kit house sold in the early 1900’s. A person would buy the home complete in a kit and then put it together on their land.

PA Museum

The creation of the Port Aransas Museum was accomplished through a joint effort between the Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association [PAPHA] and the City of Port Aransas.

PAPHA was created November 15, 2002. One of its goals was to create the first historical museum in Port Aransas to preserve and showcase the town’s history. Another was to inventory historic Port Aransas sites.

The site survey was accomplished by obtaining a matching grant in 2006. PAPHA also received the Visionaries in Preservation grant from the Texas Historical Commission, completing the process needed to advance as a preservation organization.

Owners of an early 1900s kit house offered to sell it to PAPHA where it stood. That was not an option due to the cost of land in Port Aransas and the lack of funds in the PAPHA treasury. Another option was for the owners to give the house to PAPHA to move to another location, which is what they did.

In 2007, Preservation Texas, a private, non-profit statewide preservation group, named the house one of the state’s top 12 most endangered structures.

Papers were signed transferring ownership to PAPHA on Feb. 8, 2007. The problem then was where and how to move it, and how to pay for all aspects, including remodeling into a museum after the move.

PAPHA applied for grants, held fundraisers and met with the City of Port Aransas, utility companies and movers. Enough money was raised to move the house, but not for land.

The City Council and City Manger agreed to find a place on city property for a museum, finally settling on part of the Community Center property site.

In April 2008 the house was moved to it’s current location. It was renovated and opened as a museum by December of the same year.

Here is a small sample of what is inside.

Farley boat

A depiction of the fishing trip of FDR in 1937

A Tarpon. Once plentiful in Port Aransas now very rare

A Tarpon. Once plentiful in Port Aransas now very rare

PA Museum

Interesting exhibits of some extraordinary town citizens

PA Museum

Numerous timelines of town events.

Pa Museum

Little know facts about life in Port Aransas

I can’t possibly place all the photos of the interior in this post. Maybe someday you will visit and take a look. Thanks for reading

59 comments

  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    What a lovely house/museum. I had never heard of a kit house before reading your post, and now I wonder how common they were and if they were wide spread or local. Fascinating … thank you!

    1. Pretty common, Gwen. Big in the 20’s and 30’s. The Craftsman style originated with the kit homes. Thanks for the visit.

  2. I think I heard that Sears and Roebuck sold kit houses. It must have been a good deal, especially if someone owned land. That’s a nice museum. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    1. You are so right. They were labelled “Craftsman” homes and there are many around the US. Thanks, Suzanne.

    1. Thanks for the reblog. πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting. Though, I’m very curious to know what ‘Honky-Tonk Flavor’ is.

    1. You know. Rows of saloons, piano players, bar persons, fights, showdowns in the street. πŸ™‚

      1. Got it. Spittoons as far as the eye can see.

  4. I remember those kits, but don’t recall the homes looking so nice. Love that little porch!

    1. Yes, me too. It is very cute in person. Thanks, Jill. πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks for the look inside and the history, John. It’s interesting to know how hard it was to get this museum open on this spot. I think I heard your port mentioned during an episode of Mega Movers, last week. Old episode but fun connection.

    1. I’ll have to look that up. Thanks, Dan. πŸ™‚

      1. I think it was the episode on moving an oil platform.

      2. Yeah, we have a lot of those.

  6. What a lovely house. Built in a kit, you say? Maybe
    IKEA will sell them some day!

    1. I think the time has come, Lynn. Not sure any of us will be able to follow the directions though. Thanks. πŸ™‚

      1. As long as there are pictures!

      2. Yes. Confusing pictures. πŸ˜‰

  7. Kit houses were pretty common, and some of it goes on today. I remember a hotel being build when I was a kid. They brought completely finished rooms in on a flatbed. Finished right down to the wallpaper and carpet. They stacked them like blocks, hooked up the plumbing and electrical and lifted the next one.

    I like the build your own jetty kit. Seems like some kind of Wile E. Coyote project

    1. I could see sending one rock at a time by UPS. Thanks, Craig.

  8. I’m with you, Gwen, never heard of kit houses before – kit automobiles, yes, but not houses. Was that a Texas thing? I enjoyed the history and the tour, good sir!

    1. No the houses were sold in the Sears catalog and were shipped all over the US.

  9. Thanks for the post, John. We didn’t know about this museum. But now we have something new to see when we’ll be visitng Port A again – like with the Maritime and Wetlands education centers. πŸ™‚
    Have a wonderful Sunday,
    Pit

    1. You as well, Pit. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  10. Interesting musem – I like it. If I ever set foot in Texas, I might pay it a visit…only after I get some sort of camouflage to avoid getting beaten or shot, of course!
    πŸ˜‰

    1. Ha ha ha. Good idea. Thanks for the laugh. πŸ˜€

      1. Glad that you caught the tongue-in-cheek humour…with a bit of truth thrown in.

        Some things are funny because they’re true, after all…
        πŸ˜‰

      2. I think it has been a few weeks since I was last shot or beaten so I have pretty much forgotten. πŸ˜€

      3. Privilege is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? It must be nice.
        πŸ˜‰

      4. To be able to forget one’s wounds is a duty. Especially when they come so frequently here in the lawless West. I was just saying to my spouse, “It seems like forever since I was last gunned down. I need to go for more walks.” My spouse agreed.

  11. Lots of local flavour in there! These community history/preservation projects do such great work & it’s good to know PAPHA has City Council support behind it. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jan. It takes a village for culture as well as raising kids. πŸ™‚

  12. Interesting post, John. Never heard of a “kit” house. Amazing how it got moved & changed into a museum. History at it’s best! πŸ’›Elizabeth

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. πŸ™‚

  13. I can’t imagine catching a fish as big as that Tarpon! I’m going to have to Google that to satisfy my curiosity (was it a food fish, or what??). Thanks for another interesting tour, John!

    1. They are boney and not good eating. Most are released after being caught (if they survive)

      1. Thanks, John. Wonder why they’re disappearing, if they’re not used for anything but sport, then tossed back?

      2. They need warm fish water to spawn. The corps of engineers built structures to prevent floods. The Tarpon couldn’t gain access.There still are a lot near Florida.

      3. Okay, thanks for the info! Saves me having to Google it (and I imagine some of your other online friends were wondering, too!) πŸ˜‰

      4. Thanks for asking. πŸ™‚

  14. This was another cool Sunday visit, John. It was fun to see inside the museum (and a pretty building too), and it was interesting to learn part of the process of establishing it too. Have a wonderful new week. Mega hugs.

    1. Thanks, Teagan. Have a wonderful week as well.

  15. What a wonderful place to spend a few hours.

    1. Yes. I would say a few half hours.

      1. Ha ha ha. πŸ˜€

      2. Ha ha ha. πŸ™‚

  16. You share the best stuff, John.
    Thanks again.

  17. I like the idea that it was honky tonk town, but only until the hurricane. Was it a rock and roll hurricane?

    1. Pretty rocky and the surf had a major roll so, yes it was. You are the first to point that out. I think I will suggest a sign revision.

  18. I’ve heard of kit homes but have never seen one. Your museum looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing, John.

    1. Thanks for the visit, Michelle. πŸ™‚

  19. Based on what I’ve seen over the past 30 years, if my husband tried to put together a kit house, we’d have numerous left over parts.

    1. I tend to work that way as well.” Hey! Where did this bolt come from?”

  20. I must visit this museum one day as I did not know about it. And I remember reading about kit houses that you could order from Sears. For a small town Port A gets things done! Another good view of your neighborhood!

    1. Thank you, Jo. The town seems to have a lot going for it.

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