Views of the Neighborhood – The Eight Wonders of Port Aransas

Of all the treasures in Port Aransas, the Museum has selected eight which have been labeled The Eight Wonders of Port Aransas. I thought it would be fun to take a look at what the museum considers the eight wonders.

Light house

Number one is the Lighthouse. Construction started in 1854, and the first light went on in 1857. The beacon could be seen as far out as seven miles into the Gulf. It was an operational lighthouse for Ninety -nine years before decommissioning. (photo courtesy of The Port Aransas Museum)

Eight Wonders of Port Aransas

Number two is the jetties. There are two and were built to stop the erosion of the ship channel. Work was begun in 1862, but it was not until 1910 that the jetties were constructed finally strong enough to withstand the sea force.

The third is the Tarpon Inn. So named after a popular gamefish that is now extinct from the Port Aransas waters. The hotel was built in 1886 just when it was clear that the jetties would be successful in protecting the ship channel from deterioration. The channel meant new visitors and new business opportunity.

I couldn’t get the Tarpon Inn in one shot so here is another

The fourth wonder is the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. Established in 1941 the institute has educated thousands of scientists on how to move marine science forward. Here is a picture of the educational center.

The fifth is the Port Aransas Museum. It is housed in a building that was initially a “kit ” home built in 1914. It has been moved three times around the island. It served as the life-saving station from 1916 to 1925 and then a private residence for seventy-seven years until donated to the museum.

The sixth is the Farley Boat Works. Founded in 1915 the works made boats that could withstand the heavy surf around Port Aransas. They were used primarily as fishing boats. The works continued to make boats until 1970. In 2011 the Farley Boat Works began making crafts once again.

Chapel in the Dunes

The seventh is the Chapel in the Dunes. It is atop the highest dune in Port Aransas. It was built in 1937 to serve as a devotional place for the Carter family. It also became the center for ice cream socials for the children of Port Aransas held by Arline Carter know as the “Angel Lady.”

The last Farley Boat

Photo courtesy of The Port Aransas Museum

The eighth wonder is the Last Farley Boat. The last boat to leave the boat works. It was a finished hull bought by James Mayfield a local shrimper. He was going to have the shell made into a new shrimp boat. He never got around to it and instead inverted the hull to form a roof on his shop.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of the Eight Wonders of Port Aransas

 

59 comments

  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    What a wonderful journey this Sunday morning! I especially love the chapel and the Last Farley Boat. Both have quite a story to tell. Enjoy the day, hopefully, one of sunshine and warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thak you, Gwen. The sun is peeking out now and then.

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  2. John,

    Love the eight wonders tour. The chapel bears a remarkable resemblance to Wilson- Tom Hanks bestie in Castaway. I do realize this is a result of the photographers vantage point. And I am appreciative of that, 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post, with some fun memories. The staysail boom from a boat I sailed for years was stored in the old lighthouse while the previous owners were cruising.

    Do you happen to know if the tarpon scale that President Roosevelt signed is still around, or was it lost when the Tarpon Inn was damaged? As for the tarpon, they’re still around, and are being caught all along the Louisiana-Texas coastline. I hear the guides on our fishing show talk about them from time to time, including some from your area. Here’s a recent video of a catch from the Port A jetties. Jetty tarpon are smaller, but there are big ones being caught farther out during the season. At the end of the video, it shows the fellow who caught the fish taking two of the scales — one for him, and one for the Tarpon Inn. Tradition lives!

    The Chapel in the Dunes is new to me. I’ve never even heard of it, but it looks lovely. It’s on my list if I ever can get down that way. And I love that last Farley boat. I think the Museum chose well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, Roosevelts scale is still there. The Tarpon caught in Port A are few and far between and yes small. When I used “extinct” I should have used rare. The Chapel is to not miss. It is all painted inside with murals depicting scenes from the bible..

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  4. You do have some unique sights in your town. So happy to see history maintained for a change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do that here pretty well. If it is strong enough to withstand a hurricane it is venerated.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for interesting excursion, dear John! Indeed the world is full of wonders. We should only know to contemplate them! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Contemplation is the key to appreciation. Thans, Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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  6. What a great post, John! There’s certainly a lot of history in your charming town. Do you know if the Port Aransas Museum was moved due to storms or just growth? Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It passed hands and each time it moved. The last was a donation by the family to the Museum with the stipulation that they move it to it’s present location.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Good pictures, John. This is interesting and educational. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I enjoyed the tour John. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lynne. 😀

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  9. Great tour this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charles.

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  10. Transitionally there are seven wonders – but Port Aransas is too wonderful to be so limited. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, The museum made it eight.

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  11. Most enjoyable… ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Billy Ray

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  12. Those are remarkable, John. I love lighthouses, and that one is a beauty. Is it open to the public as a tourist attraction? I also really like the story of the last Farley boat. That’s a pretty good use of a boat hull. I think the museum did a good job. Thanks for bring them together for us to tour. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is not open to the public since it sits on private land. You can cruise by in a boat but cannot land. Thanmks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Fun, John. Is the Tarpon Inn still open? And how do you pronounce Aransas? Accent on which syllable?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is still open. Ah-RAN-zis is how it is pronounced

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  14. Love it, John. Thank you. I’d like to see them restore tarpon in your area one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure it’s going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Marine species are harder than freshwater.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We can hope. They are catching some very small Tarpon but not many.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    What a great tour we got today! I really liked turning the hull into a roof:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right. Only here would that happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I loved all these but the first and last shots are fascinating and mesmerizing.
    Great work as always, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Hook.

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  17. Thank you for the lovely tour, John.
    Besides Marc’s comment on the chapel looking like “Wilson”, I think it is the prettiest of all the wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I enjoyed visiting Port A. today, John — thank you for this interesting, educational excursion. I like the chapel, but the Tarpon Inn fascinates me. I’m surprised all those fences and railings have been able to withstand hurricanes (or perhaps it’s located far away from their paths?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t get hit too hard this time around. I do think all the rooms had some kind of damage but since it was built with solid timbers I think it’s going to be around a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I love all of these “wonders” but the lighthouse is the one that draws me. I have always been fascinated by the keepers of the sea and love stories that involve them. Thank you, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Obviously I love those stories too, Jan. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Every post where you share information and photos of Port Aransas, I am amazed at the history preserved there. This one is my favorite so far. The lighthouse, Tarpon Inn, and the Farley boat are my favorites. But then there are the jetties which are fascinating in themselves and the kit house and one can’t forget the chapel. I can only imagine what one could learn at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and a tour of the Farley Boat Works would undoubtedly reveal some interesting boat building secrets. Let’s just face it, there is no way to pick a favorite here. F-a-b-u-;l-o-u-s post, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michelle. We do have a lot of history here and folks do their best to preserve it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I love these posts, such a great way to ‘meet’ a town. The chapel in the dunes is stunning. I’m instantly planning a whole story set there…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good ide, Jessica. Here is a link for more info. https://portaransasmuseum.org/tours/chapel-tour/

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Now this post is fabulous. What a way to display town treasures. Thank you, John!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Frank. 😀

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  23. Thanks for showing us around, John. I’m glad you’ve eight, rather than seven, wonders. Port Aransas Museum looks very quaint.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Museum declaired the eight. Everything’s bigger in Texas.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Delightful tour of Port Arkansas, John. Was the kit house from Sears? It doesn’t look like one. I love the chapel in the dunes and the story of the angel lady. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if it was Sears or not. I’ll do a little more digging and get back. Thanks, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, John!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Lots of fun delving into local history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad. It was fun for me for sure.

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  26. What a great idea for tourism, establishing your own ‘wonders’ list. Enjoyed the tour!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Love the Lighthouse. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. Thanks, Rhonda.

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