The small town of Rockport, Texas ( population about 7,500 ) is a resort town on the Gulf Coast. Considering the history of severe tropical storms and hurricanes, it works hard to preserve any historic buildings that have withstood such harsh weather conditions. This photo shows the home built in 1868-69, by John Mathis. Mr. Mathis was instrumental in laying out the plans for the town of Rockport, and was its first mayor in 1870.
Besides the historic structure, the windswept oak trees are listed as a tourist attraction!
Being surrounded by water, it is not surprising that boating is a very popular activity in the area.
These weather-beaten docks are all the evidence that remains of the town's once-prominent place in the shipbuilding industry.
Theshoreline has been improved over the past decade to make it more accessible to those wanting to fish from the bank, rather than a boat.
Many of the properties that line the bay are available for rental to visitors, on both a short term or long term basis.
This plaque along the shoreline provides a glimpse into Rockport's Shipyards history. The first record of a ship being built here was 1880. More ship-building took place for World War I, with the presence of a large shipyard that had over 900 employees in 1917. Shipbuilding also took place here during World War II. More information on the history of this area is available by clicking on www.rockport-fulton.org .
One of the buildings that I visited downtown has been restored into an indoor galleria, where one can wonder the halls and find a variety of retail establishments.
There was a time when Rockport's future looked very dismal, especially with the decline of the shipbuilding industries; however, more recently, there seems to "be a light at the end of the tunnel", in terms of economic recovery.
One thing helping to provide this light, is Rockport's art scene. This oil painting was on display, with the addition of real electric lights, at the top of each painted lighthouse, in one of the local galleries.
Many of Rockport's shops have a birding theme, because this area is known as one of the major birding areas in the USA. Twice a year, thousands of migratory waterfowl and other birds arrive to nest and breed on the nearby islands and estuaries.
Stores offering bird identification books for the hundreds of birders who visit, are a welcome sight to those who want to enjoy some "fowl play" while in the area.
By remodeling rundown buildings on Austin Street for use as galleries and studios, the Rockport Art Association sparked a restoration of neighboring buildings that now house shops and restaurants.
The efforts of the Rockport Art Association can be an example to other small towns, interested in rekindling their market share of the tourism industry. I am using this image as a visual aid to help me remember one of my First Place 4 Health ( www.FirstPlace4Health.com ) memory verses that says, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 . I am thankful that God's plan for me included a visit to Rockport, Texas, because it gave me "MILES OF SMILES"! Tricia