History Corner – Columns by J Guthrie Ford

Articles about Port Aransas History by JG Ford. Published first in the Port Aransas South Jetty.

Harbor Island Once Bustling

June 28th, 2014|History Corner - Columns by J Guthrie Ford|

by John Guthrie Ford While waiting at the Harbor Island ferry landing with my out-of-state guests, a woman asked me, “Why didn’t this place develop?” I saw her point. Abandoned buildings and the lack of activity hardly reflect that Harbor Island was once a beehive of maritime activities. The dream In the late 1800s, the [...]

Most Historical Boat: Farley Boat

June 28th, 2014|History Corner - Columns by J Guthrie Ford|

by John Guthrie Ford In 1910, Barney Farley, aspiring to be a tarpon fishing guide, was living in Port Aransas, while his brother Fred, an experienced wood worker, resided in Rockport. As Barney was learning the ropes, he observed that a reliable and reasonably priced powerboat would be a boon to the guide business. He [...]

Odyssey of Cabeza de Vaca

June 13th, 2013|History Corner - Columns by J Guthrie Ford|

by John Guthrie Ford Cabeza de Vaca—cow’s head—is an unusual name having a controversial origin. Some scholars believe the following account is mythical, while others believe it is true. During Spain’s 13th Century war against the Moors, the maneuvering of a Spanish army was hindered by some craggy mountains. A local peasant stepped forward and [...]

Wood: A Prime Commodity

May 13th, 2013|History Corner - Columns by J Guthrie Ford|

by John Guthrie Ford Trees were once plentiful on Mustang Island. When the Karankawa natives roamed the island from 1250-1830, they cut willow tree branches to make shelters called ba-aks. Compared to the people who came after them, the Karankawa were relatively easy on island trees. Beginning in 1838, some mainland cattle ranchers established satellite [...]