We recently received some great photos and memories of life in Port Aransas from Mike Thompson. Mike is a historian and preservationist and “believes all should be preserved and passed on to future generations”. Here is what he’s shared with us to date. It is now in our archive along with 20,000+ images and documents illustrating the history of Port Aransas. Thanks Mike!
Mike moved to Port A in the early 70s and rented a house from Mrs. Pete. During his time here he helped build the Coral Cay condos and the Ice Box convenience store.
His grandparents, Wm. T. and Belle Thompson, moved to Port Aransas around 1910. They are buried in the Twin Palms cemetery. In addition, he’s related to the local Dryers, Bujans and Mathews.
(l to r: Unidentified captain, Stella Olsen, George Weaver and Mike’s great-uncle, John Thompson, with hands on hips)
Port Aransas Water Front 1930s
Cousin Eddie Thompson
Right of Tarpon
“I had heard that it was Eddie Thompson that took President Roosevelt tarpon fishing but suspect Eddie only worked for Barney Farley as a fishing guide at this time and may have assisted somehow with the presidents fishing trip. Eddie Thompson and Barney Farley went to Love Field together at the start of WWII and trained as aircraft mechanics in the Army Air Corps.
Grandad told me they took,” Johnson Grass” down to Port A from Dallas to replant and try to protect the dunes. I do not know what to make of that story…
Grandad also told me that during the 1919 storm his parents and all the others go on top of the tallest sand dune to survive. His mother saved only her sewing machine. Many drowned at Corpus and the bodies were taken out and dumped in the ocean but washed back to shore. These were piled up on the beach and burned with coal oil.
Uncle John Thompson’s wrecked vehicle while crossing the old wooden causeway
(The car is a Packard Coupe, looks like a ’35 model)
Mercer and Roberts, Mustang Island via Rockport postal cover, circa 1874
(Obviously related to Robert Mercer somehow but I don’t know who the Roberts fellow is)
The Aransas Harbor City and Improvement Co., 1893
W.R. Roberts, Aransas Pass Ship Chandlers, 1886
Port Aransas Ferry Line, 1930s
Port Aransas Ferry Line in the 1930s
From atop the Tarpon Inn