About Port Aransas,
of Port Aransas
Port Aransas is a resort and fishing community on Mustang
Island twenty-four miles east of Corpus Christi in extreme
eastern Nueces County. It began as a sheep and cattle
grazing station established by Robert A. Mercer of Lancaster,
England, in 1850, when he settled on nearby St. Joseph
Island. In 1855 he built a cabin on Mustang Island and
moved there. William and Ed Mercer built a store on
the island in November 1880. In June 1890 Elihu Harrison
Ropes began an unsuccessful project to build a thirty-foot
channel across the island to give Corpus Christi a direct
connection with the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico.
The community's first post office was established in
1888 and called Ropesville. In 1896 the name was changed
to Tarpon to celebrate the local fishing. On April 1,
1911, the name Port Aransas was adopted. A school, known
as Mustang Island School, was established around 1900.
In 1914 it became the Port Aransas Independent School
District. The town, which incorporated, had a population
of fifty in 1925 and 300 in 1931. Since World War II
Port Aransas has grown rapidly as a resort because of
the miles of public beach and the attractive opportunities
for fishing, swimming, surfing, and camping.