City of Aransas Pass and Chart of Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas. Texas, Maps.
City of Aransas Pass and Chart of Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas

City of Aransas Pass and Chart of Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay, Texas

Dallas: Dallas Litho. Co., [ca. 1905]. Large, double-sided folding map, approximately 28 x 21 inches. Light wear at edges, with a few small chips and short tears; a couple of minor separations along folds and at fold points. Scattered, stray manuscript annotations in pencil and ink. Light toning and dust soiling. About very good. Item #2471

An attractive, double-sided map issued in the early 1900s to promote the supposedly revitalized and apparently rebranded Texas Gulf town of Aransas Pass, "formerly Rockport." The large sheet prints two maps -- the first is a large-scale depiction of the Gulf Coast from Mesquite Bay in the north to Corpus Christi Bay in the south, with the Live Oak Peninsula and the site of Aransas Pass / Rockport at its center; the reverse contains a detailed, shaded plat map of the town, with new additions outlined to the north and west. A lengthy promotional text extols the many recent and imminent improvements and the area's limitless potential for growth, reading in part:

"The site is a magnificent one for a large commercial city, and it is safe to predict, that on the removal of the [sand] bar, Aransas Pass will become the great maritime emporium of the South. The San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway, which has in the last few years built over six hundred miles of railway in Southwest Texas, has made its bay terminus here. This is also the objective point of several new railroads -- some of them under construction -- intended to convey the vast surplus products of the mighty West to meet the ocean steamers of the world at Aransas Pass."

The maps were compiled and drawn by a local engineer, Thomas Millington, likely at the behest of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway, given the prominent depiction of its lines and its repeated mention in the text. The present maps were ultimately only aspirational, however -- the platted area remained known as Rockport, and a smaller town marked here as Aransas Harbor, directly across from the Aransas Pass channel to the Gulf, eventually grew into modern-day Aransas Pass. Moreover, the powerful hurricane of 1916 and the construction of a deepwater port at Corpus Christi in the early 1920s ended the aspirations of the city, regardless of name, to shipping pre-eminence on the South Texas Gulf Coast.

Scarce; we locate copies at SMU, the University of Houston, and the San Jacinto Museum.

Price: $2,500.00

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