Special to the Parade
New to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Port Isabel by local author Valerie D. Bates. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images and memories of days gone by.
The book will be available for sale on Monday, February 4.
In the 1830s, a small community known as El Fronton de Santa Isabel set roots on the banks of the Laguna Madre Bay. Official claim for the land was granted to Don Rafael Garcia as part of the Potrero (“Pasture”) de Santa Isabel in 1828. Less than two decades later, Point Isabel was home to Zachary Taylor’s Fort Polk and found itself a home base during the Mexican-American War.
In 1853 construction was completed on the Point Isabel lighthouse, a navigational beacon with a 16-mile view. Port Isabel was incorporated in 1928 and a deep-water port shipped its first commercial load in 1937. By the 1950s, Port Isabel was the “Shrimping Capital of the World,” and the first Queen Isabella Causeway connected South Padre Island to the mainland.
Port Isabel continues to deepen its roots on the banks of the Laguna Madre Bay. Heritage and cultural tourism, a relaxed quality of life and an appreciation for all things coastal are synonymous with Port Isabel.