The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959 Page: 229
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Logs Reveal Texas Gulf Coast History, 1866-zgoo
turers hid the boat at the old Sidbury Wharf on the Corpus
Christi waterfront. Later log notes reveal that they "found noth-
ing on the boat worth a damn but a compass."
This old harbor lighthouse was originally constructed directly
at the mouth of Aransas Pass, but tidal action built up St. Joseph's
and cut away Mustang Island until the structure was more than
a mile north of the pass. During the Civil War, the expensive
French lens on the lighthouse was removed and buried in the
sand dunes of St. Joseph's Island to prevent Union forces from
using its light. In 1867, according to the logs, the tower was
reconditioned and the original lens restored. This old lighthouse
was abandoned in 1954 and replaced by a signal tower at the
Coast Guard Station near by.
In 1879 log records state that a quarantine station was estab-
lished on Mustang Point at the north end of the island. After a
few months, it was discontinued and another station was built on
the north end of Harbor Island. Later historical data indicate
that this served as the area quarantine station until the 1919 storm
waters destroyed the building.
Mercer records 1870 as the date for the construction of the first
schoolhouse on the island. Alexander Goodbread was the first
teacher in the area and his salary is noted as $40.
The first lifesaving station was built in the area in January,
188o. Bold letters in one of the volumes point out that Captain
John G. Mercer was officer in charge. A two-story house was built
to take care of employees building the Mansfield jetty in the early
188o's. After the jetty work was completed, the building was sold
to Captain Frank Stephenson, who converted it into a hotel. He
later sold the place to Frank Hetfield who enlarged the building
and called it Tarpon Inn, using it to advertise the little town
throughout the country.
During the Ropes real estate boom in the Corpus Christi area
(1889-1891), a channel was dug across Mustang Island and the
little town which sprang up was called Ropesville. The name
was changed to Tarpon after a few years. History records that it
was called such until April 1, 1911, when it became known as
Diary comments make special note of the fact that land was
"selling for $1o an acre" during the 1889-1891 boom period.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959, periodical, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/m1/272/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.