Harbor Island History

The construction of a deep-water port was first authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1911, with an original estimated construction cost of $375,000. Under the authorization, appropriations could not be spent until the Secretary of War “shall be satisfied that the interests of the general public are duly protected in the use of said harbor and that no terminal monopoly will be possible.” The work dredged a 20-foot roadstead at Harbor Island that was 1,200 feet wide and 3,000 feet long between Harbor and St. Joseph Islands. In addition, it established a channel of similar depth – 400 feet wide and 5,420 feet long – from the northern end of the roadstead. A protective stone dike 10,000 feet long on St. Joseph Island – connecting with the north jetty – was also built as part of the overall project. The Texas Legislature later passed a law prohibiting a terminal monopoly at Harbor Island, to comply with the requirements set forth by the federal government.

1911 Appropriations for Construction of Harbor Island Deed Water Terminal.pdf Excerpt from 1913 Report to Chief Engineers Deepwater Port Harbor Island.pdf

Historical Photograph of Port Aransas

Historical Photograph of Port Aransas

Harbor Island circa 1988 and “Bullwinkle” rig

Harbor Island circa 1988 and

Harbor Island Moon Article



Historical Aerial Photographs