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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rockport in Aransas County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Shipyards in Rockport

 
 
Shipyards in Rockport Marker image. Click for full size.
By Norman Frank, August 27, 2012
1. Shipyards in Rockport Marker
Inscription. Shipbuilding was a natural industry for Rockport. The earliest recorded ship built here was the Connie, constructed in 1880 by Bludworth & Company. The Bludworth family specialized in building pleasure craft and scows.

In 1917, World War I prompted construction of a large shipyard at the south end of Water Street by Fred and C.A. Heldenfels. With over 900 employees, the Heldenfels company built four 281-foot wooden cargo vessels for use in the war effort, but these were not completed until after the war had ended. On July 31, 1919, the first ship, the Baychester, was launched, followed by the Zuniga on September 9. The Jasper and the Manchester were completed as barges in 1920.

In the early 1950s, Jackson Seafood built its own fleet of six wood-hull shrimp boats. In the early 1960, Jackson Marine Services, Inc., leased the Rice shipyard site to make boat repairs.

In 1935, T. Noah Smith founded Rockport Yacht and Supply Company (RYSCO) to repair commercial and recreational vessels. Bu 1940, the firm was building its own design of wooden-steel hulls. Due to the rising cost of diesel fuel and foreign competition, RYSCO closed in 1986.

In 1941, Rob Roy Rice opened a shipyard to build U.S. Navy vessels. In four years, Rice built twenty-four 110-foot wooden-hull
Entrance to Jetty - Marker is on left of entrance image. Click for full size.
By Norman Frank, August 27, 2012
2. Entrance to Jetty - Marker is on left of entrance
submarine chasers and four 65-foot rescue boats. The rice shipyard closed in 1945, after the end of the war.

This marker erected in 2011 through support from these entities:

Visionaries in Preservation, Aransas County Historical Society, Inc., Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Tropical Trail/Texas Historical Commission, Aransas County Historical Commission, City of Rockport, and Margaret Sue Rust Foundation. (This is Marker Number 2 of the Rockport Pathways to History series.)
 
Erected 2011 by Visionaries in Preservation, Aransas County Historical Society, Inc., Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Tropical Trail/Texas Historical Commission, Aransas County Historical Commission, City of Rockport, and Margaret Sue Rust Foundation. (Marker Number 2.).
 
Location. 28° 1.144′ N, 97° 3.012′ W. Marker is in Rockport, Texas, in Aransas County. Marker is at the intersection of Water Street and East Market Street, on the right when traveling north on Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is at the entrance to the Jetty at the east end of E. Market Street approximately one small block east of the corner of E. Market Street and Water Street. Marker is in this post office area: Rockport TX 78382, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking
First Eight Signs for Rockport's Pathways to History image. Click for full size.
By Norman Frank, August 27, 2012
3. First Eight Signs for Rockport's Pathways to History
distance of this marker. Baylor-Norvell House ( about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sorenson-Stair Building ( approx. 0.2 miles away); Rockport’s Grand Hotels ( approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Aransas Hotel ( approx. 0.2 miles away); Rockport’s Wharves and Pavilions ( approx. 0.2 miles away); The Rockport Pilot ( approx. ¼ mile away); The Packeries of Rockport ( approx. ¼ mile away); The Old Beach Road ( approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rockport.
 
More about this marker. Park in the parking for the jetty. As you start onto the jetty, the marker is to the immediate left. Jetty is handicap accessible.
 
Additional keywords. Jetty, Market Street
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Last Six Markers in the Rockport Pathways to History marker series image. Click for full size.
By Norman Frank, August 27, 2012
4. Last Six Markers in the Rockport Pathways to History marker series
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2012, by Norman Frank of Rockport, Texas. This page has been viewed 483 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 27, 2012, by Norman Frank of Rockport, Texas. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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