Corpus Christi: Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History
Photo by Valerie D. Bates
GULF COAST HERITAGE
The Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History represents the Texas gulf coast heritage and natural sciences with 40,000 square feet of exhibits, many of them showcasing 500 years of South Texas history. Artifacts like horse-drawn buggies from early Corpus Christi avenues and tools made by members of the Karankawa tribe share space with Texas gulf coast shipwrecks and their “booty”. In fact, the museum explores two of the most important shipwrecks that occurred off Texas beaches – French explorer Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle’s La Belle, a barque longue that sunk a quarter of a mile offshore in present-day Matagorda Bay in 1685, and three Spanish treasure ships wrecked by a squall off the coast of Padre Island in 1556. Among the museum’s shipwreck holdings are cannons, anchors, and ship timbers as well as gold and silver trade goods, including a tiny, exquisitely hand-crafted golden crucifix.
The museum, established in 1952, anchors the city’s scenic harbor waterfront of the S.E.A. District (Sports, Entertainment and Arts). The museum also features a number of interactive exhibits including the McGregor Gallery kiosk where visitors may browse hundreds of archived photographs of the city’s past, part of photographer Doc McGregor’s portfolio of Corpus Christi images, then print and purchase their favorites to hang on their own walls.
Watch the following videos to learn more about the Texas Historical Commission's excavation of the French ship La Belle and its artifacts. These videos were produced for inclusion in the La Salle Odysessy tour found in our Texas Time Travel mobile app. Find out more about the tour on the La Salle Odysessy theme page: http://texastimetravel.com/node/28706