The origins of the Texas Maritime Museum, located in Rockport, can be traced to the Seafair Festival of the late 1970s, an annual Rockport event favored by maritime enthusiasts who would exhibit their personal collections of fishing equipment and mounted trophy fish for festival attendees. By 1989, the museum had found a permanent home, opening its doors to the public and offering exhibits and artifacts of educational value about Texas maritime history. In fact, the museum is the “Official Maritime Museum of Texas”, designated by the Texas Legislature in 1987. In addition, the museum holds a collection of artifacts discovered during the Texas Historical Commission's recent excavation of the French ship La Belle in nearby Matagorda Bay.
Today, the museum’s exhibits are based on four guiding themes: the history and technology of offshore oil and gas development, the history of Texas seaports and maritime commerce, early gulf coast exploration and settlement, and the Texas seafood and fishing industries. The museum’s facilities, housed in a modern interpretation of maritime architecture, are also available to rent for fundraising events and private celebrations.
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