On the northwest shore of Sabine Lake nine miles from the Gulf
of Mexico, the site of settlement known as Aurora in 1840. The
city named after Arthur E. Stilwell, Kansas City financier, who
was instrumental in building railroad to edge of townsite. Home
of Lamar University at Port Arthur (formerly Port Arthur College).
Queen of Peace statue and Oriental gardens at 801 9th Avenue are
especially beautiful when decorated with 700,000 lights at Christmas.
The city is a year-round fisherman's destination. Average temperature
varies from 55 degrees in winter to 82 in summer. At 3401 Cultural
Center Drive (9th Street exit from Texas 73), Port Arthur Convention
and Visitors Bureau sells an area Waters Guide showing many excellent
locations to catch more than 25 varieties of freshwater and saltwater
fish, along with charts, marina, fuel and services information.
Cargo tonnage, annually averaging about 23,000,000, justifies
the claim "We Oil the World." because nearly a million
barrels of crude oil are refined in the area daily.
MUSEUM OF THE GULF COAST
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
PORT OF PORT ARTHUR
RAINBOW AND VETERANS BRIDGES
SABINE PASS BATTLEGROUND STATE HISTORICAL PARK
SEA RIM STATE PARK
SOUTHEAST TEXAS MUSICAL HERITAGE MUSEUM
- MUSEUM OF THE GULF COAST - Depicts
great strides made in the span of Port Arthur's history. Relics
from the battle of Sabine Pass, mortgage note issued by Santa
Anna ($500 mortgage bond issued by the Mexican general on his
personal property to raise funds for his army), and an Edison
Talking Machine. In Gates Memorial Library at 317 Stilwell Boulevard.
- NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES -
McFadden and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges are to the
south on the Gulf along Texas 87. At Sabine Pass is Texas Point
Refuge, once called Sea Rim. As with other Gulf Coast refuges
in the state, tremendous concentrations of waterfowl are seen
as well as a great variety - more than 60,000 snow geese (along
with the white-fronted and Canada geese) use the marsh; 23 species
of ducks are represented and the number on the refuges reaches
100,000. The mottled duck, the only resident water-fowl species,
uses the marsh for its summer nesting habitat. The McFaddin Refuge
contains one of the densest populations of American alligators
in Texas. Public activities include wildlife observation, photography,
waterfowl hunting, fishing and crabbing. McFaddin Refuge office
on Shell Oil Company road off Texas 87.
- PLEASURE ISLAND - Connected
to the city by M.L. King Gulfgate Bridge that arcs 138 feet above
the ship channel; access from island via Texas 82 causeway to
Cameron Parish, LA. Island is in Sabine Lake,
100 square miles of free roadside fishing levees from which
anglers take redfish, drum, speckled, trout, croakers, and other
species; excellent crabbing year round.
- POMPEIIAN VILLA - Built for
Issac Ellwood, "Barbed-Wire King," in 1900; sold to
president of Diamond Match Co., who traded it for Texas Company
(Texaco) stock worth $10,000. Stock's value now would exceed $1
billion. House is on the National Register of Historic Places.
1953 Lakeshore Drive.
- PORT OF PORT ARTHUR - From an observation
deck view the harbor and "Big Arthur" - the largest
gantry crane on the Gulf coast. Port tours by appointment: At
east end of Houston Avenue and Lakeshore Drive.
- RAINBOW AND VETERANS BRIDGES
- A high, graceful arc on Texas 87 spans the Neches River joining
Orange and Bridge City on the north with Port Arthur to the south.
The two-lane, vintage
Rainbow Bridge, completed in 12938, spans salt marshes and
industrial river channel for 1.5 miles including approaches. The
bridge's 177 foot clearance height resulted from requirement that
any U.S. Navy ship could pass under'; the tallest ship of the
Navy's 1938 fleet was a dirigible tender that never sailed up
Veterans Bridge was completed in 1991; with 143 foot navigation
clearance, it is the first cable-stayed bridge on Texas highways.
Park is at the south end and has playground, picnicking, and a
good view of the bridge and ships in the intra-coastal waters.
- SABINE PASS BATTLEGROUND STATE HISTORICAL
PARK - Site of astonishing Civil War battle of September
8, 1863, a Union attempt to invade Texas at Sabine Pass. The Union
fleet numbered some 20 vessels and 5,000 men; Confederate defense
was small earthwork, six cannon, and 42 men under Lts. Richard
W. Dowling and N.H. Smith. Confederate fire so devastating that
three Union gunboats were crippled in 45 minutes, two captured.
Federals lost 65 men killed, wounded and missing. 315 taken prisoner
by the Confederates who suffered no casualties. Remaining Union
force retired to new Orleans. Dominating today's park is a statue
of Dick Dowling on the base of Texas pink granite. Boat ramp,
fish-cleaning shelter, rest rooms, picnic facilities with water
and grills. Fine view of ships entering and leaving the Gulf of
Mexico. South 15 miles on F.M. 3322 off Texas 87. Day use only.
- SEA RIM STATE PARK - With a 5.2
mile coastline and 15,109 acres of marshland, the park offers
a variety of recreational opportunities. From the visitors center,
a boardwalk nature trail acquaints the visitor with marsh ecology.
Boat trails provide access to the marsh. Camping in designated
areas (with hookups), along the beach, or on platforms in marsh
area. Abundant wildlife. Fishing, swimming. On Texas 87, 14 miles
- SOUTHEAST TEXAS MUSICAL HERITAGE MUSEUM
- Rock star Janis Joplin, born here in 1943, is remembered with
a bust and memorabilia at the Gates Memorial Library where she
once worked. Some two dozen other area musical stars are also
memorialized with busts and memorabilia such as gold records and
costumes worn at special events. Included are such stars as J.P.
"Big Bopper" Richardson, Jr. Richard Valens and Tex
Ritter. In Gates Memorial Museum, at 317 Stilwell Boulevard.
- WHITE HAVEN - Victorian elegance
fills this Southern Greek Revival mansion in the city's Historical
District. Porcelains from the 18th and 19th Centuries, unique
candelabra from Persia, historic furniture pieces. 2545 Lakeshore
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This file was last modified Thursday, 12-Oct-95 01:44:33