Monday, May 28, 2012


Everything in this story comes from a reader.  Thanks

UPDATE: - I did not know that the comment section on the SAVE BOCA CHICA BLOGSPOT was not turned on - it is now

People only we can stop this. Our elected officials are dupes. They have taken the bait in the same old corporate game used time and time again. You announce so many cities are in the running for a new plant, stadium or whatever and then watch how the local politicos fall over one another offering to give up their own children is their community gets the deal.

We must submit comments in opposition to SpaceX by May 30! or fax to 410-990-0455.


CLARKSVILLE, TEXAS (Cameron County). Clarksville was near the mouth of the Rio Grande, opposite the Mexican city of Bagdad. During the Mexican War a temporary army camp stood there, with William H. Clark, a civilian, in charge. Clark set up a country store and served as agent for the steamship lines using the port. The town quickly developed; houses were built up on stilts to be above high water. During the early part of the Civil War Clarksville thrived on the trade of the Confederate blockade-runners, but in 1863 it was captured by federals, who held it most of the time until the end of the war. The last battle of the war was fought four miles away at Palmito Ranchqv. In 1867 Clarksville was almost destroyed by a hurricane but survived during the days of the river steamer. In 1872 it received another blow when the railway was built from Brownsville to Point Isabel, and severe storms in 1874 and 1886 finished it. In 1953 the river had changed its course and flowed over the site of Clarksville.

Houston Chronicle, April 19, 1926. Dick King, Ghost Towns of Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1953). Florence J. Scott, Old Rough and Ready on the Rio Grande (San Antonio: Naylor, 1935

I did not know this about Clarksville.  There needs to be an historical marker placed at the mouth of the river making note of this.  It would be awesome if a properly sanctioned archaeological dig could be organized to bring life back to this very important city in terms of America's civil war history.  This is something tourist would go see.


The Texas Open Beaches Act states “The public ... shall have the free and unrestricted right of ingress and egress to and from the state-owned beaches.”


Anonymous said...

How many tourists visit Palmito Hill each year? Do you have any figures that would help preserve the history of such event especially in our community of South Texas?

BobbyWC said...

Good question - I have never visited it - beyond driving by the marker -

here is the problem - Brownsville and cameron county has these places and nothing is really done to develope them.

The Alamo is really nothing more than a place - the city restored one building put in a few artifacts - has someone telling history and they are making a fortune on the attraction.

If Palmito Hill has some building or anything which reconstructs what happened people would go - if Boca Chica had a small remake of the original Clarkville fort - even if all it was tents - and markers which tell the story - maybe even a replica of the old store - people would go - of course it would need to be done in a way which protects the plant life - but as it is - on any give day the area is already filled with people fishing

You know, I have family coming next month - when we go to Boca Chica I will be taking my nephews to the mouth of the river - I believe it has social, political and historical value for them to see it

Brownsville and Cameron County simply do not promote the history

I remember a story of maybe General Pershing on horseback chasing Pancho Villa's men down Elizabeth street

If this is true there should be an annual reenactment -

Brownsville has so much history

Bobby WC

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I like the project. I dont want to stop it and I don't know anyone who does, personally. I have visited Palmito Hill, Camp Belknap and the mouth of the River many times. I have enjoyed the view of the ancient pilings. Maybe if this project causes utilities to be extended out Hwy 4, then it could be a lynch pin to these sites being developed with visitor centers in a manner similar to Palo Alto. Our history is extensive, and it is under appreciated. Maybe centers such as these will help our locals understand the importance of the land we occupy. And to those who say that utilities will cause Boca Chica to become South Padre...It won't! The Federal Government owns 97 percent of the land anywhere toward the beach. I support this project, and I hope it comes to fruition.

Anonymous said...

Exactly as I feared. Already hopes that if utilities are extended to Boca Chica we can get some of those "projects" developed. Let's put up some historical centers and a visitor's center. We will then need bathrooms and maybe a snack bar and on and on it will go. And, to pay for the centers and upkeep and to repair all the vandalism, we will need a beach access fee. It might not be Padre Island but it won't be Boca Chica.
And the same goes for Palmetto Hill. Check out how degraded the habitats are out there and yet they hold so much life. Any construction will probably be on the higher elevations known as lomitas (little hills) to avoid flooding. These lomitas are a biologically unique area in the world. Not another inch should be cleared. And the same for the coastal prairie out there. In the alternative I would suggest an information center somewhere in the vicinity of the border patrol checkpoint with monuments at the actual sites. By keeping any buildings in one spot it minimizes the impact on the environment and probably reduces construction costs. Being near the checkpoint may redue vandalism.
Also, it is a false statement to say that Boca Chica will never become Padre Island. I've lived here long enough to have hung out on the Island when there were only three free standing restaurants and only a small handful of hotel/motels and look at it now.