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Historical Commission History

The Legislature of the State of Texas, in 1953, began the Texas State Historical Survey Committee. This Committee was to identify historical sites across the state. On January 18, 1963 County Judge Wendell appointed to the Aransas County Historical Survey Committee: J.L. Baugham, Mrs. E.J. Johnson, Mrs. W.B. Allen, Iris Sorenson, and Vernon Kleypass. During this time, historic markers were placed and repaired.

Aransas County Historical Survey Committee was changed by the State of Texas to the Aransas County Historical Commission (ACHC). County Judge Wendell, on November 30, 1972, appointed: Chairman-E.J. Johnson, Ettoil Eller, Vernon Kleypass, Wanda Sparks, John Kinsey, and Gladys Gibson. The Aransas County Commissioners Court appoints citizens to be on the ACHC for a two-year term. This process is repeated by the 254 counties of Texas. The ACHC preserves, identifies, protects and interprets the prehistoric and historic structures and sites.

Then in February 11, 1985- The Court of Commissioners approved special funds to ACHC. This account was administered through the County Treasurer for collection of donations and disbursement for the moving and preservation of the Stella Maris Chapel (Star of the Sea Chapel). The Chapel was acquired and a Texas Historical Marker dedicated in 1986.

March 13, 1985 - The ACHC met with the following attending Commissioners: Robert Jackson, Chairman; Danny Agler, Marguerite House, Dolly Close, Bernard Short, Loretta Schinder, Jackie Shaw, Mildred Grant, Mavis Lloyd, Ruby Hart, Genevieve Hunt, Peggy McLester, and Barbara Armstrong. At this meeting the Aransas County Historical Society (ACHS) was formed. The ACHS was formed to raise funds and secure the move of the Chapel from the Schoenstatt property in Lamar. The sisters needed the space for a new chapel and dormitory building. The Historical Society raised more than $70,000 and the Chapel was moved to its present site near the Lamar Cemetery.

Over the years the Historical Commission has dedicated around 40 Historical Markers and recently added the Windstorm Exemption Program to protect structures over fifty years old. In 2009 the Connnission and Historical Society developed a partnership to more actively promote historical preservation. They created a strategic plan through the Visionaries in Preservation (VIP) of the Texas Historical Commission. All of these accomplishments are due to the diligence and dedication of citizen volunteers who gave us a foundation to build upon. Future strategies to preserve the heritage of Rockport-Fulton will continue to be a high priority of the ACHC.

The Aransas County Clerk's Office has the Commissioners' Court Minutes on computer from 1872 to the present available to the public.