• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

The Nineteenth Century

Photo of a woman believed to have been Mary B. Lively, who settled on the island just prior to the Civil War with her husband Amos Lively and her family.

Photo of a woman believed to have been Mary Bartlett Lively, who settled on the island with her husband Amos and family just prior to the Civil War.

Photo courtesy of Matt Anderson (a descendant of Amos and Mary Lively).

During the nineteenth century, the island changed from an isolated wilderness to settled ranchland. The transition was mostly peaceful, with only one minor skirmish occuring on the island during the Civil War.

The nineteenth century also saw the appearance and then disppearance of several local industries that endeavored to make commercial use of the island's natural resources: primarily salt and birds. Another business the island saw come and go was the salvaging and selling of wrecked ships, jetsam, and other debris that washed onto the shoreline. This was known as the "wrecking industry".

Finally, during the times when epidemics (such as yellow fever) were common in the U.S., the island had a quarantine station operated by the city of Corpus Christi at what is now Packery Channel.

Did You Know?

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The wreck of three Spanish ships near the southern end of Padre Island in 1554 was the greatest disaster to hit the Spanish fleet in the New World up to that time. More...