KEY OF THE GULF
One of three unique museums comprising the Museums of Port Isabel, the Port Isabel Historical Museum chronicles the history of the city and neighboring South Padre Island. It’s a considerably robust history, spanning the centuries between the area’s original inhabitants, the Coahuilitican Indians, and the modern-day shrimp and sports fishing industry. The museum features two levels of exhibits, artifacts, videos, and interactive displays, including one of the nation’s largest collections of military artifacts from the U.S.-Mexican War.
The museum building is also a part of local history. Constructed in 1899, the structure was built by Charles Champion, son of an Italian immigrant who settled in Texas in 1855. Champion, born in Old Point Isabel, served as Hidalgo County district clerk before pursuing a career as merchant. Once completed, Champion named his building “The Key of the Gulf”. The new building housed a general store, the U.S. Customs House, and a post office.
Port Isabel Historical Museum
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