Aransas Pass

Shrimp boats in Aransas Pass

Shrimp boats in Aransas Pass

You'll see many shrimping boats in Redfish Bay near Aransas Pass. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith (Public Domain)
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Promotion: Nearby Map of San Patricio County
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Map of Aransas County

Aransas Pass, across Redfish Bay from Port Aransas in Aransas, San Patricio, and Nueces counties, is named for the pass between Mustang and St. Joseph's islands. The town's early developers wanted to found a great deepwater port city on the Gulf of Mexico. The first attempts to develop the area were made by Pryor Lea, who founded the Aransas Road Company to link the coast with San Antonio by means of both a railroad and a turnpike. The enterprise, however, was a failure. Lea succeeded in building only a short distance of road, and the railroad never advanced beyond the planning stage. In the late 1850s the Central Transit Company, backed by English investors, sought to turn Lea's dream into reality by financing construction of a harbor and the railroad. But with the outbreak of the Civil War the work was interrupted and funding dried up.

Efforts at making the port also began before the Civil War. The United States Army Corps of Engineers studied the possibility of a deepwater port at Aransas Pass harbor in 1853. But it was not until 1879, when a group from Rockport raised $10,000 for the project, that work began in earnest. Congress passed a resolution in 1879 authorizing the deepening of Aransas Pass. Samuel M. Mansfield worked unsuccessfully on this project from May of 1880 to 1885.

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Keith Guthrie | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Aransas Pass is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Aransas Pass is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [1]
  • [Aransas Harbor]


Latitude: 27.88951760
Longitude: -97.11151700

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »