History

Thu
23
Jan

Nuckols Hotel built shortly after Bay City’s founding

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Nuckols Family in Front of the Nuckols Hotel: Standing, from left, Trannie, Beulah, Andrew, Etta, Harvey, Carrie and Willie; seated, from left, Sarah Jane, Clyde and John V. Nuckols. Daughter Nora was living in Beaumont at the time of the picture and was not present.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   On the southwest corner of the square in Bay City there was once a large, two story frame structure known as the Nuckols Hotel. 
   Shortly after Bay City was founded in October, 1894, John Nuckols built the town's first hotel. 
   Adjacent to the two-story Nuckols House, situated on the west side of the square, was a vegetable and flower garden.
   This hostelry bore the name if its owners, John V. and Sarah Jane Nuckols, and served as a “home” to the travelers coming in and out of Bay City for many years. 
   During the devastating storm of 1909, it served as headquarters for those helping with relief work in the storm stricken area, and the Nuckols girls cooked and served meals, dried wet clothing, and provided what help they could for the weary storm victims. 

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Thu
23
Jan

Nuckols fire destroyed 4,000 rent control documents

Photo Courtesy of Matagorda County Museum
Nuckols Hotel was engulfed in flames in this photo of the 1945 fire.

   BAY CITY. Feb. 9. (U.P.) - A fire which took place yesterday leveled the old Nuckols Hotel, Bay City’s oldest building and last remaining wooden structure on the town square, destroyed the rent control registrations of 4,000 houses and apartments in Jackson, Matagorda and Calhoun Counties, it was disclosed today.
   Total damage, including that to the nearby LeTulle Building, was estimated at $50,000.
   Area rent control headquarters were located on the lower floor of the two-story hotel building. 
   The fire, believed to have originated from an oil stove, demolished the old two-story hotel building, despite the efforts of fire fighters from Bay City, El Campo, Wharton and West Columbia.
   The blaze gutted the upper floor of the two-story brick LeTulle building, destroying valuable law books and other property in attorneys’ and doctors’ offices.
   Victoria Advocate, February 9, 1945

 

Thu
16
Jan

Railroad served plantation community

Hawkinsville is shown on this 1907 postal map

Handbook of Texas Online

    Hawkinsville was a plantation community seventeen miles from what is now Van Vleck in southeastern Matagorda County. 
   It was at a site on Caney Creek, where the rich bottomlands supported a thriving plantation economy before the Civil War.   
   The Hawkinsville Tap of the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway, which ran parallel to what is now Farm road 457, had reached Hawkinsville by 1903. 
   The community was named for plantation owner James Boyd Hawkins, who in 1840 or 1845 brought his wife and a number of slaves to lower Caney Creek. 
   They lived in a two-story colonial-style plantation house, the remains of which stood as late as 2011.  

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Thu
16
Jan

"Hawkins, family moved to lower Caney in 1840s"

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
09
Jan

Collegeport New Year’s celebrations

   Matagorda County TXGenWeb

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re following up on last week’s stories on how the new year was celebrated across the county decades ago.

Thu
02
Jan

Collegeport New Year’s celebrations

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Collegeport: New Year’s Day 1953
1st row seated: Lynda Wells, Margaret Bryan, Weldon Corporon, Carl Halfen "Spooky,” Russell Corporon, Annie Nell Penland
2nd row: Mrs. Brown, Dick Corporon, A. A. Penland, Mr. Gableman, Paul Penland, Ruby Sanders, Clyde Ware, Jr., ____ Penland?, Sue Penland, Virginia Wells, Joy Corporon, Gerald Wells, Jr., Roy Corporon, unknown
3rd row: Gerald Merck?, Dorothy Franzen Merck, Mae Perciville, Vannie Penland, Mrs. A. G. Fitzgerald, Lena Carrick, Sherry Williams, Phyllis Holsworth, Ellen Franzen, Vick Gallaher, Prudence Gallaher, Lawrence Smith, Grace Smith, Billy Halfen, Juliette Halfen, Clifford Franzen, Della Braden, unknown, unknown, unknown, unknown
4th row: Gilvie Holloway, Rev. A. G. Fitzgerald, LuEllen Corporon, John Carrick, Ellen (Emma) Franzen, Ruby Wells, Gaines Corporon, Dean "Deanie Boy" Merck, Jr., Roy Williams, Lynda Williams, Ethel Williams, Gustave Franzen, Ida Mae Franzen, unknown, Larry Corporon, unknown, Carrie Nelson, unknown, Fred Roessler, Dean Merck, unknown

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

   Four times a year, the residents had special gatherings. Collegeport Day, begun in 1908 continues to today. 
   They joined with the residents of Citrus Grove for their annual Thanksgiving dinner.  
   The third was an annual dinner on February 22nd, to observe the birthday of George Washington, the father of their country. 
   The fourth celebration began on January 1, 1910 when New Year’s Day was celebrated.  
   It continued into the 1960s and in 1926 was observed by only two community members who braved the weather to get together to continue the tradition. 
   The following articles give a glimpse into the celebrations for many year. 
   More information on Collegeport can be found at http://usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/collegeport.htm

Thu
26
Dec

Local Santa letters from 1929-31 show different time

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
19
Dec

Area Christmas happenings in early 20th Century

An aviation-themed Christmas card from the 1930s.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

Thu
12
Dec

Area Christmas happenings in early 20th Century

A vintage Christmas card from the early 1900s.

Matagorda County TXGenWeb

 

Thu
05
Dec

Tidehaven students learn Matagorda County history on tour

Photos courtesy of Crystal Taska
A tour of Matagorda County Museum in Bay City was led by Barbara Smith (above), MCM director and Matagorda County Historical Commission member. Smith explains Rivers, Rice and Railroads exhibit.

Matagorda County History Website
www.usgenwebsites.org/TXMatagorda/

     Students in Crystal Taska’s Tidehaven/Wharton County Junior College 1301 & 1302 History classes at Tidehaven High School in Tidehaven ISD participated in a Matagorda County History Field Trip on Nov. 21,which was sponsored by the Matagorda County Historical Commission. 
   Students toured sites in Blessing, Matagorda and Bay City. 
   Taska wanted her students to learn more about history in their own backyards, especially since Matagorda County played such an important role in the early history of Texas. 

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