The shores of Copano Bay are rich in history as well as modern charm. The human presence around Copano Bay goes back thousands of years, evidenced by the numerous remains of camp sites and burial grounds of prehistoric indigenes. Cabeza de Vaca passed through the region in 1528 on his trek back to Mexico.
The history of the Bay started in 1720 when it was mapped by a party of Frenchmen under Captain Jean Beringer who was seeking the site of La Salle’s 1685 colony. The port of El Copano on Copano Bay was decreed by the Spanish Governor Bernardo de Galvez in 1785.
El Copano was the port of entry for the Irish colonists into Texas beginning in the late 1820s. El Copano was an important port during the Texas Revolution in 1836. Copano Bay also saw the rise on its shores of St. Mary’s of Aransas in the late 1860s and the founding of Bayside in 1907.
The Bayside Historical Society was started in January 2006 with the mission to discover, study and document the comprehensive history of the region around present day Bayside, Texas, in collaboration with the neighboring Refugio County and Aransas County Historical Societies.
The Bayside Historical Society is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that has quarterly meetings in February, May, August, and November in Bayside and publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Baysider. These meetings feature an invited speaker and most have been held in the historic Wood Mansion in Bayside. The Bayside Historical Society fosters historical research and sponsors archeological excavations in the region. Join the Bayside Historical Society to express your historical, archeological or artistic interests.
Annual membership fees start at $10.00. To receive more information about Bayside Historical Society membership, activities or speaking opportunities, please contact Herndon Williams, Treasurer, at email@example.com or at 361-529-8944.
The areas of interest for the Bayside Historical Society include: (1) the prehistoric flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast; (2) the native American inhabitants before and after European contact; (3) the Spanish, French, Anglo and other European immigrants into this region; (4) the Texian experience that included the revolution, the republic and statehood and (5) maps, hurricanes, old photos, oral histories and other topics of recent history.