A celebration of Rockport-Fulton’s food–related history will be held Friday, May 17 with the publication and launch of “Foodways:  The Culinary Traditions of Aransas County.”  The Friends of the History Center for Aransas County are hosting a book-signing Friday, May 17, from 5-7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Kay Betz and Vickie Merchant, editors for the book, will be available to sign the book along with numerous contributors.   These include Susie Bracht Black, cookbook author; Monica Burdette, cookbook author and Commissioner with the Texas Historical Commission; M M Pack, chef, food historian and writer; Karey Swartwout, chef, restaurant owner and cookbook author; and Thompson-Anderson, award-winning cookbook author and chef.

A limited number of copies have been printed.  The cost of the color, 350-page book is $45, with all proceeds going to help fund the educational exhibits and programs of the History Center.   Those who have pre-ordered the book may pick up their copy during the event.

The latest publication from the History Center chronicles the spirited and resourceful people of the Live Oak, Lamar and Blackjack Peninsulas along with the Barrier Islands, who have lived off the Bounty of Nature for generations, beginning with the Karankawa Indians. This book captures the drama and color of the early entrepreneurs, who established cattle, turtle, fish, shrimp, oyster and other seafood industries in Aransas County.  Truck farmers, shrimpers, dairy and farm workers, ship chandlers and grocery store personnel helped establish a vibrant culture around the abundant foodstuffs.  Treasured cafes, diners, drive-ins and restaurants are remembered through photographs, menus, ads and the memories of those who worked and ate there.   

Recipes from celebrated chefs and local cooks are also included, including GLOW’s Local Sea Salt and Mesquite Bean Syrup, Terry Thompson-Anderson’s St. Charles Bay Crab Cakes and Poached Eggs on Fried Green Tomatoes with Orange-Ginger Hollandaise Sauce, Mrs. Charles T. Picton’s Deviled Crab, Campus Drive-In Onion Rings, Duck Inn’s Crabmeat Çasserole, Estelle Stair’s Shrimp Curry Dip, and Tony’s Enchiladas with Lettuce, among many others.   

Award-winning cookbook authors and food historians from the local area and throughout the state have written sections to help define the cuisine of Aransas County and document important influences and milestones.  Contributions from the Hispanic, Vietnamese and other cultures are also celebrated. The Friends of the History Center for Aransas County have gathered together family and community remembrances funded through the generosity of the Margaret Sue Rust Foundation

The book contains many photographs and postcards that have never been printed, as well as artwork from artists including Kay Barnebey, Herb Booth, Popo Cosby, Hal McCaskill, Tommy Thompson, Elsa Lopez Mathews, and Steve Russell.

May 17 is also the fifth birthday of the all-volunteer organization, which has curated 22 exhibits and hosted 45 special programs, as well as collaborating with many other local and regional history and community organizations.



Foodways: The Culinary Traditions of Aransas County, Tx  - Preorder for $45.00

If book needs to be shipped, select  book + shipping to include the $5.00 shipping fee. 

Foodways Book

Come join us for an educational cruise aboard Captain Tommy Moore's Skimmer boat. He will take participants from Fulton harbor to the Lydia Ann Lighthouse channel.  The cruise will visit significant historical areas and landmarks along the route with commentary and narrations offered by historical staff. Registrations will be limited to thirty-five persons per cruise. Cost is $50 per person.

Cruises start at 1pm please arrive 15 mins early.

Per person

"30 Years Through the News/Lens"
By Mike Probst

A 300-plus page book with more than 160 pictures highlighting the news in Aransas County (Rockport and Fulton) from the pages of The Rockport Pilot newspaper between 1984-2013.  Mike Probst has been the editor and publisher of The Rockport Pilot newspaper since 1984. He has been involved in every aspect of community newspaper publishing during his 33-year career, all associated with the Hartman family of newspapers. He has taken thousands of pictures, written more than 1,500 weekly columns, won many awards and has covered thousands of events. With this book, he captures the highlights of 30 years at the helm.  "30 Years Through the News/Lens" will help you understand why the city he calls home is embedded in his soul. It is through the news/lens you will relive memories and reflect on days gone by. The books will be available for sale for $30.00 ($35.00 if shipping is required).

The Friends of the History Center would like to thank The Margaret Sue Rust Foundation for their support of the exhibit "The Aransas County Newseum: 145th Anniversary of the Rockport Pilot" and for their support for the book "30 Years Through the Lens/News" by Mike Probst.

The History Center for Aransas County is part of Aransas Pathways, a venue tax project focusing on recreational activities for visitors and residents of Aransas County. Visit
www.aransasapathways.com for more information.

All proceeds from the book benefit the History Center for Aransas County.


Aransas County in Postcards ” by Kam Wagert and Pam Wheat Stranahan has arrived. Containing 128 pages of scanned vintage postcards of Aransas County including descriptive narratives. This book is sure to be a sell-out, so get your copy now.

$25 which includes the tax and shipping.

All of the proceeds benefit the Friends of the History Center for Aransas County.


Herb book for sale (1)

"Doc's Herb Garden: A Guide to Useful Plants"  was compiled by Pat Garland, a certified Master Naturalist, to honor Albert Bruhl, a local pharmacist, who used herbs to heal the people of the county.

Pat also wanted to recognize the uses of herbs as important food and nectar sources for wildlife. This book plays an integral role in the native Wildscape Garden at The History Center for Aransas County today and is enjoyed by many visitors.

The book sells for $15.00 at the History Center. Please add $5.00 shipping and handling for mail delivery