THE WOMAN’S CLUB OF COLLEGEPORT invites you and your family or guest to the 101st Anniversary of the founding of Collegeport. The annual homecoming will be held at the Mopac House on Saturday, May 30, 2009. Dinner will be served at 12:00 Noon. Please bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to compliment barbecued beef.
OUR TRADITION OF SERVING BARBECUED BEEF began in 1945 with M. S. “Jack” Holsworth donating a calf. A list of all donors will be posted on Collegeport Day.
SPECIAL THANKS TO 2009 MEAT DONORS:
who make this event a success.
CONGRATULATIONS to High School graduates Will Hansen and Marty Hansen.
MAY IS NATIONAL PRESERVATION MONTH
This years’ theme is This Place Matters! Preservation Month is designed to raise awareness about the power historic preservation has to protect and enhance our homes, neighborhoods and communities - the places that really matter to us. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the diverse and unique heritage of our country's cities and towns, and enables all of us to become involved in the growing preservation movement.
A SLIDESHOW OF PHOTOGRAPHS
and other historical
information about Collegeport will be displayed in the Library.
We will be able to scan any photos or documents you would like
to share so that you can return home with your originals.
A DRIVING TOUR OF COLLEGEPORT
was sponsored by the
Matagorda County Historical Commission for “History
Appreciation Day” last year. Brochures are still available.
RENOVATION PLANS FOR MOPAC HOUSE PROGRESS--Mopac House Foundation trustees Mason Holsworth and G. W. Franzen along with Thomas Holsworth recently met with Lanny Marshall of Marshall Construction Company of Victoria, Texas to discuss options for replacing the floor and making necessary repairs to the foundation and sills of the Mopac House, and other repairs to the building. A proposal is forthcoming and information regarding the project will be presented on Collegeport Day. Marshall Construction Company did an exceptional job in renovating and expanding the sanctuary of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Palacios.
PLEASE SEND NEWS OR INFORMATION for newsletters to G. W. Franzen.
COLLEGEPORT TEXAS IS ON THE WEB! We invite you to share photos and information about Collegeport. Thank you to all who have already contributed! The direct link:
The Mission Style home built by Theo & Emma Smith in 1911 is a prominent Collegeport landmark. Overlooking the Tres-Palacios Bay, its stately presence has inspired generations of residents and visitors to this bay shore community.
The town of Collegeport was established on May 25, 1908 by the Burton D. Hurd Land Company. Businessman Theo Smith, his wife, Emma and daughter Grace Theodora came to Collegeport where they established the Theo Smith & Son Lumber and Hardware Company.
Theo Smith & Son Lumber, Hardware & Implements.
(Photo courtesy of Grace Jones Henley).
Grace T. who managed the family business was instrumental in building the local Episcopal Church which was christened “Grace Chapel” of St. Mary’s Mission in her honor.
Grace Chapel of St. Mary’s Mission (1911-1926) named for Grace Theodora Smith. The building was dismantled, moved to Palacios and reconstructed as St. John’s Episcopal Church in 1927.
In August of 1910, the Smiths purchased bay shore property from J. J. Jackman. Soon after, their house was constructed by builders T. M. Jones and Cletus Jones.
The Mission Style home of Theo Smith under construction.
(Note the scaffolds still in place.) The Smiths lived here 1911-1920.
The house was built in the Mission Style, and was constructed of the finest materials available, using the balloon framing technique. Magnificent windows of Kokomo leaded glass grace the staircase landing. A Butler’s Pantry joins the kitchen and dining room. Lath and plaster cover the inside walls, and stucco finishes the exterior. A red tile roof tops the house. Downstairs the floors are oak over pine and upstairs the floors are quarter sawn pine. Bathrooms have hexagonal floor tile and claw foot tubs. The house was originally built with indoor plumbing and was wired for electricity. Much of the original wiring is still used today. The Smith family named the house “La Casita del Mar” (The little house by the sea).
In 1914, Grace T. Smith married Edgar G. Jones and to this union was born Grace Hinsdale Jones. Edgar died in 1918 when “Baby Grace” was just 10 months old. Later that year, Theo Smith died, leaving Emma and Grace T. to raise “Baby Grace.” The grand house proved too much for the two women to maintain. After a couple years, they sold the house and moved back North to Topeka, Kansas.
J. V. Brasfield purchased the Smith home in 1920 and there was a series of transfers of title to: Texas Bull Calves Hunting Club, Inc. (1921), Turner Rice & Irrigation Company (1923), Mad Island Lake Game Preserves, Inc. (1923), Sheriff of Matagorda County (1931) and Mae M. Mowery (1931). This house was home to Ben and Mae Mowery from the 1920’s until about 1966. Ben Mowery came to Collegeport where he managed the Collegeport Rice & Irrigation Company. Under his supervision a grand hunting lodge at Portsmouth was being built, as the Matagorda County Tribune reported in March of 1929. It is believed that the Crash of 1929 caused the plan to fail as it never developed.
The Mowerys lived here from about 1926-1967.
Ben served as the Collegeport Postmaster and the Mowerys operated a grocery store. He was also the local weatherman—using his barometer to predict tropical storms and hurricanes. He related weather information and news to the community that he received over his radio.
The Fountain installed by Ben Mowery in 1927.
(Photo courtesy of Peggy Barker Koster.)
Ruth, the Mowerys
only child married Watson Barker and they later lived in Alvin.
Their daughter, Peggy Barker Koster relates that they
visited Collegeport often
and that she and her brother, Benjamin Richard Barker, attended
school in Palacios in 1948. Because their father worked in the oil
exploration business for Phillips Petroleum, the family traveled a
great deal, and the Collegeport house was home to them.
Prior to Hurricane Carla (September 1961), the Mowerys did extensive renovations to the house. The aftermath of this hurricane is what convinced them to relocate to Alvin when they left Collegeport in 1966. They sold the house to Turner F. Austin in 1967. Title transferred to C. H. & Suella Kaiser in 1972 and lastly to current owners Frank & Betty Canfield in 1981.
The Canfields and sons Phil and Mark are endeared to the Collegeport community. They have shared their home in many ways by hosting tours for local groups, miscellaneous showers, a High School Prom Dinner, and Easter gatherings that have become a tradition in this community. They are striving to preserve this magnificent structure, which continues to be a treasure to the Collegeport Community. G. W. Franzen (May 2009)
For more details and photos, go to:
This Acrostic offering good advice using the word “PRESERVATION” was originated by Matagorda Historian, Geraldyne Havard. (May 2006)
2009 - Present by Mopac House Foundation
May 17, 2009
May 19, 2009