A Little History about Port Arthur
Port Arthur is located on the western bank of Sabine Lake. The Rainbow Bridge across the Neches River connects Port Arthur to Bridge City. Port Arthur was founded by Arthur Edward Stilwell in the late 19th century, and was once the center of the largest oil refinery network in the world.
Just Outside Port Arthur
Before we get into everything you can do in and around Port Arthur, we should mention that our location is approximately one hour from Houston, Texas to the west and Lake Charles, Louisiana to the east. So you can take a quick trip into Houston or visit a casino in Lake Charles.
Now in and around Port Arthur
Port Arthur and our RV Park is located just southeast of Beaumont and just outside of Nederland. Below is a list of some Points of Interest with web site links if available:
GOLDEN TRIANGLE VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK
Located in the park there are 10,000 names of area servicemen that served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Peace Time, Desert Storm, or with the Merchant Marines during WWII.
The Tower of Honor, which is 50 feet tall, lists the names, rank, branch of service, and the war served in of the 930 of those killed or missing in action from the Golden Triangle. Other static displays represent the various branches of service. The displays include an F4-D Phantom Jet, an M60A3 Tank, and an UH-1 Huey Helicopter, an anchor from the Texaco SS Mississippi (the last WWII Merchant Marine ship to be decommissioned), an assault landing craft, and a seven-foot tall statue of an U. S. Marine.
QUEEN OF PEACE SHRINE
901 9th Ave. (7 blocks south of Gulfway Dr.)**409-983-7676 Appointments not required Free admission**20 to 30 Min.
This Hoa-Binh (Area of Peace) features beautiful gardens and statue of Mary three times life size was built by parishioners of Queen of Vietnam Martyr’s Catholic Church, in gratitude for their escape from Asia and the city which welcomed them.
BUU MON BUDDHIST TEMPLE
2701 Procter**409-982-9319 Tours by Appointment**Free Admission**20 Min.
The four-tier pagoda tower symbolizes tenants in the Buddha faith. Built as a Baptist Church more than 40 years ago, this building was converted to a Catholic Church in 1976 and then in 1987 remodeled into a Buddhist Temple which includes changing the steeple to the characteristic Stupa, the pagoda style tower that contains a sacred relic.
ROSE HILL MANOR
100 Woodworth at Lakeshore 409-985-7292**Tours by Appointment Catered events can be arranged A fee for admission**40 Min
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and one of the oldest landmarks in the city, this colonial-style mansion was built in 1906 by Rome H. Woodworth, an early banker and Mayor. It remained in the Woodworth family until 1948 when it was deeded to the city.
2545 Lakeshore Dr.**409-984- 6101**Tours by appointment No fee for admission** 45 Min
Wide porches and spacious rooms bring back memories of relaxed times by Lake Sabine. Originally built as a New England colonial-style mansion in 1915, it was changed by subsequent owners to a Southern Greek Revival style by the addition of large verandas and columns. On display in the home are early pieces of Wedgwood china, a French made screen from the collection of Empress Carlotta of Mexico, and candelabras from the Shah of Persia. The home is now owned by Lamar State College.
1953 Lakeshore Dr.**409-983-5977 Tours by appointment**Fee for admission**Catered refreshments for a fee**45 Min.
This building’s history is almost as fascinating as the villa itself. Isaac Ellwood, “the barbed wire King”, built this modest 10-room “cottage” that was an authentic copy of a Pompeiian home of 74 AD with the rooms built around a traditional Roman peristyle, a three-sided courtyard to which each room has access. Part of the home’s colorful past is at one point the home was traded to George Craig, banker and land developer, for 10 percent of stock in the newly formed Texas Company, a forerunner of Texaco. The stock at the time was worth a few thousand dollars, however, today the same stock is worth more than two hundred million dollars.
VUYLSTEKE DUTCH HOME
1831 Lakeshore Dr.**409-984- 6101**Tours by appointment Tours free**40 Min.
The first Dutch counsul in Port Arthur built the Dutch colonial home in 1905. The home provides a priceless glimpse of a glamorous time. Among its features are three fireplaces that share one central chimney. The home has been restored to its original condition with original furnishings and is owned by Lamar State College.
TEXAS ARTISTS MUSEUM
3501 Cultural Center Dr.
The Texas Artists Museum primarily exhibits art by artists in or originally from Jefferson and Orange counties. The artists represent nearly every town and city within a 20 or 30 mile radius. There is a display and reception in the main galley each month of a different artist. A second Sunday event is held each month in the after-noon and features entertainment.
MUSEUM OF THE GULF COAST
Beaumont Ave at 4th St.**409-982-7000**Open 9-5 M-S & 1-5 Sun Fee for admission**1.5 Hrs.
The Museum of the Gulf Coast combines both conventional and unconventional approaches to tell the extraordinary history of this Gulf Coast region. The first floor employs traditional themes to interpret Gulf Coast life before humans arrived, the role of Native Americans, European/African contacts, the Hispanic legacy, the trauma of Civil War, post-war economic and cultural growth called Progressivism, and finally, the integration of the Gulf Coast region into the larger national/inter-national community. On the other hand, the mezzanine presents unique exhibits that focus on the area’s rich musical heritage, featuring performers like Janis Joplin, George Jones, Harry James and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Sport’s enthusiasts will also find displays that chronicle the lives of “Babe Zaharias, Coach Jimmy Johnson, “Bum” Phillips and golfer, Bruce Lietzke. Fine arts are included also, such as internationally know artists, Robert Rauschenberg’s gallery of works, and a celebrated decorative works section and parlor setting in the John and Grace Snell gallery.
Located across the MLK Bridge on Hwy 82
The 3,500 acre island, once secret anchorage of pirate Jean Laffitte, located between the 400-foot wide Sabine-Neches Ship Channel and Sabine Lake is being developed to live up to its name and become a resort-type island. Facilities on the island include: a 10-acre park, a marina, Yacht Club, picnic areas, 18-hole championship golf course, disc golf course, cabin rentals, lighted fishing piers, boat launches, charter fishing boats, RV Parks, Mesquite Point, Fun island Depot, which is a huge playground for children, free camping areas, observation decks, restaurants, and Spinnacker’s Pub.
Located on Hwy 87 South
Sabine Pass is located on Hwy 87 South of Port Arthur and was annexed by the city in 1978. This community has the distinction of having been laid out by Sam Houston in 1836. A high point in the town’s history was the Civil War battle fought there in which a handful of Confederates with a few cannons whipped a Federal invasion force more than a hundred times its strength. Its present day claim to fame rests on great fishing and the excellent bird watching and wildlife observation sites, including a new Marina.
SABINE PASS BATTLEGROUND STATE PARK AND HISTORIC SITE
6100 Dick Dowling Rd
Sabine Pass, TX 77655
1.5 miles South of Sabine Pass on Dick Dowling Road (FM 3322)
409-971-2559 (Sea Rim State Park)
Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (except for overnight campers). Fee for Admission.
The story of the Civil War battle fought here sounds like a Texas Tall Tale, but is true. On September 8, 1863, a Union fleet numbering some 20 vessels and about 4,000 men tried to invade Texas through Sabine Pass. Facing them all alone was Company F of the Texas Heavy Artillery. The Company consisted of 40 Irish dock workers lead by a young lieutenant, a barkeep from Houston, named Dick Dowling. They had six cannons set up in unfinished earth works reinforced with railroad iron and ship’s timbers. When the smoke cleared, Dick Dowling and Company F had captured two Federal ships and 350 men. The remainder of the union fleet returned to New Orleans. The Federals were never able to penetrate the Texas interior during the war.
Today Sabine Pass Battleground State Park and Historic Site features an interpretive pavilion and walkway, a 14-foot statue and monument, ADA- accessible sidewalks and restrooms, covered picnic tables and grills, RV and primitive camping, 4-lane boat ramps with ADA-accessible dock, 1/4 mile of shoreline with safety railing.
SEA RIM STATE PARK
19335 Hwy 87
Sabine Pass, TX 77655
10 miles west of Sabine Pass on Hwy 87
Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (except for overnight campers). Fee for admission Named for that portion of the marsh grasslands extending along the coastline to the Gulf, Sea Rim State Park preserves a beautiful and unique environment. Sea Rim’s D. Roy Harrington Beach Unit includes the Park’s Visitor Center, nature trails, camping areas, and 5.2 miles of Gulf Coast beach. The Marshlands Unit encompasses 4,141.1 acres of marsh wetlands, including two lakes, ponds and estuaries. Its marshes are a popular spot for viewing wildlife, particularly the American alligator. Activities include canoe rentals and paddleboat rentals at the marshlands Unit; Marsh Airboat Tours in season; beachcombing along the Gulf shores; surf fishing or fishing via boat in the marsh lakes; swimming in the Gulf (no lifeguard provided); walk-in waterfowl hunting sites (in season). Facilities include Visitor Center with 300-gallon aquarium and other nature exhibits, two wheelchair accessible boardwalk nature trails; ADA-accessible restrooms with hot showers; RV camping sites (2 ADA) with water and electrical hookups, tent pad sites (2 ADA-accessible) with water hook-ups, grills, and primitive campsites on the beach and on platforms in the marsh. For campsite reservations call 512-389-8900.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE SHRINE
3648 Staff Sgt. Lucian Adams Drive
The 17-foot high bronze statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe was sculpted by the artists Miguel Angel Macias, from Mexico City, and Douglas Clark from Port Arthur. The statue is set upon rocks brought to the site from Mount Tepayac, Mexico City, where the Virgin appeared to Juan Diego. The back wall of the Shrine showcases stained glass windows depicting various symbols relating to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church envisions the Shrine to be a scared place of spiritual renewal, peace and solace.
THE ITALIAN WALL OF HONOR
The Italian Wall of Honor is located at the grounds of
the Port Arthur Library. No Fee
In 1990 the Port Arthur American-Italian club formed a committee to prepare for a quinticentennial celebration of this country. An immigrants Wall of Honor was decided for the 500 years celebration. The wall is in remembrance and recognition of the families and individual who sacrifice so much and lit the torch for the future generations.
On August 27, 1993 the Italian Wall of Honor was dedicated. The Wall of Honor consist of family names and the city of each immigrants birth on a bronze plaques mounted on a marble wall. The following words are inscribed on the monument: “We who follow, dedicate this immigrants Wall of Honor to those who led us to a new country, a new life, and a new beginning.
Take a walk on the Wild side!
21159 FM 365
Open; Spring Hours: Friday-Sunday 9:00-6:00; Summer Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 9:00-7:00
Gator Country is the home of Texas largest alligator in captivity. You can watch alligators leap out of the water for food, feed and hold live alligators. If you get hungry, you can rest your feet and enjoy the full concessions with our famous fried alligator and other Cajun cuisine.