Finding beauty and hope after Harvey

The rocking chairs on the front porch of the Aransas County History Center bring to mind prior days when people strolled along the sidewalks while greeting neighbors on pleasant evenings. This is the kind of friendly welcome visitors can expect as they enter the front door of the frame house which withstood Harvey and other hurricanes including the one in 1919. Used as a temporary courtroom following the destruction of the Aransas County Courthouse on August 25, 2017, the History Center reopened on February 24, 2018, with a special Living History Exhibit, “Aransas County Strong: From Debris to Creativity & Hope”.


President Vickie Merchant greeted guests during the Opening Ceremonies and said this four-year-old organization is continuing to preserve and promote Aransas County history through this exhibit. As a way to honor and remember the multitude of volunteers who contributed in some way in the rebuilding of the communities devastated by Harvey, two maps are displayed showing the home communities of people from Texas and other states who demonstrated the essence of the human spirit. Merchant said they have also involved the children in the Aransas County schools in this new exhibit.


Educator Robin Johnson said when she returned to Rockport after Hurricane Harvey she walked around town with her camera to try to find some good in the big mess. When Aransas County schools opened in October, she wanted her students from Live Oak and Fulton Learning Center’s gifted and talented classes to do the same thing.

“We took walking field trips,” she said. “They all had cameras and I asked them to look for beauty.”

The student’s creations are on display throughout the History Center’s exhibit area and will remain through April 2. Each project is accompanied by the student’s photo and a brief description. Two second-grade students shared a verbal explanation for My Coastal World.


Ryan Brewington made a fish cleaning stand. He found a shower head and decided it could be used to spray water to clean the fish. Then he added the light because his fish cleaning stand would be mostly used at night. He and his mother spray painted it green. Finally, he glued the parts together and added the umbrella to the top.


” I found an old paint pan and I found a green spoon, then a spray paint lid,” said Kinslee Burton. “I just looked at it and started putting things together and I saw it looked like a puppet show, so, I put it together.  Zachery lent me this piece of wood and it’s their tree house. I made the paint lid into another puppet as his little sister.”

Enjoy this slideshow of the Opening of the Living History Exhibit, “Aransas County Strong: From Debris to Creativity & Hope”.

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The History Center Directors and volunteers hope this special Living History Exhibit will bring hope through the beauty found from the destruction and debris. Step back in time, view the past six months through young eyes then take a minute to rock on the front porch.

The History Center for Aransas County is located at 801 East Cedar Street, Rockport. It is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Local followers may take part in making this a “Living History Blog”. In the comment area, add a special memory, description or photo of beauty found in the past six months following Hurricane Harvey. Share with friends and family to spread the History Center’s message of “Aransas County Strong: From Debris to Creativity & Hope”.


8 thoughts on “Finding beauty and hope after Harvey

    1. The History Center will be open Saturday from 10 am-4pm if you would like to come by and see the exhibit and let us know how you would like to get involved. We welcome everyone to become part of the History Center. I will be there docenting. Hope to see you then.


  1. So glad y’all are open again. I own the little cottage across the street! I was sooo happy to see how strong the museum building was and how it withstood Harvey, as did my little cottage…. even though a tree anchored my cottage down from Harvey’s fierce winds.

    Fair winds and following seas my neighbor!


    1. Thanks so much. Glad to be back in the neighborhood. Come over and see us. The Stroll is scheduled for Saturday.


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