Area 3 Report: The old town of Lamar, Texas

The town of Lamar sits just north of Rockport, along the Copano Bay.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - The town of Lamar sits just north of Rockport, along the Copano Bay.

"They bombarded Lamar," Aransas County Surveyor Jerry Brundrett said. "They bombarded the houses at the end of San Jose Island."

Brundrett was talking about the town of Lamar during the Civil War, when cotton was shipped out of there by blockade runners who would slip past Union ships.

The town of Lamar was founded 20 years before the outbreak of the Civil War and it was named after the president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Lamar.

Mirabeau Lamar was promoted from private to colonel during the Battle of San Jacinto after rescuing two of his fellow Texans who were surrounded by Mexican forces -- an act that drew a salute from the Mexican lines. Lamar would go on to serve as the second president of the Republic of Texas, and he also laid out the City of Lamar.

"I myself am probably six generations here in this area and have family members buried in the old Lamar Cemetery," Brundrett said.

Brundrett took 3News on a tour of Lamar and the cemetery where many of his relatives are buried.

The pioneers who helped settle the area were Karankawa and Comanche Indians, but by 1915 the town of Lamar ceased to exist and was considered a ghost town.

"The town site of Lamar was founded somewhere around 1837-1838, and at that time the Big Tree was already 837 or 838 years old," Brundrett said.

The famous 1,000-year-old Live Oak tree might be Lamar's biggest attraction. It is now part of Goose Island State Park, which is now closed as they cleanup after Hurricane Harvey -- but the Big Tree did survive.

Another piece of Lamar's history is the Stella Maris Chapel, which has been around since 1854.

Ginne Long takes care of the Chapel and said it is usually packed for services, even an overflowing crowd who watches on television screens.

"This is a wonderful thriving community," Long said. "Mostly senior citizens; but there are some families here. We stick together."

Long believes that well over 1,000 people now live in Lamar, although some are winter Texans or people who have summer homes.

"People come for the fishing and kayaking and all those things that make life worthwhile," Brundrett said.

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