21st Annual Museums of Port Isabel Fundraiser featuring Pelican West 2/2 7p

The Museums of Port Isabel are proud to announce its 21st Annual ‘TASTE of the LAGUNA MADRE’ Museum Fundraiser featuring fresh local fare & PELICAN WEST!

The Museums of Port Isabel will host this culinary event on Friday, February 2, 2018, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center. Dishes prepared by local restaurants will be top of the fare and includes side dishes, desserts and beverages. Live music by PELICAN WEST, door prizes, a silent auction and a Port Isabel Adventure Package raffle are all part of the $25 ticket price.

This IS the Museums of Port Isabel’s major fundraiser. Donations will be used to upgrade Museum’s exhibits and support programs. Info: 956/943-7602 or museumdirector@copitx.com. Tickets can be purchased at the door, Port Isabel City Hall, Port Isabel Public Library, Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, South Padre Island Chamber of Commerce or at the Museums of Port Isabel or online: http://bit.ly/2018mopi

The Museums of Port Isabel is a complex consisting of three diverse facilities, the Port Isabel Historic Museum, the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, and the Point Isabel Lighthouse. All three are within walking distance of each other and are open year around to the public.


Constructed in 1852, the Point Isabel Lighthouse was built to protect and guide ships through Brazos Santiago Pass and the barrier islands. In 1952, the Lighthouse was opened as a State Park and remains the only lighthouse on the Texas Gulf coast open to the public. The Lighthouse has just undergone a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department restoration and reopened to the public on January 2, 2018. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage which is on the grounds of the Lighthouse, is open to the public and houses the Chamber of Commerce and the Port Isabel Visitors Center. There is no admission charge to the Keepers Cottage. Lighthouse tickets can be purchased at the Keepers Cottage or at the Lighthouse. A combination ticket is available. Last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m. or 1/2 hour before closing.


Port Isabel Historical Museum is a state-of-the-art facility located in the Champion Building. Built in 1899 as a dry goods store and residence, it now houses two exhibit levels, a theater, gift shop and one of the largest collections of Mexican artifacts from the U.S.-Mexican War. The facade features the famous ‘fish mural’ painted in 1906 by a local fisherman. The fish mural was restored in the fall of 2017. Last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m. 317 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel. 956/943-7602.


Treasures of the Gulf Museum spotlights three 1554 Spanish shipwrecks. Meeting their fate just 30 miles north of Port Isabel, they are brought to life with murals, artifacts and hands-on activities. Also featured is a Children’s Discovery Lab, Ship theatre and Nautical Gift Shop. Last ticket sold at 3:30 p.m. 317 E. Railroad Ave., Port Isabel. 956/943-7602.



Day of the Dead Celebration! 10/28 4 – 11 p.m.

Day of the Dead. Museums of Port Isabel. 10/28 4 - 11 p.m.


VENDORS: (vendor-application or call 956/943-7602)

Booth 9 – “Will and Jack’s Burger Shack” – Assortment of Baked Goods (Cookies, Rice Krispy, Sugar Skulls, etc.) & Candy Apples

Booth 10 – “Texas Kettle Corn” – Kettle Popcorn

Booth 11 – “Moore’s Rides & Concession” – Funnel Cakes, Turkey Legs & Baked Potato w/butter, Cheese & Chili

Booth 12 – “Moore’s Rides & Concession” – Basketball Game

Booth 13 – “MOPI” – DoD Décor, Jewelry, Books, etc.

Booth 14 & 15 - “MOPI” – Nachos, Frito Pie, Hot Cheetos w/Cheese, Sweet & Sour Candy, Chocolate Candy, Assortment of Chips & Peanuts, Corn Nuts  & Popcorn

Booth 23 – “Tita’s Food Mobile” – Chicken Empandas, Chicken Sopes & Chili & Cheese Fries

Booth 25 – “Kona Ice of SE Cameron County” – Shaved Ice (Raspas)

Booth 26 – “Claudia Chapa” – Hamburger/CheeseBuger w/French Fries, Flautas: Chicken & Spiral Potatoes

Booth 27 – “PIHS Band Booster” – Brisket Tacos & Brisket Sandwiches

Booth 28 – “Jorge Pineda” – Light-Up Toys & Personal Globes

Booth 29 – “FlashCopters” – LED Lit Helicopters

Booth 36 – “Tu Salad Si Cuenta” – Blood Pressure, Weigh & Height & Check-Ups

Booth 37 – “Armario” La Duena” – Fashion Jewelry, Fashion Purses & Clothing

Telling Our Stories: 10/26 7pm Day of the Dead (Cemetery Tour @ 6pm)

Museums of Port Isabel Oral HistoryThe Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation are proud to present its “Telling Our Stories” Series of 2017.

On October 26 at 7 p.m., George and Virginia Gause will present this month’s topic, “Day of the Dead in Oaxaca”, at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum (308 E. Queen Isabella Blvd.). Preceding the presentation will be a walking tour of the historic Port Isabel Cemetery at 6 p.m. The public is invited.

George and Virginia met in 1972 at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, while they were pursuing their Master in Library Science (MLS) degrees. George was born in New York and Virginia was born in Alabama. After graduation in 1973 they came to the Valley to work as librarians at the Pan American University now known as the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The Gauses have enjoyed collecting Mexican folk art for over 40 years. Attracted by both color and creativity they have traveled and visited with folk artists while enjoying excursions to Mexico City and the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, Yucatan, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Jalisco and others. Their favorite area is Oaxaca which they have visited over forty times.

It was in Oaxaca that they learned the most about the Day of the Dead. Their presentation will consist of slides on the subject of Day of the Dead that they took during various trips to Mexico as well as some three-dimensional objects from their collection.

Before his retirement in 2011, George Gause served as Special Collections Librarian with emphasis on local Valley history and Hispanic genealogy. Virginia retired as Media and Marketing Librarian in 2015. For the past eleven years she has been moderator of ArtsRGV.com, an electronic calendar highlighting cultural events in the Valley.

Please join us for an entertaining evening with George & Virginia Gause about the “Day of the Dead in Oaxaca”. All locals and visitors are welcomed to attend this free presentation. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

“Telling Our Stories” is an educational program aimed to preserving the heritage of the City of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre area. Our goal are to preserve and educate our local and natural history through presentations and exhibits. The program is co-sponsored by the Museums of Port Isabel and the Laguna Madre Foundation. “Telling Our Stories” is presented on the fourth (4th) Thursday of each month from January through September at the Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Admission is FREE.

For more information on Telling Our Stories or to help sponsor an event, contact Jeannie Marie A. Flores at (956) 943-7602 or visit www.portisabelmuseums.com or you may also send an email to jrivera@copitx.com.

Champion Building Fish Mural Restoration


Historic Champion Building’s Fish Mural Undergoes Restoration

Port Isabel, Texas

In 1906, just seven years after the 1899 construction of the Champion building, local fisherman and artist, Jose Morales was commissioned to paint a fish mural on the front of the 2-story structure. It was meant to promote sport fishing in the area. Over 200 images represent the species that can be found in the Laguna Madre Bay and the Gulf of Mexico off the beaches of South Padre Island.

Over the decades, the mural has been restored several times. Weather and other factors create conditions that require periodic restoration, so it was early in the spring of 2017 that plans were made to undergo this latest restoration. The Museums of Port Isabel has commissioned local artist, Angel Hernandez, to restore the 212 images that grace the building.

Restoration of the Champion Building Fish Mural


Other improvements also being made on the grounds of the Champion building includes the reconstruction of the walkway that leads to the Port Isabel Historical Museum entrance. Designed using the architectural details on the front of the Champion building, the walkway will feature the same millwork, proportions and colors that make up the gallery on the south side of the structure.


The Museums of Port Isabel will be fundraising for the historical fish mural. Those interested in participating can select the fish they would like to sponsor and contact Museum staff for payment processing. Selections are first come, first served. The project is estimated to be completed in the next couple of months.

The Fish Mural was celebrated on October 27th at 7 p.m. Festivities will include recognition of the donors and a presentation of the history of the fish mural. Details to follow. For more information on the fish sponsorship, please visit: http://bit.ly/champbldg, email info@portisabel-texas.com or call 956/943-7602.

See what’s sold and what’s available: http://bit.ly/mopi-sold


Image # Species Donor
1 Background The Sherwin-Williams Company
1750 State Highway 100, Ste C
Port Isabel, Texas
2 Striped Mullet
3 Florida Pompano
4 Antlantic Spadefish
5 Spanish Mackeral
6 Gray Angelfish
7 Gag Grouper
8 Blacksaddled Coral Grouper?
10 Blacksaddled Coral Grouper?
11 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
12 Red Snapper Gary, Ellen & Monica Snider 85
13 Striped Bass
14 Spotted Sea Trout
15 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
16 White Pelican Mary Ann & Roger Brown 200
17 Crevalle Jack
18 Wahoo
19 Blacktip Shark In Memory of
Bobby Marchan
20 Southern Stingray
21 Longnose Gar
22 Green Sea Turtle? Possible Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Inc.
In Honor of Ila Fox Loetscher
and Our Volunteers
23 Sheepshead
24 Rock Hind
25 Atlantic Spadefish
26 Clearnose Skate
27 Ocean Sunfish
28 Striped Bass
29 Tiger Shark?
30 Black Grouper? (may be a Gag)
31 Snook
32 Red Grouper
33 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
35 Greater Amberjack
37 Gag Grouper
38 Ocean Sunfish
39 Green Sea Turtle? Possible Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Inc.
Established 1977
South Padre Island, TX
40 Southern Kingfish
41 Snook Jasper’s Casino
Port Isabel, Texas
42 Rock Beauty
43 Green Sea Turtle? Possible Loggerhead The Collier Family
Kevin, Kristi & Kirby
45 Striped Mullet
46 Atlantic Croaker
47 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper? Robert & Linda Cutter 85
48 Atlantic (?) Flying Fish
49 Atlantic Spadefish
51 Spotted Sea Trout Mr. & Mrs. Cary Causey 85
52 Gag Grouper In Memory of
Mr. & Mrs. Archie Causey
53 Southern Flounder? Joe & Lu Human 85
54 Red Grouper
55 Cobia
56 Mutton Snapper
59 Sandbar Shark? (very large dorsal)
60 Karen Causey & Family 85
61 Kim Causey Manos & Family 85
62 Atlantic Croaker Curtis Causey & Family 85
63 Greater Amberjack Alice Mansfield 85
64 Frigatebird In Memory of Alan H. Coburn
Valerie Bates
66 Striped Mullet
68 Southern Kingfish
69 Gag Grouper
70 Gray Snapper
71 Spanish Mackeral
72 Robert & Linda Cutter 85
73 Spotted Sea Trout
74 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
75 Blacksaddled Coral Grouper?
76 Rock Beauty
77 Atlantic Torpedo?
78 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
79 Blue Crab Gary, Ellen & Monica Snider 85
80 Striped Bass
81 Rock Hind
82 Gag Grouper
83 Red Snapper
84 Atlantic? Flying Fish
85 Snook
86 Southern Flounder?
87 Goliath Grouper?
88 Wahoo Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
89 Caribbean Reef Squid Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
90 Spanish Mackeral Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
91 Shark Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
92 Greater Amberjack Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
93 Gray Triggerfish Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
94 Southern Hake Texas International Fishing Tournament 85
95 Blackwing Flying Fish
96 Rock Beauty
98 Clearnose Skate
99 Spotted Sea Trout
100 Florida Pompano
101 Shark Joshua & Elsa, Joseph, Juan, Elyssa & Jacob
Garza Family
102 Mutton Snapper?
104 Red Snapper
105 Striped Bass
106 Ocean Sunfish
107 Gag Grouper
108 Atlantic Croaker
109 Red Grouper
111 Snook
112 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper?
113 Red Snapper
114 Snook
115 Red Snapper Uvaldo (Val) Champion Jr. 85
116 Atlantic Spadefish Suzanne Champion 85
117 Annemarie Champion Brand 85
118 Gray Triggerfish Joseph B. Champion 85
119 Crevalle Jack
122 Bald Eagle Southwind Inn 200
123 White Marlin In Memory of my Beloved Mother
Leonor Pro Meza who Adored &
Enjoyed Port Isabel, Ed Pro Meza
124 Wahoo
125 Spanish Mackeral
126 Florida Pompano
127 Red Drum Joe & Lu Human 85
128 Gray Triggerfish
129 Blacksaddled Coral Grouper?
130 Gag Grouper
131 Rock Beauty
132 Atlantic Croaker
133 Greater Amberjack For my dear Port Isabellian,
Amber Shintaku-Bates
Valerie Bates
134 Cobia
135 Rock Hind
136 Gag Grouper In Memoriam of
Richard Gorball
From his Family
137 Red Grouper? The Benito Longoria Family 85
138 Clearnose Skate Norma & Manuel Hinojosa 85
139 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper? In Memory of
Martha Longoria Champion
140 Wahoo Charlotte & Edward
141 Spotted Sea Trout The Jacobs Family
Bill, Linda
Lily, James, Justine
142 Atlantic Spadefish
143 Blackfin or Yellowfin Tuna Christopher Champion 85
144 Red Grouper? Sarah & Jake Champion 85
145 Tripletail Carlos & Patricia Champion 85
146 Fred & Benita Longoria Champion 85
147 Jason & Cristina Champion Sims 85
148 Black Tip Shark From Mary Bertha
Granddaughter & Daughter of
Charles & Bertha Champion
149 Goosefish? Debbie Green for Grandparents
LaVerne & Phyllis Bedell and
Carmen & Emery Green Sr.
150 Striped Sea Bass
151 Blacktip Shark Richard Champion 85
152 Snook In Memory of Jesus R. Zurita
Juan V. Zurita & Adan O. Zurita
From Inocente Zurita & Family
153 Spanish Mackeral  Darlene Coates  85
154 Mutton Snapper?
155 Rock Beauty
156 Las Ventanas Condominiums
South Padre Island
157 Crevalle Jack  Darlene Coates  85
158 Florida Pompano  Darlene Coates  85
159 Atlantic Torpedo? Duane A. Rasmussen 85
160 Tarpon Barbara “Bobby” Wells 500
161 Sheepshead In Memory of
Uvaldo & Bertha Champion
From Mr. & Mrs. Ed. L. Ayers Jr.
162 Flounder M. N. Caudill 85
163 Spotted Sea Trout In Honor of Mr. & Mrs. Sanders
Leo & Nancy
164 Black Drum Our lovely daughter, April Lee Champion Ayers 85
165 Roundel Skate Edith R. Rasmussen 85
166 Red Drum  Darlene Coates  85
167 Striped Mullet
168 Goosefish Emery Green III In Honor of
LaVerne & Phyllis Bedell and
Carmen & Emery Green Sr.
169 Shark Israel “Winnie” Gonzalez
Mary O. Gonzalez
170 White Shrimp Brazos Fisheries
by the Cateora Family
171 Gulf Menhaden
172 Striped Bass
173 Ocean Sunfish George & Virginia Haynie Gause 85
174 Red Drum Joseph, Samantha, Ashley &
Stephanie Saenz . Descendents of
Mary Katherine Champion Saenz
175 Snook Joe & Miros Saenz
Son of
Mary Katherine Champion Saenz
176 Florida Pompano
177 Atlantic Spadefish Perry Jr. & Mary Aby 85
178 Dolphinfish (aka Mahi) Laguna Madre Art League 85
179 Gag Grouper
180 Sailfish Donated by the
Frank D. Yturria Family
181 Hardhead Catfish
182 Crevalle Jack
183 Gulf Flounder Laguna Madre Museum Foundation 85
184 Sheepshead Greg & Shari Atwell
Chase and Travis, Descendants of
Joanne Champion Van Cleave
185 Red Snapper In Memory of my Husband
Albert L. Scharen
187 Gray (Mangrove) Snapper? Chase & Alexis Atwell
Piper Atwell, 3x GG-Daughter
of Charles A. Champion
189 Blue Angelfish
190 Tarpon Carlos & Jeannie Flores
Julisa, Tommy & Steve Rivera
191 Red Drum Arnulfo Aguilar Villarreal & Family 85
192 Scaled Sardine
194 Blackwing? Flying Fish Debbie Green for Grandparents
LaVerne & Phyllis Bedell and
Carmen & Emery Green Sr.
195 Black Tip Shark
197 Striped Sea Bass Anonymous 85
198 M. N. Caudill 85
199 Southern Hake
200 Gofftopsail Catfish
201 Lightening Whelk
202 Ocean Sunfish Tim & Linda Sanderson
daughter of
Mary Katherine Champion Saenz
203 Blue Crab The Reed Children
in Honor of their Parents
Howard and Cecelia Reed
204 Florida Pompano
205 Crab Anonymous 85
206 Lookdown Louis & Shirley Champion
Kathy, Tom, Terry
and Freddy
207 Mako/Tiger Shark Justin & Amy Champion
Miles Champion
Mason & Mackenzie White
208 Clearnose Skate Rey & Rose Champion 85
209 Spotted Sea Trout Brett & Jenilee Champion
Augustus Champion
210 Manta Ray Charles & Katy Champion
Charlie, Louis, Joann
Mary & Fred
211 Greater Amberjack
212 Snook Calvin & Sandra Byrd 85
213 Lighthouse In Loving Memory of my
Husband Robert & Son Rex,
Gloria Bates

Contact Information:

Jeannie Flores, Museum Director

Lighthouse Establishment Cinema ~ Summer 2017 (Cancelled)

RESTORATION CONTINUES: The Port Isabel Lighthouse will be closed until late August 2017 as Texas Parks & Wildlife undertakes some much needed renovation on the historic structure. The Visitors Center in the Keepers Cottage is still open to the public. Stop in and say hello!  LIGHTHOUSE ESTABLISHMENT CINEMA: The Summer 2017 movie schedule will be cancelled. Plans are underway for the Summer 2018 movie showings.RESTORATION CONTINUES: The Port Isabel Lighthouse will be closed until late August 2017 as Texas Parks & Wildlife undertakes some much needed renovation on the historic structure. The Visitors Center in the Keepers Cottage is still open to the public. Stop in and say hello!

LIGHTHOUSE ESTABLISHMENT CINEMA: The Summer 2017 movie schedule will be cancelled. Plans are underway for the Summer 2018 movie showings.

BACKGROUND: The LHEC is a unique program which utilizes the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse as the backdrop for the projections of movies. Since 2004, during the summer months, family friendly movies are projected onto the side of the lighthouse. The public is invited to bring their lawn chairs, blankets and picnics for a memorable evening under the stars. Mentioned in Texas Monthlyas one of three reasons to get in your car and GO!We invite you to get in your car and go to the Port Isabel Lighthouse and grab a memory of your own! Admission: Free. Public invited. Pets allowed, but must be kept on a leash and mindful of their well trained owners who are prepared to clean up after them. Concessions offered. No alcohol allowed.

For more information: info@portisabel-texas.com.

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