History in the making…..

A milestone in Rockport’s commitment to historic preservation has been achieved with the formal/official donation of the San Antonio – Aransas Pass Railroad Depot to the Rockport Cultural Arts District (RCAD).   David Beckham, the owner of the Depot, donated the structure to the District for restoration and repurposing as a community resource and tourist attraction May 26, 2021.  Mr. Beckham stated, “The Cultural District will be an excellent steward for this important part of our heritage.”


Jennifer Day, RCAD Executive Director, noted that Mr. Beckham’s generosity and public-spirited gift have spurred other private philanthropists and Foundations to donate to the initiative.   She added, “The Margaret Sue Rust Foundation, HEB, the Summerlee Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts have contributed to our vision of the Depot as a hub for Downtown District events, providing parking and other resources for many of the planned civic and cultural buildings, restaurants, galleries and stores.   Our area will now have five wonderful places for history buffs and heritage tourists – the Fulton Mansion, the Texas Maritime Museum, the History Center for Aransas County, and the Fulton Schoolhouse Museum.   Together with our wealth of Historical Markers and restored houses, Rockport makes for a wonderful place to explore Texas Gulf Coast history.”


Warren Hassinger, President of the RCAD Board, commented, “This initiative is an example of the results of effective public-private partnerships with the City and County, non-profits and engaged residents cooperating to make our city better for both residents and tourists.”


Members of the RCAD Board, other volunteers and restoration specialists are busy preparing the building for its first official public showing Saturday, June 19th, as part of the Rockport Sesquicentennial festivities.  The San Antonio Ragtime Society will be presenting a free program at the Depot from 11am – 3pm.  RCAD has also been working with a Depot Advisory Group to collect display cases, artifacts and photographs to begin the transition of the building to a museum.   If you would like to volunteer with Depot activities or donate, contact Jennifer Day at 214-395-7156 or visit https://rockportculturalartsdistrict.com/rockport-railroad-depot/.