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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Boca Chica Village, Port Isabel,TX 
While we were down south at the gulf coast we decided we needed to see the area around Brownsville,TX. The city is bordering Mexico and has a major border crossing check point. Brownsville is a good place to do several small excursions from. Let's see what we took of notes back then in 2006:

March 27 Where the Rio Grande, or "Rio Bravo", as it is called in Spanish, runs out into the Gulf of Mexico lies an odd place called Boca Chica Village. Getting there is more than easy as we only have to follow the Boca Chica Blvd. out of Brownsville.
This is monday morning and we have a heavy traffic in town. But after leaving the outskirts of Brownsville behind, the area is getting rural, flat and pretty treeless the farther we get out to the ocean.

After some 24 miles the road ends abruptly at the beach. Boca Chica lies on the east-side of the road, pretty close to the beach.

Now, if you expect a thriving sea resort you'd be disappointed. The village is in a major state of disrepair. In fact the visible decay is hard to describe. broken windows, damaged doorways, fallen-down gutters, pieces of roofs gone missing, old car wrecks parked on "main street" and weeds sprouting through old broken pavement everywhere. This village qualifies for the title "Ghost Town". And, unbelievably, there are still living a few die-hard's between the rubble.
In the spirit of the late 19th and early 20th Century land promotion schemes, Kopernic Shores (named after the astronomer Copernicus) was advertised in print and radio ads in Polish. Some 2,000 investors reportedly bought lots here, sight unseen. Considerably fewer people actually moved in to the 32 houses that were built.
Boca Chica Village on Google Earth. Google hasn't even bothered to take street-view pics there. Just south of the village flows the Rio Grande and beyond....Mexico
The town, billed as the "next Fort Lauderdale" had to have water trucked in from Brownsville and although it was incorporated, a Cameron county judge ruled it invalid. Today it exists as a sort of first generation Polish colonia.

Today, Kopernic Shores is now called Boca Chica Village and has a population of 6 permanent residents. Five of whom are of Polish ancestry.

On this windy day thundering waves roll ashore. This beach is covered with seagrass and we realize that we nearly are on the southern most tip of the United States. Only Key West,Florida sticks a little bit farther out to the south. We are in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

As our second destination for the day we do a similar long drive to Port Isabel on South Padre Island. Quite different from it's northern counterpart South Padre Island is mostly developed for tourism. The little town of Port Isabel 

offers it's coastal charme with the centrally located old lighthouse and a row of small old-time-style gift stores. 

A few nice restaurants offer Seafood and italian cooking.

On a street corner we find an exhibition of wooden Pelicans. Normally we never buy souvenirs, but this time we could not resist and bought one of the smaller pelicans, which to this day guards our window towards the sea.

And here is a real one..

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting piece of history. Amazing that those six people can still survive there.


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