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Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold, Mate!

IN THE HISTORICAL section of the Museum in town, there are a few 'favorites' for me. I will get to that in a bit. But first a bit of history found under the museum's roof...


~"It was in 1519 that a Spanish explorer, Alonzo Alvarez de Piñeda, discovered Corpus Christi Bay. Three hundred years later, in 1838, a trading post was established overlooking Corpus Christi Bay and named Kinney's Trading Post, after its founder, Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney. It was not until 1852 that the trading post became an incorporated city and was named Corpus Christi, meaning The Body of Christ"~ Which was celebrated over four centuries later...

That tidbit brings me to my all time favorite piece in a glass encased exhibit. The Queen's Gown!!! [photos below]

...an annual jubilee held in the city! Initially a three-day celebration [now-a-days a week long celebration]. The discovery and naming of Corpus Christi Bay by the Spanish explorer, Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda, along with historical significance to pirates, was probably a good enough reason to instigate some celebration. The famed pirate, Jean Lafitte, often pillaged the ships here in our bay waters centuries ago...an infamous "Buccaneer"...now, in more recent history, with most residents dressing up in pirate garb to participate in the merry-making...the event became known as "Buccaneer Days". Each year, a queen is crowned during the gala. The first Queen's Gown shown here is blue velvet, studded with faux jewels and sequins with a 10 foot train designed with hand stitched dragonflies and center bejeweled crown. The photos just don't do justice to the dazzling sparkle of it all!! I love it, but I wouldn't want to wear it...I bet it's HEAVY!! And the humidity and heat during "Buc Days"...uh-huh!! Not me. [front view of the dress, on the floor to the right of the dress, shows off the crown] Still, it's a favorite part of the 'history' of this area for me....the intricate work involved in the making of this treasured past always boggles my mind. The hours it had to have taken to hand stitch it all.





Then, another section I find fascinating is all about the French Explorer Ship, LaBelle, captained by Robert de La Salle.  A doomed ship lost in the Gulf [just miles from Corpus Christi in Matagorda Bay] and then, centuries later found and excavated in part...sharing treasures of the past in several of Texas's coast's museums.  One room in this vicinity is exhibiting several oil paintings of this bay and the ship.  I love the art work here also. There is a small art collection in a gallery off the main floor. [LaBelle depicted in art, seen above at beginning of post]

The entire history section housing artifacts all pertain to this area of the Coastal Bend.  From Ranching, diseases that devastated previous populations, the first doctor in our area, general stores, an antique gun/rifle/bayonet collection that will astound anyone with an interest in the history of fire arms, Native American lifestyles, ships' treasures of lost gold and silver, men and women portrayals of yesteryear....
...of course, the ranching 'industry' is a huge part of my area of Texas...The King's Ranch for one. Also, the Kenedy [spelling with ONE 'n'] ranch,  along with the matriarch, Petra Kenedy. She bore 12 children; adopting one child, making a family of 13 children. With her husband, Giffin, he too had a huge stake in this area, and worked along with the partnership of Richard King [King's Ranch] raising cattle, cotton and becoming millionaires and land holders of a seemingly endless part of this county and others in South Texas!! Besides the vast ranch land and house on the ranch, the Kenedy family also had a home in the city, on the bluff facing the Bay---


Mrs. Kenedy's Coach for traveling to and from the ranch...reaching Corpus Christi in two days' travel. Her initials P K were etched on the door

Oftentimes, her entourage would have several bodyguards on horseback...stagecoach robbers and a different kind of pirating came along with some seeking to rob them of their fortunes!!  Yessiree, all not all treasure is silver and gold....









Read more on the ship  LaBelle - Shipwreck
Read more on the area Matagorda Bay [where the ship's wreckage was found]
Read more on Jean LaFitte

32 comments :

  1. I cannot IMAGINE the hours and hours and hours it took to stitch all that finery!!! And WHO stitched it??? Probably maids and servants, I presume.
    I hope to visit this museum myself someday!!

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  2. The Queen's gown is amazing, that is my favorite tonight. I have never seen a dress like it.

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  3. The dress is stunning, how did the woman wearing it not faint in the heat and humidity?!?

    Our history is a treasure greater than silver or gold; thank you for sharing this part of it.

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  4. I keep forgetting to tell you I like your header. Now this Museum is a fascinating place with so much to see. Wonderfully photographed exhibits. So much history here.

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  5. Hi Anni, the dress is amazing.. I love the dragonflies.. It looks heavy, I could not imagine wearing it.. Cool museum! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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  6. Gee Anni, you did quite some research here :)
    That dress is gorgeous :))
    Have a fine weekend
    【ツ】Knipsa

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  7. Wow! That dress and all those sequins and stuff. I bet she had to have several people hold up that train. (A different kind of train holdup :-)

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  8. We've been to the King Ranch for a tour and the whole story of the history of the ranch and the cattle that have been bred there is fascinating. The museum is really a must see.

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  9. love the cow and the buggy and i thought about having to wear that heavy dress, then i read about the body guards and now i think we have it pretty darn good now... the ladies back then only wore clothes that were miserable... think corsets and slips and long skirts in the heat. yowsa

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  10. kings and kenedys. quite the texas heritage. :)

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  11. Wow, if I ever get back to Corpus I'll be checking out that museum.

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  12. Ah, yes!! The Texas heritage indeed!! What a fascinating post for the day and what a terrific museum! I would love to visit there! Another great post, Anni, and I do so enjoy the things you share with us!! Thank you!! Hope your weekend is off to a great start! Enjoy!!

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  13. The bejeweled Queen's gown is amazing.

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  14. The gown is gorgeous, but I'm happy I don't have to wear it.

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  15. That gown is absolutely gorgeous, and certainly of museum quality. The hours and hours of hand stitching that went into it are mind-boggling. You are right - it has to be heavy! I love reading about the recovery of old ship wrecks. Interesting!!

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  16. I can't imagine wearing that gown (though gorgeous) in the heat and humidity! That train is something else! I also can't imagine 13 children!

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  17. Oh my cats what a gorgeous dress full of jewels...one thing for sure if my mom was wearing it and had to step on a scale she would strip down to her undies. MOL
    hugs madi and mom

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  18. wow, that gown is amazing. I imagine with that train it's quite heavy

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  19. Interesting entry. When I lived in San Antonio I made many day trips with a group. The one I missed was the King Ranch. I've always been sorry that I did.

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  20. I love history and museums. This looks like a good one. That gown is just amazing!

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  21. The dress is amazing dear Anni . So much of time and effort would have gone in to make it look so spectacular! Hope you are having a great sunday :)

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  22. What a fabulous museum! We just love these places. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. Wow look the queen's dress. How gorgeous. But I also think it's heavy. Thsnks for sharing sn interesting, informative post.

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  24. What a great museum! I'd love to visit there some time. The painting is wonderful. And that GOWN! Oh my! LOVE the train...it would be so much fun to be the Queen on Buccaneer Days just once! :-)

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  25. I just cannot begin to imagine how much time went into making that gown! I so would love to see it and examine it in person. Which I know I couldn't even if I could see it in person, but it don't stop me from wishing I could. When we watch old westerns or shows where the women had the long, full skirted dresses, I always tell Roger imagine making that by hand. and think of the yardage to make the long dresses!

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  26. History and museums...it is wonderful that you have so much access to these. The stitchery alone blows me away!

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  27. Love our local museums and festivals! I need to get down to the Kenedy County one to see it.

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  28. What wonderful treasures.

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  29. Oh-h that gown is awe inspiring! I wonder how many people were employed on all that embroidery and stitching. I assume it's handmade. I love history and I've always loved anything about pirates from when I was a little girl. Naturally, I've read about Jean Lafitte, but my favourite buccaneer is Edward Teach aka Blackbeard. We have the land equivalent of pirates...bushrangers. Ned Kelly is probably the most infamous.

    A very interesting post, Anni.

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  30. Wow! Look at that gown! Fabulous!

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  31. Great post! I've seen those dresses and have had several friends who actually wore them. They are incredible works of art. Thanks for sharing the highlights of this wonderful museum. I enjoyed the visit!

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