Monday, December 4, 2023


Fulton Mansion on Aransas Bay in Texas open during Hurricane Harvey restoration

Fulton Mansion in Rockport, Texas (Julianne G. Crane)

This article was first posted in February 2017, prior to Hurricane Harvey that same summer. This is an update on the historic Fulton Mansion’s amazing recovery.

Fulton Mansion, an imposing Victorian “iconic coastal mansion” in Rockport, Texas, has survived eight hurricanes–the most recent being Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. The catastrophic storm resulted in the complete destruction of the mansion’s flat metal roof and chimneys, leaving “major water damage to interior collections, carpets, and plaster walls.”

Hard hat tours available. (Fulton Museum)

However, within three months, the grounds were “cleaned up, new fencing
installed, oak trees trimmed, and the dead palm trees removed.” With
help from the Friends of Fulton Mansion, the Education and History Center
reopened in November 2017. Thanks to many generous donations, and
restoration efforts, the Fulton Mansion re-opened for self-guided “hard
hat tours” in March 2018.

“The home is now open for regular visiting hours six days a week. Visitors can view posters with information about each room and a photo of what the room would look like with the furnishings. The posters also point out some of the hurricane damage,” according to mansion officials.

This historic site is located about 30 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. It is a perfect RV Short Stop destination for Winter Texan snowbirds or for Texas families on a weekend trip to the Gulf Coast.

View from Fulton Mansion (Julianne G. Crane)

Originally called “Oakhurst” because “majestic live oak trees surrounded the property on three sides,” it sits just across the road from Aransas Bay. When it was completed in 1877, there was nothing like it on the Texas Coastal Plains.

It was built for George Ware Fulton (1810-1893) and his wife, Harriet Smith Fulton (1823-1910) who were married in 1840.  The 2.7-acre site is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The historical significance of this bayside residence lies in its noteworthy architectural style, a classic example of French Second Empire; its unique plank wall and shell aggregate concrete basement; characteristic mansard roof construction methods; and its advanced mechanical systems — which featured gas lighting, central heating and indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water.

This state historical site is part of the Texas Tropical Trail Region that provides information on “the natural, cultural, and historical treasures in the unique and vibrant southern tip of Texas.”

During construction days, visitors are welcome to visit the Education and History Center where there is an exhibit with background information on the Fulton family. Allow about an hour for the self-guided tour. Also available are guided architecture tours of the exterior of the mansion. Admission is free, but donations are “greatly appreciated.”

RVer Jimmy Smith in Education Center

If you go: 

Fulton Mansion
317 Fulton Beach Road
Rockport, TX 78382
Phone: 361-729-0386

Tickets: Free.
Education Center: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday: 1-4 p.m.

From State Highway 35, turn east on Henderson Street and travel approximately 7 blocks.
GPS: N28° 3′ 25″ W97° 2′ 7.4″

Julianne G. Crane 
For more information about the RV lifestyle, go to

Photos: (from the top) Fulton Mansion (Julianne G. Crane). View of damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 (Fulton Mansion).  View from Fulton Mansion of Aransas Bay (Julianne G. Crane).  RVer Jimmy Smith reading about the history of the Fulton Mansion. (Julianne G. Crane)

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”



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Nelson Needham (@guest_60895)
4 years ago

My information indicates the mansion will be closed for reconstruction starting January 21,2019 until further notice. The education center will still be open. The Fulton Mansion is a favorite stop for us. We visited numerous time prior to Harvey. Once during Christmas and the mansion was decorated in period glory. After Harvey we have visited for the self guided hard hat (figure of speech) tour. Interesting to see the water damage to the plaster, and the restoration progress. The history of the family and the Architecture/Engineering of the house is fascinating. We look forward to seeing the "finished" product. The Rockport -Fulton are is a great place to visit. Great fishing, eating and Artistic venues. The middle Texas Gulf coast is a great place to visit for a weekend or seasnon.

Beverley Fitch (@guest_60848)
6 years ago

Are all levels toured and is it accessible by wheelchair.

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