Sparkling City by the Sea

The Sparkling City by the Sea has always been seen as a city with potential for major growth. Back in 1924, advertisements for Corpus to become the ‘Metropolis of the State of Texas’ were a common sight. Investment companies also believed that the entire county would flourish into a hub of large towns surrounded by farmlands. Robstown was advertised as ‘the most progressive town in the state’ and Bishop was claimed to become the second, if not first, largest city in the state. Well here we are 93 years later; Corpus is the 8th largest city in the State (only… Read more »


Stamp Tax

The Stamp Act of 1765 was largely responsible for enabling the American Revolution, as we all know. However, for those of us that can after the 50s, it may be shocking to learn that the United States used revenue stamps for various services through 1958. Documentary stamps were the most common of these stamps and were often used to pay notary and sale fees for land sales. Below you can see $39.60 in documentary stamps to complete a sale between A.G. Becker and W.T. Pulliam for the conveyance of an 80-acre tract out of the Memory Gardens of Corpus Christi…. Read more »


A Stickler for Symbology

I’d like to start of by saying that Charles Blucher was an amazing surveyor and cartographer, but even the best of us can make a decision that will draw criticism from peers. You see, I didn’t grow up in the surveying world, in fact I didn’t even start out there. I ended up where I am today because Uncle Sam gave me a pair of boots and a rifle and sent someone to teach me how to read a map and survey the land in front of me. That training is why I have a criticism of a habit Mr…. Read more »


Whoa, whoa!

We’re halfway there! Whoa, whoa! We’re living on a prayer! We are officially halfway through digitally preserving the Blucher Field Book Collection. Thanks to the extremely hard work of Maria Cherry, Ryan Mayer, & Julissa Peña. At the current rate this team is going, there is no doubt that they will complete the project before the Fall Equinox. Looking back at the collection we wanted to reshare two of our favorite field book finds; Tarasco Language & “Also Wet”.


Corpus Christi, 1887

Corpus Christi, the Naples of South Texas, was established in 1839 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney. In a mere 48 years Corpus Christi had already developed most of today’s downtown area. The only thing missing was Shoreline Boulevard. And Whataburger. And the Coliseum. And the Selena Memorial statue. Either way, the roads were laid and many structures erect. Taking a look at the birds eye view of Corpus Christi from 1887, many of us at Spatial {Query} Lab wanted to locate our favorite establishments. Below is the map with some of our favorite downtown establishments. As you… Read more »


Tragedy on the Bay

Few people remember the Alta Vista Hotel in Corpus Christi. Its story is one of failed dreams and overlooked potential. The hotel was built by Colonel Elihu Harrison Ropes in the late Nineteenth Century. Ropes, who eventually had the street located between Sinclair & Doddridge dedicated in his honor, came to Corpus with hopes of molding a new economic hub out of the city on the bay. Unfortunately, his financial bakers from the East Coast pulled out only a few years into Ropes transformation and his dreams retreated with them. Defeated, Ropes left Corpus. This didn’t stop the construction of… Read more »


Visualization vs Transparency

Spatial analysis and CAD-based-cartography sure have come a long way since 1897. Just like with any new technology, the seasoned professionals in a field aren’t going to embrace the new way of doing things. Cartographers are no exception here. Many cartographers will publicize their disdain for computer-based-map making, just like many fans of static maps are disapproving of interactive maps, and just like every industry before, the power of the future has pushed many of the Nay-Sayers out of industry. Luckily there are groups (Spatial {Query} Lab, for instance) that recognize the importance of historical documents. My time in… Read more »


Got Milk?

When Mr. Blucher was conducting the surveys for the new Borden plant in 1951 I’m sure an ice cold glass of milk was on his mind. Borden came to the city back in 1926 with 15 employees and 5 trucks, by 1951 both of these numbers had broken a hundred and Borden was inputting over $5 million into the Coastal Bend Community. This plat serves as a reminder that surveying is an integral part of growing communities and economic development. So don’t forget to point out that surveyor working on the side of the road to your kids. Explain to them… Read more »


Prehistoric GIS

Little known fact: prior to the Computer Age brains had to serve as our GIS and cartographic outputs were penned. In this collection we have thousands of historic maps and plats. For the most part they are boundary and topographic surveys at large scales (high detail, small area for those that have forgotten). Not to detract from the amount of work that went into these project, but they cannot compete with the complexity of most geoprocesses used in a quality geographic information system. That is why today I would like to present to you what I am calling ‘the oldest… Read more »


Where’s Doddridge?

Those that know Corpus Christi history know that many of our streets are named after the movers and shakers of the city’s past. Perry Doddridge, the man that opened the first bank in Corpus Christi, unsurprisingly has a street named after him as well. Living up to Perry Doddridge’s reputation for changing capitalistic ventures, so does the street. Doddridge was originally built as part of a beach front addition to the city. The area was home to the Memorial Coliseum before it was demolished in 2010. It is unknown if the street was renamed Kinney to specifically honor the founder of… Read more »