Portland, TX Area Guide

Portland, Texas has been called the “Gem City of the Gulf” due to its location on a beautiful 30 to 40 foot high bluff, overlooking 150 square miles of dancing waves and fronted the deepest water in Corpus Christi Bay. As a summer and winter resort, Portland is described as being particularly fortunate with her mild climate and prevailing bay breezes. Ducks and other game are abundant, along with fish and oysters in the bays. Portland is a great place to live with safe, upscale neighborhoods, award-winning schools and excellent city services.


Founded in 1890, Portland’s originally town site consisted of 640 acres purchased by John G. Willacy. John G. Willacy merged the New England Land Company of Portland, Maine, the New England Real Estate Company, and the Portland Harbor and Improvement Company of Wichita, Kansas, into a working unit and purchased 1,920 acres of land from the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company in 1891. A twenty-room hotel was built to prepare for the sale of lots that took place in July 1891. By 1892 the population had reached 500. W. A. McHarry, with Darius C. Rachal, Sidney G. Borden, and George Kleespies, formed a forwarding company that built a 1,200-foot wharf. A post office was authorized on March 9, 1891, with Walter Willett as the first postmaster. Business was brisk until the panic of 1893 caused the boom to disappear almost overnight. Thomas M. Clark, hearing about the vacant hotel, approached the owners and managed to buy the property to start Bay View College, which operated until it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1916.
In 1911 Willacy organized the Portland Development Company and negotiated with the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company for land it had repossessed. Coleman-Fulton also piped water from a discovery well in Taft to Portland, which had no water supply of its own. Portland prospered until it was hit by hurricanes in 1916 and again in 1919. After the boom in 1910 the population grew to over 500, but it dropped by 1925 to 300, where it held steady until the 1940s, when it reached 1,200. The city was incorporated in 1949 with Daniel Moore as mayor. In 1952 the Reynolds Metals Company broke ground for an industrial complex on land purchased from the heirs of the Green estate. Afterward, growth was steady. An aldermanic government was approved by voters in 1962. During the early years Portland was a rail shipping center for vegetables, and for a short time it had wharf facilities that handled cotton. The irrigation of the Rio Grande valley curtailed the vegetable business, and the hurricanes put an end to dreams of a port. In the 1960s and 1970s Portland grew primarily as a bedroom community for Corpus Christi. In 1988 its population was estimated at 12,000. In 1990 Portland had a population of 12,224 and had grown into Nueces County. The population was 14,827 in 2000.

Parks & Recreation

Portland’s Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to providing visitors and residents alike with well-kept parks and recreational areas. The Portland Community Center is a multi-use facility featuring both fitness and rental opportunities, including a full size basketball court, an indoor walking track, a weight room comprised of both free weights and weight machines, a cardio room including treadmills, and elliptical trainer, stair climbers, and a recumbent bike, two racquetball courts, and full size locker rooms with showers. Please click on the following link to view a list of the parks and their features in the Portland Area. http://www.portlandtx.com/Parks.cfm


Sunset Lake
Sunset Lake is a 333 acre park dedicated to recreation, education, and conservation. Sunset Lake has been restored to its natural habitat and offers a wonderful time for all.

Indian Point Park
Indian Point Park offers a premier fishing pier that reaches out into Corpus Christi bay. This particular pier is known to produce record Black Drum. Indian Point Park includes a variety of habitats for shoreline birds.

Aquatics Center
The City of Portland Aquatic Center is open year round and offers a 25 meter competition pool, diving area, a zero to four foot recreation pool with several age appropriate water toys.

Ocean View Golf
North Shore County Club is a spectacular 6,805 yard golf course with a magnificent view of the ocean. The course itself is situated on a 30-40 foot bluff, making this one unique golfing experience you can’t pass up.

For a more complete list of Portland’s attractions, please visit: http://portlandtx.org/web/activities.html