The Bayside Historical Society (BHS) offers a range of historical research projects available to members and the public. Research opportunities within the BHS can be divided into several categories:

  • Documentary Research – researching historical documents and accounts relating to Coastal Bend history and relevant Texas history. This includes researching secondary works by historians such as Hobart Huson, Msgr. William Oberste, Keith Guthrie, J. Frank Dobie, etc., and also involves primary sources such as maps, deeds, census records, diaries, photographs, newspapers and oral histories. There are current research projects directed to reconstructing the abandoned port of St. Mary’s of Aransas. The BHS’s quarterly newsletter, the Baysider, publishes articles submitted by members and the public on topics of local historical content as well as BHS news.

  • Physical Research – researching material objects from the past, including objects used by both the historic and the pre-historic peoples of this region. The waterways and bays of the Coastal Bend were the scenes of transportation and fishery going back thousands of years in Native American pre-history. Many seaports, such as El Copano, St. Mary’s of Aransas, Black Point, and Lamar, served the early colonists of this area, leaving much visible and buried evidence of prior occupation. The BHS joins with the Southern Texas Archaeological Association and the Texas Archaeological Society in exploring through the physical remnants of the historical record of life that took place. Through archaeological surveying and controlled digs, significant data of the past can be retrieved. BHS volunteers have participated in several exploratory digs and surveys and will continue this type of research among the many pre-historic and historic sites available in the region.

  • Preservation and Educational Research – preserving objects, documents and structures of the past and displaying them to the public in order to foster an interest in and knowledge of local history. BHS gratefully accepts donations of historical documents, antiques, pre-historic artifacts and paleontological specimens for curation and exhibition to the public.