Our permanent exhibits tell the comprehensive story of Texas’ maritime history and highlight our to four main themes:

  • Exploration and Settlement
  • Oil and Gas Exploration
  • Commercial and Sports Fishing
  • Boat and Shipbuilding

Permanent Exhibits

LaSalleA Day in the Life at the Texas Maritime Museum focuses on the life of crew member’s on the ship, La Belle.  Artifacts directly from the La Belle wreck off of Matagorda Bay are displayed throughout the main gallery.  The exhibit is part of the LaSalle Odyssey, a seven member coalition of museums from Corpus Christi to Bay City which tell the story of the ill-fated French expedition of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in search of the Mississippi River in 1685-86.

Settlement and Exploration begins with the first occupants of the Coastal Bend, the Karankawa, highlights the first explorers in the area, and focuses on the development of the maritime communities Indianola, El Copano, and Galveston. 

Oil and Gas Exploration is a vital economic resource for the Texas Coast and Gulf waters.  The museum explores the technology used in the extraction of petroleum from several feet, to several thousand feet below sea level.  The exhibit features an interactive kiosk and a scale model of Bullwinkle, the largest offshore drilling platform in history.  A marvel of civil engineering, Bullwinkle was constructed for Shell Oil at Gulf Marine in Ingleside.

FishingAllure of Fishing focuses on sports fishing through the development of outboard motors, lures, and tackle. The commercial fishing industry along the Gulf coast is an important source of income for the state. The exhibit explores how the large scale fishing and shrimping industries developed.

Maritime Commerce explores the different shipyards and area boat builders and how maritime communities developed further inland, and goods were transported from Gulf of Mexico ports along the rivers.  Military shipyards Heldenfels, Westergard-Rice, and Platzer Boat Works provided ships to the military during both World Wars.  Local boat builders the Farley Brothers, Rockport Yacht and Supply Company, and Jacob Schultz crafted vessels specifically for the coastal waters, offshore fishing and shrimping.

There is so much more to explore at the Texas Maritime Museum. Come SEA us to learn more!