Unique Port A History: The Farley Boat Planters

gillnurseryGarden Design, Life in The Garden10 Comments

On Mother’s Day, James and I got up before the sun to head to the beach to catch some early morning waves at Packery. After an hour or so, as more youngster surfers paddled out, James paddled in. We then headed over to Port Aransas for a quiet Mother’s Day breakfast at a local diner on Alister Street. 

After a lovely, hearty breakfast, we decided to drive through Port A’s Old Town, close to the port entrance. For the first time, I took in the variety of Farley Boat replicas in the neighborhood and their owners’ plantings.  

Back in the early 1900s, Tarpon fishing was big off Port Aransas, but there weren’t boats designed to handle the choppy Gulf of Mexico waters. Fred Farley from Alabama learned of the need for a boat with low-sides and high bow so he moved to Port Aransas with his three brothers and began a boat-building business that continued until the 1970’s. Today, Port Aransas takes pride that the Farley brothers and their families designed and built many boats to meet the needs of the local fishing guides and anglers.  

from https://portaransasmuseum.org/

The Port Aransas Garden Club created the Farley boat planters for a beautification project, combining local history with blooming plants and natives! The planters are an artistic reproduction of the original Farley boats and a reminder of historic fishing and boat building in the early 1900’s in Port Aransas, Texas. 

If you want one for yourself, contact portagardenclub@gmail.com

-Sally Gill

10 Comments on “Unique Port A History: The Farley Boat Planters”

  1. Thanks so much Sally! I love to learn about local history. New York had cows, Norfolk has mermaids, Austin has guitars, and now Port A has Farley boats! I’ll be sure to do my own tour when I’m there in August.

  2. Sally, thank you for this little jewel of history. My father was an avid deep sea fisherman at Port Aransas back in the day; so I’m forwarding your info to family members that will enjoy reading it.

  3. Sweet Joan, happy you enjoyed a little local history! They are scattered around Port Aransas, but there are a bunch in Old Town. Heading to Seattle to visit with Stuart & Anne’s little girl, Beatrice Larkin Gill! Being a grandmother is magical, as you well know! Love to you Joan, Sally

  4. Thanks so much Dorothy! My grandfather and great uncles were also avid fishermen, mainly off the Rockport coastline. It was a magical era, with lots and lots of fish to be had! Thank you for sharing! Sally

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  6. We love your write-up on this little bit of history and the Farley replicas. How much are they?

    PS- can you tell me more about Packery? Our daughter, Gracen, just picked up surfing and absolutely fell in love with Port A!

    1. The last I heard, the port Aransas garden club was selling the Farley boats so try to get in touch with them.
      Regarding surfing, port Aransas certainly has a decent wave anywhere from the jetties to Avenue G. But if you come down to Packery , You will usually surf the southside in winter and the northside in summer. If you are just starting, keep in mind that it can get pretty crowded and it’s best to stay out on the edges rather than the middle of the crowd. Also, be aware of the rip current close to the jetties. Once you have a year or two experience you know how to use its power to your advantage but before then it can be a danger and people do drown if they don’t understand how rip currents work.

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