Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fulton Mansion & USS Lexington

Fulton Mansion
The parlor with the latest in 1870's decor.
The library and one of the fireplaces that were in each room as part of the central heating system.
This illustration shows the wall and floor construction.
USS Lexington
The rising sun flag marks the spot where a Japanese kamikaze hit the ship.
An animation of catapulting and catching planes.
Navy aircraft on the flight deck.
Jim, Allan, Nanc,Mark, Sharon & Renita aboard the Lex.

We took a tour of one of the most unique places in Rockport, the Fulton Mansion. It was known as Oakhurst when the Fultons lived at the mansion. The house, built 1874 by George and Harriet Fulton, was the most modern house in south Texas at the time. It had central heating and ventilation, gas lights, indoor plumbing with hot and cold running water and the latest decor and furnishings. George Fulton, a man of many talents, was a Philadelphia orphan who came to Texas in 1836 to participate in the fight for independence but arrived to late for the war. He became a teacher for the family of Henry Smith and married Henry's daughter Harriet. After inheriting his father-in-laws land, he acquired over 25,000 acres and made his fortune selling cattle. The construction of Oakhurst was unique because it was built without studs or floor joists. All the walls were built by stacking 1 1/2 x 5 foot pine boards and nailing them together. The floors are solid with pine boards nailed together and supported with I-beams. As a result, this home has been able to withstand several hurricanes over the years. The home offers an interesting look at how the other half lived in the late 1800's.

Another day we went with Mark, Renita, Allan and Sharon to Corpus Christi and toured the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay, an Essex class aircraft carrier. The Lex served during WWII and was later modernized and recommissioned to serve a total of 40 years. The self guided tour includes the flight deck, bridge, hangar, engine room and living areas. An IMAX movie is also included in the admission fee. The ship was built during the war and served in most battles in the Pacific theater. The 910 foot Lex was heavily damaged when it was hit by a Japanese kamikaze but was repaired in time to be the first ship of her class to sail into Tokyo Harbor. The flight deck has a number of planes showing a wide range of Navy aircraft. This is the fourth WWII ship we have been on in the last 18 months. Each one, battleship, submarine, LST and aircraft carrier, is unique and gives you new insight into how our sailors lived and the hardships they faced in defending our country.

On Tuesday we were glued to the TV watching all the events in DC. It was all very exciting for a couple of yellow dog Democrats and we both cheered when we saw that helicopter lift off to return "W" to Texas. We wish the best for President Obama, his family and the members of his administration.

The weather here is MUCH improved with more sun and warm temps and less fog and clouds. We will be moving south to Port Isabel next week and are hoping the weather will go with us. We understand we are not getting any sympathy from those people up north when we complain. It's all relative.


MarkandRenita said...

Had to laugh as I thought we were the only "Yellow Dog Democrats", around here.

Bob and Molly said...

Hi Jim and Nancy....we finally caught up with your blog...good to see that you are traveling well and happy!!
We're in FL with some of the other mates from 07.
Look forward to seeing you in Texas for the reunion!