Seadrift was founded in 1848, it was originally known as Lower
Mott. It was formed by some of the German people who originally
came and settled Indianola, as they moved inland to farm. Some
of the Surnames of the early settlers in the area were:
Bindewald; Coward; Jordan; Cook; Leibold; Dierlam; Cloudt;
Steinberg; Buffington; Madden; Straight; Willmers; Roemer; Brown
Members of the community petitioned for a Post Office and, out
of the names submitted by townspeople, Seadrift was selected.
The first Postmaster was Jessie Dierlam, who was appointed
September 4, 1891.
Of course the first inhabitants of the area were the Karankawa.
These native Americans lived all along the coast and on the
Islands between between what is today the cities of Corpus
Christi and Galveston. They used dugout canoes to help
supplement their diet with fish, porpoise, oysters and plants
from the bay. They also caught Alligator in the bayous in the
area. The alligator provided a grease these native Americans
used as insect and mosquito repellant.
The Karankawa were driven from the area by the Spanish and
French and became extinct by about 1858. The first person of
Spanish heritage to explore the coast of Texas was Alonso
Alvarez de Pineda. He was followed soon after by another Spanish
explorer known as Cabeza de Vaca. De Vaca was a member of an
expedition that shipwrecked on the Texas coast. The crew, upon
reaching land, were greeted by a tribe of Karankawa Indians. The
Indians were at first kind and helpful to the Spanish sailors.
Soon, however, many of the Spaniards died from exposure and
disease. The disease spread to the Indians and soon the native
tribes associated Europeans with disease. From then on trouble
was known between the groups.
The Calhoun County Cattle Company bought a large amount of land
from Thomas M. O'Connor in 1908. The Seadrift Townsite Company
bought the land in 1909 and sold it to the American Townsite
Company in 1911. By 1909 a railroad came into Seadrift and was
soon followed by other railroad companies. A channel was dug to
the Intercoastal Waterway to facilitate shipping of seafood and
vegetables. At a time when transportation was poor in Texas,
this put Seadrift at an advantage.
The census of 1916 showed that the City of Seadrift had a
population of two thousand and many expected it to grow more.
The storms of 1919 and 1929 took a toll on the city. Many
residents decided the rebuilding necessary after a hurricane and
the dangers involved, were not worthwhile, and they moved away
from the bay. Seadrift today has a smaller population, it is
presently around 1400 persons.
Instead of the businesses of the early 1900's we today have
chemical plants, farms, ranches and fishing boats. Our seafood
product has been served at such diverse places as the Academy
Awards in Hollywood, and the products manufactured at the Union
Carbide and International Specialties plants are shipped all
over the world.
With thanks to the Seadrift History Book Committee who put
together a wonderful history of Seadrift called "Seadrift
Memories". This history contains information on may of the
families of the area as well as Organizations, Businesses,
Churches and Legends.