Goose Island State Park

Established 1935 | Aransas County | 321 acres

Established 1935 | Aransas County | 321 acres

Goose Island State Park | Exploring the Texas State Park System (1970s)

This 1970s government film highlights the natural beauty of Goose Island State Park, from its sandy beaches to its centuries-old live oaks. (With a crown spread of almost 90 feet, the Big Tree is one of the largest live oaks in the nation.) But the development of Goose Island proved a tipping point for the Civilian Conservation Corps nationally.

Company 1801, originally a mixed-race unit, arrived on the scene in 1934. The local community vehemently objected to white and Black enrollees working together, prompting then-Texas Attorney General James Allred to shut down the project. Construction resumed after the CCC converted Company 1801 into an all-Black unit on April 1, 1935. Calls for camp segregation, however, now became calls for camp removal. The US Army subsequently relocated Company 1801 to Fort Sam Houston. Park development stopped and Texas lost a CCC camp. In response, CCC Director Robert Fechner issued a new nationwide policy. Henceforth, Black enrollees could only work on projects in their states of residence. If state governors could (or would) not facilitate local acceptance of an all-Black unit, the company would be transferred to work on an Army post. And all companies—not just those operating in the Jim Crow South—would be racially segregated.

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Park Map