Before Katrina, Before Ike, Even Before Hurricanes Had Names
The Great Hurricane of 1886 Helped Wipe Indianola Off the Map

ABOVE: Indianola, Texas

With Hurricane Ike bearing down on the Gulf Coast of Texas, most people are unaware of a similar storm: the great hurricane of 1886. That storm hit not only the area known as Matagorda Bay but struck a blow to the dreams of the port city of Indianola, the “Queen of the West”.

When most people think of hurricanes and Texas, they think of such monster storms as Rita, Carla, Camille, or the great Galveston storm of 1900. Yet, there’s been countless other hurricanes to strike along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Two of those storms changed the destiny of Indianola–a city which at one time was one of the most important ports along the Texas Gulf of Mexico–where settlers landed and headed west. DBKP took a look at the port city which was known as “the Queen of the West” and how two hurricanes–one of which is still known as the fifth largest hurricane to ever hit the U.S.–wiped Indianola off the map, dreams and all.

The history of Indianola, a city that was located on Matagorda Bay on Powderhorn Bayou, was short in duration. Though its history was short, Indianola had become an important natural water port: the chief destination of European settlers looking to relocate to the West.

Union ships bombarded and eventually seized the town during the Civil War. The town was known for such oddities as camels, which were requisitioned by the then-Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, in 1856 and 1857, on their way to the great southwest.

Established as a settlement on what was known as Indian Point in 1846, the town sat at the crossroads of the Chihuahaw Trail–a military road to San Antonio, Austin, and Chihuahua, Mexico–and the road to San Diego. The road that led westward was known as Cart Road, as most of the goods were transported by oxcart. In 1853, the fateful decision was made to move the town three miles to Powderhorn Bayou at sea level.

Continue reading: Hurricane Ike and Indianola: The Great Hurricane of 1886

by Mondoreb/LBG
Source: Hurricane Ike and Indianola: The Great Hurricane of 1886

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at All DBKP stories are filed under Mondoreb at BNN. This story was by LBG.

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