Rio Grande Rail Road Company 1870 - 1911
Pelican Station is located on the exact site where the Rio Grande Rail Road ran in the late 1800's. RGRR began in 1870 as the only railroad in Texas and one of the few in the United States. It was a 42" gauge railroad. RGRR ran a twenty-six mile route between Point Isabel and Brownsville and consisted of three locomotives and fifty-six cars.
RGRR was owned and operated by several Brownsville businessmen. It was created in an attempt to break the transportation monopoly held by riverboat owners Richard King and Mifflin Kennedy, who later became owners of large ranches in the area.
RGRR had a loading / unloading pier 1000 feet long, built over the shallow waters of the Laguna Madre. Lighter boats would offload cargo from ships offshore of Point Isabel and deliver it to the pier to be offloaded once again. This process was reversed for cargo shipped from Port Isabel. This pier was rebuilt in 1928 by the US Corps of Engineers and used to deliver the granite rock used to construct the Jetties.
A Father and his Sons Make a Great Team!
Alfonso Salazar, better known as “Dirty Al”, originally started shrimping as a young man with his father and 6 brothers. In 2003, he and his youngest son, culinary school graduate Cameron, transformed his bait stand into a restaurant where together they have been known for having “The World’s Best Fried Shrimp”! In 2005, his other two sons returned home to help grow the business. They now own 7 restaurants on beautiful South Padre Island and across the vally and continue to bring only the best Gulf Seafood to each customer’s table.
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