NAME: Indianola or Karlshaven
COUNTY: Calhoun
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Hurricane Ravaged.
REMAINS: Statue of La Salle, Cemetary, brick remains of original settler's dam .

It has been written, "Of the many ghost towns in Texas, none died as tragic a death as Indianola." Founded by German immigrants in 1844, the town once was second only to Galveston as a Texas port city. Today, Indianola no longer exists, battered into submission by two devastating hurricanes in 1875 and 1886. A German immigrant, Johann Schwartz, built the first house in 1845. By 1860, the population had grown to over a thousand people and by 1870 over two thousand. By this time, the town had changed its name to Indianola. As a port city, Indianola grew to importance as a military depot; it was the nearest port city to San Antonio; it was an important point for the export of various commodities from western Texas. Because the town was at sea level, it was vulnerable to all the tropical storms along the Gulf coast. The first hurricane struck on September 16, 1875 and winds of 110 miles per hour literally blew the town away. The town was rebuilt but the damage had been done. The population began to decline and by 1880 fewer than a thousand people remained. The second hurricane struck on August 19, 1886 and was even more destructive than the first. What wind and water failed to destroy, a subsequent fire sealed the fate of Indinloa. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth

I read this poem, walked this beach and had to know more about this city that is no more. If you like history of interesting places please read on. My poem is at the end. Texas Ghost Town and its history An old true tale of the flood and tide Such is the aspect of this shore Old Indianola So, Indianola, has it been with thee, Thou once fair city by the moonlit sea! Thy fame is ended and thy beauty fled. Bleak memory call thee form the silent dead. Thy streets are nameless, and seaweeds grow Along the walks where life did want to flow Forever dead! Forever thy dream is o'er! Thou livist alone on Memory's barren shore The sun that set, yet sets to rise again, Will smile the same, yet smile on the in vain While moonbeams dancing as the billows roar, Will seem as bright, yet dance ont thee no more. Jeff Melemona 1889 © Old Indianola A hundred and some odd years, Old Indianola could it be! So you are not forgotten, don't you see. With stories of the days gone by, Your forty grand years that didn't die. Old Indianola asleep by the sea, Your cisterns long since dry, The cap'ts tomb now empty The church bell doesn't ring, and the seagulls seldom cry. Untold stories gone out into the sea Can you share with us no more? Old Indianola that use to be, but we should listen to thee! And care not to compare, but to be a village by the sea. See the beauty and wonder Feel the emotions of yesteryear Here at Old Indianola, Just listen, she'll talk to you! Kirsten Allen© May 20, 1993 The History LeSalle discovered Matagorda Bay in 1685,the deepest water on the Texas coast and the news traveled fast as this became one of the most important ports in the US. The decade of the 1850's brought the 1st newpaper, railroad constuction began, the community was incorporated, the county seat was moved, and the camels landed.In the 1880's becomeing a cosmopolitan port city and developing into a wholesale center. Wharves were at capacity with sailing vessels and steamers tied up bow to stern. The biggest point of entry, the Morgen line ran to Indianola from New York, New Orleans, Pesacloa, Cuba and other foreign countries. The oxen wagons were lined up for a mile and would then haul the goods to all parts of the US and Old Mexico. Trade in cattle, hogs and lumber was carried on well into South America as well. The fish and oyster industry of course was one of the largest. Town lots sold as high as $400.00. The mosonic Lodge, Court House and Jail would compare with any in the states. The 3 shell carriage drives, either of which was far superior to the famous beach drive at Galvestion and equal perhaps to any in the world. This Texas town of Indianola was born 1844 as a tent camp and flourished as a port and then disappeared when a monster hurricane struck. This large port city is no more, and no hope of her resurrections but the memory of those who peopled this city, many of whose last resting place is beneath the sea, will never die. Daylight, thursday the 16th of Septemer 1886, dawned upon this stricken town and its now anxious citizens. The gale had become a hurricane and the waters of the bay raced to fury and rushed angrily westwood over the town and far out into the prairie beyond. During the afternoon most of the buildings along the bayfront had succumed to the fury of the storm. The horrors by night can scarsely be imagined. Hundreds of deaths, many never found. Many homes, businesses, wharfs, ships and schooners all destroyed. By 6 o'clock on Friday morning the streets were free of water. The first gleam of coming day shone down on the pitiful sight of a wrecked town. A thriving city with its handsome residences and happy homes, its warehouses stored with products, its costly churches and splendid marts of businesses, streets, pavements and gardens all shattered and unsightly ruin. This second hurrican dealt a final blow bringing death and destrction, a scene of devastation until not a building was left standing. A raft 17 miles long composed of pianos, dished, dead and mained poeple, cows, horses, ships, houses, concrete pillars. In one area of 13 city blocks some 116 buildings completely washed away, 90 damaged beyond repair. Railroad cars had been bodily moved as far as 1/2 mile. Boats were blown high and dry onto the prairie some 4 and 5 miles inland. - Kirsten Allen

La Salle cross used to claim the area in the 1600's in now on a church in Port Lavaca, just north of the spot. Original town was called Indian Point, later moved north of the spot and called Indianola Submitted by: Sherri L.Broome

Indianola before the hurricane, 1875
Courtesy Texas State Library, Austin, Texas