was first settled by ranchers as early as 1770. The town was originally
called El Fronton or El Fronton de Santa Isabel and was located about
three miles from the present Port Isabel lighthouse. In 1820, the
ranchers, led by Fray Nicolas Balli, took their herds across Laguna
Madre to Padre Island to preserve them from raiding parties during the
Mexican War of Independence. In 1846, Zachary Taylor used the point for
a base for supplies and called it Fork Polk, honoring President Polk.
Later, it became a port of entry for westbound California gold-seekers.
The brick lighthouse, built in 1853, was abandoned in 1906. Now a state park, it stands as a monument to the early men and ships that came in to the port seeking safety from storms or buccaneers, as well as merchants seeking trade and daring adventurers.
Today Port Isabel is a popular summer resort for people of all ages and harbors great sea food restaurants.