History

As an institution, the Port Bay Club is the oldest, continuously operated hunting and fishing establishment in Texas. The Club property was acquired in 1909 by a hunting and fishing guide named Andrew Sorenson, who until that time had been operating a place at Clubhouse Point across the Bay. The Club premises had been known as “the old Kemp Place” and were already famous for good hunting and fishing.

In May of 1912 Sorenson decided to incorporate his operation into a private club and sold shares at $150 each to 100 members. Because of the area’s reputation as a sportsman’s paradise, Sorenson had little trouble recruiting his original charter membership. Word spread among business and professional men who had been Sorenson’s clients through the years, with the result that among the Club’s charter members not only were Texans, but men from far away places such as New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Atlanta, including a former governor of Wisconsin, G. W. Peck.

All this is rather remarkable, for in those days there was little urbanization or infrastructure along the Texas Coast. Many members traveled to the Club by way of the old San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad (later a Southern Pacific branch line) to Gregory, where they were picked up by a local jitney service, or sometimes the Club manager, and transported to the Club.

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