• History

History of South Padre Island

Back in the day, when migratory birds and sea turtles had the island to themselves, Padre Jose Nicholas Ballí brought the first permanent settlers while establishing a church and attempting to bring Christianity to the native Karankawa Indians.   The Island had been granted to his grandfather, Nicolás Ballí in 1759, by King Carlos III of Spain.  When Padre Ballí owned the island, it was known as the Isla de Santiago but the people he ministered to affectionately referred to it as La Isla Del Padre.  The name stuck and people have been flocking to The Padre's Island ever since.


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