This article first appeared on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine website in June 2015.
Head to the border for a Brownsville history lesson and wildlife watching.
By Melissa Gaskill
A recent visit to this border city, which I sometimes bypass for a certain nearby island (hint: South Padre), reminded me of Brownsville’s variety of outdoor activities, unique museums and little-known history.
That history goes way back, but I start with May 1846, when a two-year conflict was spurred by disagreement over whether the Rio Grande or Nueces River should serve as the boundary between Mexico and the newest U.S. state, Texas. The first battle took place at what is now Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park on the north side of Brownsville. The conflict ended with U.S. forces occupying Mexico City and doubled the size of the U.S. with the addition of parts of Texas, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and lands that are now New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.