Making the most of the new rail connection, Frank Stephenson, the assistant Aransas lighthouse keeper, built the original Tarpon Inn in 1886. The barracks-type rooming house burned in 1900, with its subsequent replacement destroyed in the Storm of 1919. Rebuilt yet again in 1927, its linear pattern is inspired by the layout of the original barracks. In this instance, however, the owners were determined to build a structure that could withstand the force of hurricanes. The resulting design included telephone poles embedded in concrete, sunk sixteen feet into the ground, concealed within the columns of the double gallery at its main elevation. Rehabilitated in 1993, the twenty-six-room facility, with its historic tarpon-scale-covered lobby walls, hosts lodgers who frequent the ever popular island resort community.
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