Galveston, TX Tarpon Pier Collapse, Jul 1909 - Eyewitness Account

Tells Of Day On Tarpon Pier.

Local Newspaper Man Describes Conditions Which Prevailed There Just Before the Storm.

A local newspaper man, who returned to Dallas Tuesday morning from Galveston, just prior to his leaving visited the ill-fated Tarpon Pier.

At the time there was no sign of storm. The speedy launches that ply between the pier and Pier 19 on the Galveston bay front were front were loaded down with passengers so deeply that the great American flags in the sterns trailed in the white wake churned up by the whirling screws, but landed at the pier as gently as a skiff might be landed in a millpond.

The fishing was not good, owing to muddy water, and idle fishermen and fisherwomen lounged about in the pavilion and dining room of the pier watching a few energetic persons vainly endeavoring to hook something.

Several skiffs were turned bottom up, on the rip-rap of the great jetty; an occasional sailboat would move, rocking lazily past, and once in a while the eyes of the loungers would turn toward some impudent little motor boat sputtering its way past the pier.

A number of guests at the pier were apparently there for several days, the Tarpon Pier having twenty-five bed-rooms over the pavilion.

Among these was a young Ray Teetshorn of Houston, with whom the newspaper man had been on a fishing trip up to Bay Bridge just before. Teetshorn was the last person he saw on the pier as the launch circled away from it on its return trip.

He helped cast off the lines at the stern and sat on the end of one of the great tar-painted piles waving at the boat as long as it was in sight.

As the boat landed at Bettison’s home pier Capt. Bettison was on hand to shake hands with those who came in and assist the ladies from the launch.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX 23 Jul 1909