Burgentine Creek rises two miles south of Austwell in eastern Refugio County (at 28°22' N, 96°52' W) and runs southwest for four miles, through the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, to its mouth, on St. Charles Bay in northern Aransas County (at 28°16' N, 96°55' W). The name, also variously spelled Bergantin, Vergantine, and Brigatine, is supposed to have been given to the stream because a Spanish barkentine, carrying the payroll for the Mexican garrisons at Bexar and Goliad, was caught in a storm and driven up from Aransas Bay to St. Charles Bay and up the stream. The vessel was supposedly left stranded in the prairie, where it was later found by colonists who used the metal and timber in building homes and constructing implements. Early Spanish records refer to present Goose Island as Isla de Bergantin and to St. Charles Bay as El Bergantin. The surrounding flat, marshy terrain is surfaced by dark clays that support mesquite, cacti, and grasses.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 29, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
November 1, 1994