Anglo-American settlement began here in the 1820s, when Stephen F. Austin's colony was founded a few miles to the northeast. When the railroads arrived, they began shipping the produce of local farmers and ranchers. The town was named after George Sealy, a director of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad. The community is rich in Anglo, Czech and German heritage.
The historic downtown features eateries and shops in the district's 1880s brick buildings. A self-guided driving tour features historic homes, businesses, churches and the home of the original Sealy Mattress. Group tours of the old mattress factory, which still has much of the same machinery and equipment from when it was opened in 1909 by Daniel Haynes, can be arranged by appointment through the chamber of commerce. 979/885-3222.
A number of farms raising horses of all sizes, including miniature horses, accept visitor appointments for ranch tours. For information, contact the convention and visitor bureau.
South Padre Island
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