Shipping industries flourished on the Rockport waterfront by the 1880s. Heldenfels Shipyard was established here on 12.9 acres in October 1917. Four 281-foot wooden cargo vessels were to be built for military use in World War I; the “Baychester” was launched on July 31, 1919, and the “Zuniga” on September 9, 1919. At the height of construction, over 900 men were employed at the shipyard. The need for ships fell as the war ended. Despite hurricane damage to the shipyard on September 14, 1919, the “Jasper” and the “Manchester” were completed as barges in 1920, ending this vital war contract. (1996).