Since 1866, wharves and piers have been a part of Rockport’s shores. The first wharf was at Rocky Point, constructed to ship cattle. Other wharves handled commercial shipping and passenger traffic. Sorenson’s Wharf extended into the bay behind the Sorenson & Hooper mercantile and ship’s chandlery store (406 South Austin Street), which was established in 1887. When the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad came to Rockport in July 1888, it constructed a wharf at the end of North Street so that boxcars could be rolled directly to the ships. In the 1890s, the Bailey Pavilion was built on the end of a wharf extending into Aransas Bay in front of the Aransas Hotel (later the Del Mar) and became the social and cultural center of the community. Rockport’s first graduating class (six students) held commencement there on May 17, 1907. The Bailey Pavilion was destroyed in the 1919 hurricane.