Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Hobart Huson

BURGENTINE CREEK. 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.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Hobart Huson, "BURGENTINE CREEK," accessed August 20, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox