Commemorative items being sold for Port Arthur’s 125th birthday

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Leaders with the city’s 125th birthday celebration have found more ways for people to commemorate the Quasquincentennial — with the purchase of a special coin and an afghan.

Albert Thigpen, member of the Quasquincentennial Steering Committee, recently announced the creation of 125 special coins, each with an individualized year that will be made available for public purchase.

The coins, which begin in 1889 and end in 2023, are pure silver and gold-plated.

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Thigpen said the front of the coin features a depiction of the city’s founder, Arthur Stilwell, while the other side features the Quasquincentennial logo.

There are a limited number of coins, and Thigpen said those wishing to buy a particular year can do so unless that year has been bought.

The coins for 1898 and 2023 are reserved and will be given to the Museum of the Gulf Coast and to the mayor and city council, he said.

Coins are available for sale at the Museum of the Gulf Coast.

Another keepsake of the Quasquincentennial is an afghan created from pencil drawings done by the late artist Betty Maggio.

Maggio was known for her drawings of historical homes in the city.

Verna Rutherford, chair of the steering committee, said some of the large portrait paintings and sketches done by Maggio are hanging in city hall.

Maggio’s family allowed the committee to copyright some in order to create the commemorative afghan.

The commemorative throws can also be purchased at the Museum, which is located at 700 Procter St. in Port Arthur and can be reached by calling 409-982-7000.

Officials hope to have a pre-order form available soon at