During the Civil War, the town of Lamar was bombarded and destroyed by the union navy. All that remained were the ruins of a few old shellcrete (oyster shell concrete) homes, a Catholic chapel, and the Big Tree.
Before the 1931 opening of the mile-and-a-half-long Copano Causeway, residents of Rockport had to drive many miles inland to get around Copano Bay to get to the Big Tree.
According to climatologists, the Big Tree has survived from anywhere between forty to fifty major hurricanes, numerous floods, droughts and wildfires. source