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All About Galveston

Galveston, Texas is a unique city on an island and functions as a coastal town. Over 47,000 people call Galveston home.  Known for a hurricane that devastated the city in 1990, Galveston has recovered and has much to call their own.

History

Named after a Spanish Count, Galveston was established in the 1820’s, and functioned as a major port and commercial center for the country. Galveston served as the capital of the Republic of Texas during their brief time away from the United States.  Its position near the Gulf of Mexico made Galveston port an ideal exporter of cotton, competing with New Orleans.  The end of the 19th century was considered a shining period in the history of Galveston, as much modern technology became prevalent in the city. In 1900, 6,000-8,000 people were killed in the hurricane, noted as the United States’ worst natural disaster. Though it did not recover as quickly as hoped, in 1920-1930, Galveston re-emerged as a popular tourist destination. In the 1960’s, various schools and medical centers were built, helping Galveston gain back some of its massive economic losses.

Climate, Economy, Etc.

The city of Galveston itself is located on the barrier island, 45 miles southeast of Houston.  The climate is humid subtropical, with very hot summers and mild winters.  Unfortunately, because of its location to the Gulf of Mexico – similar to New Orleans- the threat of hurricanes does remain high. The Galveston economy is often driven by its ports, located on the Galveston Intercoastal Waterway.  It is a popular port for cruise ships as well. Several large banks and insurance companies also guide Galveston’s economy, as does one of the largest teaching hospital branches in the country.  The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is home to many of the world’s finest medical students, and the hospital has a Level I trauma center.  A popular tourist destination, Galveston promotes tourism as part of their economy through botanical parks, water parks, and a local railroad museum. 

Other Things to Know

*A town famous for architecture, Galveston is home to one of the largest collections of 19th century buildings, including opera houses, theatres, and the Galvez Hotel (named after the town founder).

*Galveston native William L. Moody Jr. coordinated the Moody Foundation, one of the largest charities in the country.    

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