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Galveston Island is a barrier island on the Texasmarker Gulf coast in the United States, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Houstonmarker. The entire island, with the exception of the little Village of Jamaica Beachmarker, is within the city limits of the City of Galvestonmarker.

The island is about 27 miles (43 kilometers) long and no more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide at its widest point. The island is oriented generally northeast-southwest, with the Gulf of Mexicomarker on the east and south, West Bay on the west, and Galveston Baymarker on the north. The island's main access point from the mainland is the Interstate Highway 45 causeway that crosses West Bay on the northeast side of the island. The far north end of the island is separated from the Bolivar Peninsulamarker by Galveston Harbor, the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channelmarker. Ferry service is available between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. The southern end of the island is separated from the mainland by San Luis Passmarker. The San Luis Pass-Vacek Toll Bridge connects the San Luis Pass Road on Galveston Island with the Bluewater Highway that leads south into the town of Surfside Beachmarker.


All residents are zoned to Ball High School.Colleges and universities include:


Originally, Akokisa and Karankawa Indians lived and camped there. The island is believed by some to be the one Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca and his party made a brief stop-over in November 1528, during his infamous Odyssey.

Jao de la Porta, along with his brother Morin, financed the first settlement by European on Galveston Island in 1816. [72857] Joa de la Porta was born in Portugal of Jewish parentage and later became a Jewish Texan trader. [72858] In 1818, Jean Laffite appointed Jao supercargo for the Karankawa Indian trade. When Laffite left Galveston Island in 1820, Jao became a full-time trader. [72859]
Aerial view of Pelican Island and the northeastern end of Galveston Island.

On September 8, 1900, the greatest natural disaster to ever strike the United States occurred at Galveston. In the early evening hours of September 8, the Galveston hurricane of 1900marker came ashore, bringing with it a great storm surge that inundated most of Galveston Island and the city of Galveston. As a result, much of the city was destroyed and at least 6,000 people were killed in a few hours' time.

Isaac M. Cline, the meteorologist in charge of the local Weather Bureau, lived on Galveston Island. Cline was aware of a storm in the Gulf based on previous reports from Florida. Although weather conditions were relatively calm on September 7, Cline observed the rough seas and the high waves that seemed to become more ominous by the hour. He sent a telegram to Washington, D.C., saying he thought a large part of the city was going to be underwater. He predicted a very heavy loss of life.

After the hurricane passed, a seawall was constructed around the settled portion of the island. Some houses were raised, and others were built on stilts. Sand dredged from nearby waterways was pumped into the area within the seawall, and in time, the elevation of the eastern portion of the island was raised by as much as .

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