The city began in 1882 when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad built a sliding switch in northern Brazoria County. It was named Mark Belt when the settlement got a post office in 1893 and became Pearland when a town-site plat was filed in 1894. Its development was linked to the railroad. After the destruction of the pear trees by the hurricane of 1900, the Santa Fe Railroad provided free transportation for anyone who wanted to leave town.
Booms in development came when the city was marketed as a place where oranges could be grown on a commercial scale and also in 1912 for growing figs on a commercial scale. Oil and gas discoveries nearby helped swell the population in 1934. The city's proximity to Houston has resulted in a rapid amount of growth.
Golfing is available at two public courses—Southwyck Golf Club (713/436-9999) and Clear Creek Golf Course (713/738-8000)—and one private course—Country Place Golf Club (713/436-1533). The NGA Hooters Pro Golf Tour is held annually at the Golfcrest Country Club (281/485-4323).
The city is 45 minutes from Galveston and Brazoria County beaches. It has been named an All-America City by the National Civic League.
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