When first explored by Europeans, the island was an Akokisa site. The Karankawa tribe used it for hunting and fishing. Pirate Jean Laffite established a settlement here in 1817. During the Texas Revolution, the harbor served as the port for the Texas Navy. After the war, a group of investors bought land in 1838 to establish a town, which incorporated the next year. Early years gave the city many firsts in Texas: first Roman Catholic convent, first electric lights and first medical college. In 1900, the island was inundated by a hurricane that claimed more than 6,000 lives. A seawall, presently 10 miles long, was built two years later.
Many party boats are available for bay or offshore fishing action. Reservations at Piers 18 and 19 and Galveston Yacht Basin, which also offers marine services. For more information, call 888/GAL-ISLE or visit www.galveston.com.
The seat of Galveston County, Galveston is home to the University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas A&M University at Galveston and Galveston College.
A few of the annual events include Mardi Gras! Galveston in February, FeatherFest and The Grand Kids Festival in April, AIA Sandcastle Competition and Juneteenth in June, Lone Star Motorcycle Rally in November and Dickens on the Strand in December.