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Established in 1824 by Michael Gouldrich, one of Stephen F. Austin's original 300 colonists, when he received a Mexican land grant. In 1898, the Texas & New Orleans Railroad extended track lines through the area, and the township of Evergreen was established. The village was destroyed by a hurricane in 1900 then rebuilt in 1901. The town was renamed Kemah (a Native American word for facing the wind") in 1907. Commercial fishing and tourism helped increase the town's population in the early 20th century. Today, this "Gateway to the Bay" is a destination point.
Events include the Blessing of the Fleet in May, the July 4 Parade and Fireworks, Steel Drum Festival in October, Christmas in Kemah and Tree Lighting Ceremony in November, and Christmas Boat Lane Parade in December.