Galveston Island State Park

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History

Galveston Island State Park, in Galveston County, is in the city of Galveston on the west end of Galveston Island. It is a 2,013.1-acre site that was acquired in 1969 from private owners under the State Parks Bond Program and was opened in 1975.

Galveston Island is believed to be approximately 5,000 years old and has had an interesting history during the past 500 years. It is generally believed that Cabeza de Vaca and his crew were shipwrecked here in 1520, and eventually made their way from the island to colonies in Mexico. The Lafitte brothers, fleeing the prosecution of pirates in the United States, established a government here in 1817, with visions of creating a "Manhattan on the Gulf." Commerce did thrive here, but major storms in 1867, 1871, 1875 and 1886 greatly slowed progress. The great storm of 1900 devastated the island, killing 5,000 to 10,000 people, and prompted the construction of the seawall that protects the northern half of the island.

Dunes Renewal Project: Sept. 10, 1998, Tropical Storm Frances destroyed the sand dunes at Galveston Island State Park. The dunes serve as the only protection that the park has for its facilities. A project was implemented to rebuild the dunes through the use of Christmas trees.


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