Showing posts from January, 2022

Galveston County - Friendswood

This week we'll continue our tour of Galveston County by making a stop in a place that's near and dear to my family - our home town, Friendswood!  This city with such an amiable name sits at the farthest northwest corner of the county, and certain portions of town actually reach into neighboring Harris and Brazoria counties.  The population of Friendswood was 41,213 according to the 2020 US Census and nearly all of its 20.9 square miles are on land (water accounts for a scant 0.14 sq. mi.).  Being farther inland than either of our previous cities, it rises higher in elevation to a level of 31 feet above sea level. The name Friendswood came from the city's unique founding, as it remains as the only permanent Texas town that was originally established as a Quaker colony - a group also known as the Religious Society of Friends.  A group from Kansas had attempted to move to Texas but did not like their first attempted settlement near Lubbock, and therefore sent a representative

Galveston County - Hitchcock

Occupying the southernmost portion of Galveston County's mainland is the city of Hitchcock, our second stop as we take a meandering tour through the communities that form this interesting Texas county.  Claiming 7,301 residents as of the 2020 Census, this city that lies just across West Bay from the central portion of Galveston Island has a total area of 91.48 sq. mi., of which 60.43 sq. mi. is land.  The highest point in the area peaks at just 16 feet above sea level. The earliest modern history of the town began in the 1840s when settlers, the majority of whom were French, began moving to the area.  A man named Jonas Butler purchased land along a bayou there in 1848 and built a house.  The burgeoning community that sat on the high bank of the bayou became known as Highland, and the waterway the residents used to reach Galveston in turn adopted the name of the new settlement.  The current name of the growing town was not established until the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad

Galveston County - Clear Lake Shores

The first community we'll look at during our no-particular-order survey of Galveston County is the small town of Clear Lake Shores.  Nestled in the far northern extent of the county, this town has a total area of less than 0.75 square miles, only 0.43 of which is on land.  Clear Lake Shores claimed a population of 1,258 residents in the 2020 census, which represented a significant recovery after the 2010 count had dropped significantly due primarily to the impact of Hurricane Ike in 2008 which destroyed several homes.  Set along the shoreline where Clear Lake meets Galveston Bay, the town has an elevation of just 10' above sea level. Clear Lake has long been a popular location for aquatic sports and recreation, and the allure of waterfront properties enticed developers to this portion of the county during the prosperous time following the first World War.  Oil was big business at that time, and money was easily changing hands.  Many of the initial buyers of the new parcels were

Galveston County - Introduction

Lying just southeast of Houston, TX along the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston County has a rich and colorful history which is perhaps matched only by the population that now calls it home.  As it currently exists the county consists of a portion of the Texas mainland, a sizeable piece of the largest estuary in the state (the Trinity-San Jacinto Estuary, which includes Galveston Bay and several smaller extensions and inlets), and various islands, the largest of which is Galveston Island.  Only 43% of the county's total area of 874 square miles is covered by land, and the latest population estimate by the US Census Bureau stands at approximately 350,000 residents. As with most areas in Texas, nomadic tribes were the primary residents for thousands of years and aside from scattered camps along the coast or simple burial grounds there are very few records of long-term settlements.  Much of what has been learned of early inhabitants comes from study of shell middens, which are essentially the

Happy New Year 2022!

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone has found something useful over the past several months as we've looked at basic success principles, and hopefully you've been able to try out some of the techniques that will help you along your own personal path.  Moving into the new year I have been considering what might be an enjoyable new topic to work on.  Recently I've gotten to know several folks who are involved in one of the local cultural festivals, and in the process of trying to help out with some basic mapping needs that they had I've been fortunate enough to find out some really neat history of the surrounding towns.  I would like to share some of that with each of you, so over the coming weeks we'll explore some of the stories, people, and places that helped make Galveston County, TX what it is today.  Each week we'll delve into one of the locations, or perhaps into a particular event or group that has had a lasting impact in our area.  Come along for the ride, a