Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Western Caribbean Itineraries' Special Home Port
Often considered a city with a past that was searching for its future, Galveston managed to find its stride by tying that past to its present. With two National Historic Districts, four other historic districts, over 60 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and its historic seaport, it’s easy to feel this town’s roots. Yet her modern beach-front hotels, amusement parks, and other attractions mean Galveston hardly feels old.
Long inhabited by native peoples, Galveston entered the historical record in 1528, when Explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was shipwrecked on the “Isle of Doom.” Later, José de Evia mapped the island as Gálveztown, for Spanish Colonial governor Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid. Pirates made good use of the natural harbor, until Jean Laffite was evicted by the U.S. Navy in 1821. Its prime natural seaport made Galveston the center of commerce for the young Republic of Texas, and one of America’s busiest cotton ports. Prosperity was cut short by the Hurricane of 1900, America’s deadliest natural disaster, which killed an estimated 8,000. The city was rebuilt behind the 17-foot high, 10-mile long Galveston Seawall, but competition from the new Port of Houston prevented a full return to the city’s former glory. Tourism, including a stint as Prohibition Era “Sin City,” gradually grew to be a major force in the local economy.
Top Photo Slice: Galveston Seawall (℗ 50505) Photo contributed by © Canada Amy
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