Galveston, Texas Feast of Tabernacles

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The Victorian Resort & Conference Center
6300 Seawall Blvd
Galveston, Texas 77551
ph# 1: 409-740-3555
ph# 2: 800-231-6363


Meeting Place Website

Festival Coordinators: Ron Harmon

Festival Dates: 5-12 October 2017

Map | Photos | Lodging | Schedule | Links & Activities | Feast Activities

Galveston (pronounced /ˈɡalvɨstən/) is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 57,466 within an area of 208 square miles (540 km2). Located within the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area, the city is the seat and second-largest city of Galveston County in population.

Named after Bernardo de Gàlvez y Madrid, Count of Gàlvez, Galveston's first European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its successful revolution from Spain. The city served as the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.

During the 19th century, Galveston became a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States. Galveston is known for the hurricane that devastated the city in 1900. The natural disaster that followed still counts as the most deadly in American history.

Much of Galveston's modern economy is centered in the tourism, health care, shipping and financial industries. The 84-acre (340,000 m2) University of Texas Medical Branch campus with an enrollment of more than 2,500 students is a major economic force of the city. Galveston is home to six historic districts containing one of the largest and historically significant collections of nineteenth-century buildings with over 60 structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Galveston Island
Galveston Island is a barrier island on the Texas Gulf coast in the United States, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Houston. The entire island, with the exception of Jamaica Beach, is within the city limits of the City of Galveston.

The island is about 27 miles (43 kilometers) long and no more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) wide at its widest point. The island is oriented generally northeast-southwest, with the Gulf of Mexico on the east and south, West Bay on the west, and Galveston Bay on the north. The island's main access point from the mainland is the Interstate Highway 45 causeway that crosses West Bay on the northeast side of the island. The far north end of the island is separated from the Bolivar Peninsula by Galveston Harbor, the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. Ferry service is available between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula. The southern end of the island is separated from the mainland by San Luis Pass. The San Luis Pass-Vacek Toll Bridge connects the San Luis Pass Road on Galveston Island with the Bluewater Highway that leads south into the town of Surfside Beach.

The people of the island (the non-tourists) distinguish each other in two ways: "BOI" (Born On the Island) and "IBC" (Islander By Choice). "BOI" is cited in print from at least 1956 and "IBC" is cited in print from 1975.

History
Originally, Akokisa and Karankawa Indians lived and camped there. The island is believed by some to be the one Àlvar Nùñez Cabeza de Vaca and his party made a brief stop-over in November 1528, during his infamous Odyssey.

Jao de la Porta, along with his brother Morin, financed the first settlement by Europeans on Galveston Island in 1816. Joa de la Porta was born in Portugal of Jewish parentage and later became a Jewish Texan trader. In 1818, Jean Laffite appointed Jao supercargo for the Karankawa Indian trade. When Laffite left Galveston Island in 1820, Jao became a full-time trader.

Aerial view of Pelican Island and the northeastern end of Galveston Island.

On September 8, 1900, the greatest natural disaster to ever strike the United States occurred at Galveston. In the early evening hours of September 8, the Galveston hurricane of 1900 came ashore, bringing with it a great storm surge that inundated most of Galveston Island and the city of Galveston. As a result, much of the city was destroyed and at least 6,000 people were killed in a few hours' time.

Isaac M. Cline, the meteorologist in charge of the local Weather Bureau, lived on Galveston Island. Cline was aware of a storm in the Gulf based on previous reports from Florida. Although weather conditions were relatively calm on September 7, Cline observed the rough seas and the high waves that seemed to become more ominous by the hour. He sent a telegram to Washington, D.C., saying he thought a large part of the city was going to be underwater. He predicted a very heavy loss of life.

Houston-Galveston area of Texas, showing Galveston Island, parallel to coast.

After the hurricane passed, a seawall was constructed around the settled portion of the island. Some houses were raised, and others were built on stilts. Sand dredged from nearby waterways was pumped into the area within the seawall, and in time, the elevation of the eastern portion of the island was raised by as much as 17 feet (5.2 m).



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