Galveston: A History and a Guide

By David G. McComb | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

WHEN YOU TRAVEL SOUTH the fifty miles from Houston along Interstate 45 to the coast the terrain creates a gradually growing sense of anticipation and attention. Older people hum the Jimmy Webb song “Galveston/’ which was popularized by Glen Campbell in the late 1960s. No one, not even a child, falls asleep on the way. Although the Gulf Freeway, as it has always been known, is now cluttered with strip development, unregulated billboards, and energetic towns elbowing for room, the character of the coastal plain gradually asserts itself. The land becomes unrelentingly flat, the small live oaks and cedars give way to salt marshes, and the air becomes heavy with humidity. At the edge of the mainland the freeway becomes a causeway, and with the leap of a high bridge over a small-boat channel the speeding traveler catches a quick glimpse of private fishing boats, small sailboats, and the glittering water that promises the Gulf of Mexico. Abruptly the interstate ends and funnels into Broadway, a palm-lined main street that leads tourists across the island directly to the sands of Stewart Beach, the oldest municipal beach in Texas. It is on this transit across the island that modern, high-speed voyagers recognize that they are in a different place—a place with an exotic past, a place unique in the history of Texas, a place that excites the senses, a place that rewards unhurried contemplation.

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Galveston: A History and a Guide
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Port City 5
  • 2 - The Sin City 25
  • 3 - The Tourist City 41
  • Notes 53
  • Index 57
  • About the Author 59
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