Galveston 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 Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, 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 deadliest 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.
© Marc McKinney Photography