Go-Galveston is an online guide designed to enhance your visit to beautiful Galveston Island. We feature articles on upcoming events, sights and attractions, food and dining, shopping and entertainment. Galveston is rich in history and culture and is perfect for your vacation destination or just a day trip from Houston to get away from the norm. At Go-Galveston we will keep you informed of all there is to see and do on this beautiful Gulf Coast island.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUMMER IN GALVESTON
Whatever you have to celebrate this Summer 2017, consider taking your merry-making to the jewel of the Gulf—Galveston Island. Fun Fact:
If you love Galveston, you are not alone.
Southern Living Magazine has just named Galveston Island to its 2017 list of The South’s Best Islands. The water, fresh seafood and abundance of historical architecture made Galveston a draw for the magazine’s readers. The publication polled its audience to find out their favorite coastal escapes. It’s the only Texas city to appear on the list.
Did you know:
Galveston was refuge for nation’s orphans – before and after deadly 1900 hurricane.
If you would like a chance to win free tickets to Schlitterbahn Galveston, please inbox any photos you may have. Enjoy this story by Trina Thompson.
Galveston, Texas, was booming in the late 1800s – when it ranked as the Lone Star State’s largest city.
Then a new century brought tragedy on massive scale. On the night of Sept. 8, 1900, a category 4 hurricane turned a serene late summer day into chaos, with winds up to 140 mph and a 15-foot storm surge.
The impact was catastrophic: estimates of 6,000 to 12,000 dead, including 90 children and 10 nuns at a Catholic orphanage.
The storm of 1900 still ranks as the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
J.P. Bryan is founder of the Bryan Museum in downtown Galveston. At the time of the storm, the building that now houses the museum was known as the Galveston Orphans Home.
That night in 1900, the home housed 29 children and 29 adults. Miraculously, none of them died, though the building was badly damaged.
But residents of the St. Mary’s Orphanage, the Catholic counterpart located just a short distance away, were not as fortunate. What happened there was truly heartbreaking.
The nuns, in a desperate attempt to save the children from being swept away by the rising sea, tied themselves to groups of little ones. But their valiant effort failed, as only three children survived.
Ironically, until the storm hit Galveston was known as a kind of refuge for orphans, having two fully operating homes for parent-less youngsters in a city of just 37,000 people in 1900.
As Bryan explained, Galveston was one of the final stops for America’s “orphan trains,” which carried abandoned children, or those whose parents had died, in an effort to get them adopted.
“We have a history within a history,” Bryan said, referring to the story of the orphans, which many don’t know about until after they learn about the deadly hurricane.
The history of the orphan train movement started in 1853, when there were an estimated 30,000 homeless youths, ages 6 to 18, living in New York City. The idea at the time was that these children could have better lives if they could be adopted by families in the nation’s Farm Belt.
Hence, the “orphan trains” were created.
“The boys were the favorite pick because they can obviously do more manual labor,” Bryan said. “But frequently the wife maybe couldn’t have had children or didn’t have a girl, and she wanted to have a companion. But fewer of the girls got selected then did the boys.”
Despite the deadly storm of 1900, orphan trains lasted until 1929. By that time an estimated 250,000 children had been placed into new homes.