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Change fm 2010
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sea level–40

map of Galveston County
Click to enlarge. Map legend.

Physical Features: Partly island, partly coastal; flat, artificial drainage; sandy, loam, clay soils; broken by Galveston Bay, other bays.

Economy: Port activities dominate economy; insurance and finance center, petrochemical plants, varied manufacturing, tourism, medical education, oceanographic research, ship building, commercial fishing.

locator map for Galveston County

History: Karankawa and other tribes roamed the area until 1850. French, Spanish, and American settlement began in 1815 and reached 1,000 by 1817. County created from Brazoria County in 1838; organized in 1839; named for the Spanish governor of Louisiana Count Bernardo de Gálvez.

Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 56.7; Black, 13.2; Hispanic, 25.4; Asian, 3.5; Other, 0.9; Two or more races, 2.1.

Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 4,219; deaths, 2,675; marriages, 1,770; divorces, 1,185.

Recreation: One of Texas’ most historic cities; popular tourist and convention center; fishing, surfing, boating, sailing and other water sports; Galveston Island State Park; historic homes tour in spring, Moody Gardens; Mardi Gras celebration; Rosenberg Library; museums; restored sailing ship, “Elissa,” railroad museum; Dickens on the Strand in early December.

Minerals: Oil, gas, clays, sand and gravel.

Agriculture: Cattle, aquaculture, nursery crops, rice, hay, horses, soybeans, grain sorghum. Market value $9.3 million.

GALVESTON (49,638) county seat; tourist center, shipyard, other industries, insurance, port container facility; University of Texas Medical Branch; National Maritime Research Center; Texas A&M University at Galveston; Galveston College; hospitals.

League City (108,184, part [1,562] in Harris County) residential community, commuters to Houston, hospital.

Texas City (50,946) refining, petrochemical plants, port, rail shipping; College of the Mainland; hospital, library; dike; Cinco de Mayo, Shrimp Boil in August.

Bolivar Peninsula (2,783) includes: Port Bolivar (700) lighthouse, free ferry; Crystal Beach (800) seafood industry, sport fishing, tourism, Fort Travis Seashore Park, shorebird sanctuary, Crab Festival in May; Gilchrist (400), and High Island (300).

Other towns include: Bacliff (10,096); Bayou Vista (1,648); Clear Lake Shores (1,164).

Also, Dickinson (21,532) manufacturing, commuters, strawberry festival in May; Friendswood (40,629, part [10,295] in Harris County); Hitchcock (7,855) residential community, tourism, fishing and shrimping, Good Ole Days in August, WWII blimp base, museum.

Also, Jamaica Beach (1,080); Kemah (2,047) tourism, boating, commuters, museum, Blessing of Fleet in August; La Marque (16,817) refining, greyhound racing, farming, hospital, library, Gulf Coast Grill-off in October; San Leon (5,580); Santa Fe (13,624); Tiki Island (1,057).

fishing on a jetty at Galveston

A sportsman at sunset fishes the surf along the seawall in Galveston. Photo by Lamberto Alvarez.