Love Those Little Nooks and Side Streets....
As we grew to know Galveston, it became apparent that like most bustling places there are still little nooks where one can appreciate a bench or quiet sidestreet on which to collect oneself.
Who doesn't like people watching or having a moment to plan the next step of your exploration? We took advantage of some of these tranquil places. Galveston exuded history, but aside from this, we discovered it is a friendly place that welcomes the visitor with open arms. We'll definitely be returning!
- Family Travel
Further down the beach there is a small nature reserve, well away from the heady nightlife of Galveston. It's possible to see pelicans and diving birds, walk all along the beach front and spot the ships way out to sea. I looked for seal and dolphin and saw the dolphin riding the bow wave of a ship. Unforgettable.
We looked for shells and interesting things along the beach, I searched for pelicans and then the boys got bored and decided to go Downtown.......
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
Nice Views, Good Fishing - The East Point
The most eastern point of Galveston Island is a nice place to go and check out some views that are unlike any elsewhere on the island. Located at the very end of Seawall Blvd., near East Beach, you can view out into the channel that separates Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, as well as having a look out into the Gulf of Mexico. Many huge tankers and frieght ships pass through here on their way to the Houston Ship Channel. This area also has historical significance, as it was the location of Fort San Jacinto from the early 19th century up until the end of World War II. And if you are in the mood for a little fishing, this is an excellent spot to throw out a line, and it can get quite crowded at times with many fishermen.
Fort San Jacinto Historic Point
At the very eastern tip of Galveston Island near East Beach is the location of Fort San Jacinto. Being a very good strategic area for defense, at the entrance to Galveston Bay between the island & the Bolivar peninsula, the location has served as a fort since the early 19th century. French & Spanish forts were first buit here, then the Republic of Texas expanded on them after Texas gained it's independence from Mexico. The Confederate army used the fort area for a short time during the American Civil War, and towards the end of the 19th century, the U.S. Army built a more substantial structure here. During World War II, huge 90mm round guns were placed here for defense of the gulf coast. Today, all that remains here is a couple of the concrete emplacements for these guns, and a historical plague.
The Rosenberg Library was founded in 1871 and is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. I always like checking out the public libraries of a city.
However, this experience was VERY scary. There were many poor folks straggling around outside the door but I really needed to use the restroom. My mom and I both walked towards the women's room and there was a very scary looking fellow following us. We both went inside and into a stall when we heard the door open. Someone walked in and then walked out. There was no one else around the restroom at that time except for the man. We were terrified. We quickly finished our business and left the area.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
You will see this beautiful, bright, white building across the street from Bishop's palace. In fact, we parked here.
From the Texas Historical Commission marker:
The earliest Catholic services in the Galveston area were conducted in 1838. In 1884, as a result of the church's growth under the direction of such leaders as Bishop J. M. Odin, the Galveston Diocese established Sacred Heart as the fourth church on the island. Services for Sacred Heart Church were held in the St. Mary's University building until 1892, when the parish's first structure was completed. Designed by the noted Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton, it was destroyed in the 1900 hurricane. The present building, the second for the parish, was constructed in 1903-04 during the pastorate of the Rev. D. J. Murphy. A prominent landmark in the city, it features ornate octagonal towers, flying buttresses, elaborate ornamentation, and a variety of arches. The design reflects influences of the Moorish, Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque styles. The building's original dome, damaged in a 1915 hurricane, was redesigned by Nicholas Clayton. Sacred Heart Church has played a significant role in the growth and development of Galveston. Since the 1880s, many of the city's prominent business, professional, civic and religious leaders have been associated with the parish. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981
Fort San Jacinto/Fort Crockett
First off, Fort San Jacinto has changed names many times. In addition to to Fort San Jacinto it was named Fort Crockett and even Fort Travis. It was used from the Texas Revolution all the way to World War II.
"Fort Crockett is a government reservation originally built as a defense installation on Galveston Island overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The fort was originally built to protect the city and harbor of Galveston and to secure the entrance to Galveston Bay, thus protecting the commercial and industrial ports of Galveston and Houston and the extensive oil refineries in the bay area. The facility is now managed by the US NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and hosts the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries Laboratory, the Texas Institute of Oceanography, as well as some university facilities. The area still contains several historical buildings and military fortifications.
During the Texas Revolution, Galveston harbor and the entrance to Galveston Bay was secured by a small fortication located at the north east side of Galveston Island, which corresponds to the west side of Bolivar Roads, the entrance to the bay. This was originally named Fort Travis in honor of William Barret Travis, the commanding officer of the Alamo.
In the late 1800s, the entrance to Galveston Bay was secured by two new fortifications, one on each side of the mouth of the bay. The "Fort Travis" name was transferred across Bolivar Roads to a new fortification on Point Bolivar, the tip of the Bolivar Peninsula, which forms the east side of the entrance to the bay. An additional new fortification was built on the north east tip of Galveston Island, and was named Fort San Jacinto in honor of the final battle of the Texas Revolution, which established Texas' independence from Mexico.
At the end of the 19th century, Fort Crockett was established as headquarters for all three facilities. Located west of the city of Galveston, its long-range guns could command the entire area. By the first half of the 20th century, Fort Crockett had the basic equipment believed needed to defend the Galveston area from attack from air or sea."
-Taken from Wikipedia
Shanna decided to keep driving east down the Seawall to see where the island ended. There were a few cars around so we stopped to see if there were any photography shots. We could see plenty of sailboats and ships coming into the port of Houston. It was.....ok.
But there is a national landmark there so if that is your sort of thing than go for it! Remember, it's very hot during the summer! If it were cooler it might have been nice to walk around the beach below or maybe pull out a book and enjoy the area.
Texas Revolution Monument
You will inevitably see this statue as you come into Galveston on Broadway. While I was there I took a picture so I could research it when I get home. Well, it's actually really interesting! (I say that...I teach the Texas Revolution to my 2nd graders so it means something to me.) However, the info for the statue is below. While you're touring Ashton Villa you can get a good view of it. Beware, though, Broadway is usually very busy!
"The Texas Heroes Monument was one of the bequests of Henry Rosenberg (for whom 25th Street was renamed in 1897) to the city of Galveston. It sits in the intersection of Broadway and Rosenberg Avenue. The trustees of Rosenberg’s estate commissioned the sculptor, Louis Amateis, of Washington, D.C. to produce this 72-foot-high bronze and granite monument commemorating those who fought in the Texas Revolution of 1835-1836.
The bronze statue of Victory atop the columned shaft extends her crown of laurels in the direction of the San Jacinto battlefield, fifty miles north of Galveston, along Buffalo Bayou, where the army of Anglo-Texians under General Sam Houston surprised and captured the forces of Mexican president Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1836. The battle victory forced Santa Anna to concede the independence of Texas from Mexico.
The monument was dedicated on San Jacinto Day, 21 April 1900, by Govenor Joseph D. Sayers."
"Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants and contains numerous toxic compounds, many of which can be deadly to people, especially young children. The toxicity of Oleander is considered extremely high and it has been reported that in some cases only a small amount had lethal or near lethal effects (Goetz 1998). " Taken from Wikipedia
While touring Broadway's Victorian mansions I came upon this sight. I didn't think much of it but snapped the shot. Funny how I stumbled upon this fact on the internet.
Just one of those funny facts!
San Jacinto Memorial
The San Jacinto Battleground State Park is in La Porte, north of Galveston and east of Houston. The famous battle of San Jacinto which brought Texas its independence was fought on this site and changed its course of history. This 1,200 acre site commemorates the Battle and preserves the battleground on which General Sam Houston and his troops achieved Texas' independence by defeating a Mexican Army led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna on April 21. 1836.
Hwy 134, La Porte, Texas
Battleship Texas BB-35
In 1948 the Battleship Texas became the first battle battleship memorial museum in the United States. It was then presented to the State of Texas on the anniversary of Texas Independence. In 1983 it was placed under the care of the Texas parks and Wildlife and permanently anchored on the Buffalo Bayou and Houston Ship Channel.
The Texas earned 5 battlestars for her service in World War II and also participated in the Invasion of North Africa in 1942 and the Invasion of Iwo Jima in 1945
3527 Battleground Road, La Porte
Johnson Space Centre
The Space Center is the official visitors centre to the Johnson Space Center and covers 1,600 acres. Each attraction is self-guided. The plaza of the centre is the hub from where everything else stems such as the Starship Gallery, Destiny Theatre, Martian matrix & kids space place, The Feel of Space, Space Centre Theater, Mission Status Center and the departure area for the Tram Tour. Trams around the Space Centre depart every 40 mins and take around 90 mins. The Tour takes you behind the scenes, including the X-38 Assembly Building and the Shuttle Mock-up Facility. You will see the Centers old Mission Control Center (MCC) which in its day was the operational hub of every American human space mission since Gemini IV.
Rocket Park is right at the entrance to the Centre and clearly visible from Nasa Road. You used to be able to drive up and walk around yourself free of charge between 7.00a.m. and 6.00p.m. but after 9/11 I don't think you can do that now.
1601 NASA Road 1, Clear Lake, Houston
The Point Boliver Ferry. It...
The Point Boliver Ferry. It is owned by the Highway Department and is free of charge. It will carry you and your vehicle across the ship channel from the North end of the island to the mainland. It is a neat ride as you get to see ocean going ships and the like.
THE REAL GALVESTON
Unlike the mythical Land of Oz; The Magical Island Kingdom of Galveston actually does exist!! It is located on the eastern end of Galveston Island, in the area bounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the South, The Ship Channel on the East, Galveston Harbor on the North and 39th Street on the West. In this roughly 10 square mile area, there is a rare convergence of very unique conditions which form a rich, textured, multi-layered way of life that is found no where else!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
See a dutch boat in the harbour..
When we were walking around Galveston we also went to the harbour because this area looked very inviting..
While walking accros the docks we stumbled on a dutch boat from Smitwijs right here in Texas.
When we got back we learned from my uncle who works on a tug from Smit in the harbour of Rotterdam that the dutch crew on this boat works for a while on this boat and then go back to holland to be replaced by a new crew.
SmitWijs is a combination from two dutch towing companies SMIT and Wijsmuller. They formed a towing venture in 1991 and work worldwide.
More about SmitWijs can be find by clicking on the link.
Picture taken June 3, 2003 11:55
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