Rosenberg LibraryRoenberg Library
2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, TX 77550-2220
(409) 763-8854
fax (409) 763-0275
Galveston History Vignettes Spectacular in Galveston Vernacular

Since the 1870s, Galveston’s fine beaches and moderate climate have drawn visitors from other parts of Texas, as well as other states. Spectacular traces the city’s emergence as a beach resort in the context of the development of leisure in the United States and the evolution of technology, such as streetcars, that facilitated tourism.

Pagodas bathhouse, circa 1887-1900. The bathhouse fell in the 1900 Storm.
Pagodas bathhouse, circa 1887-1900. The bathhouse fell in the 1900 Storm.

With the passage of decades, Galveston’s beachfront evolved with attractions such as bathhouses (including the famed Murdoch’s Bathhouse), hotels (such as the opulent Beach Hotel and Hotel Galvez), and amusement parks (particularly Electric Park), to serve the multitudes. Many of these ornate beach attractions fell in hurricanes, while others burned or were demolished once they outlived their usefulness.

Beach Hotel. Never profitable, it opened in 1883 but burned in 1898.
Beach Hotel. Never profitable, it opened in 1883, but burned in 1898.