|Okay, I've got my own page. It's mine, all mine! And I'm not sharing one precious inch, do you hear me? Not one! Actually, I plan on filling this page with something that you don't know. I feel superior because I know something that you don't. I shall have this feeling for exactly 10 minutes because that's about all I can stand before I start blabbing! This is sooooooooo interesting! So here I go, ok, ok, ok - you're gonna love this!
Now for a little Galveston history. Back in the late 1800's, Galveston was a boom town. With a population of about 60,000 souls, it was known as "the Wall Street of the Southwest," the richest city in Texas and the site of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Galveston's prosperity came to an abrupt halt on September 8, 1900, when the deadliest natural disaster in United States history hit the island killing over 6,000 people. The dead were uncovered at a rate of seventy per day for at least a month after the storm. To prevent such a natural disaster from devastating the island in such magnitude again, the city built a seawall seven miles long and 17 feet high and began a tremendous grade raising project, which began in 1902, was completed in 1910, and included 500 city blocks, which now brings to you the reason for this page.
If you will look very closely at the first picture, you will notice the four stones in the middle on the front row. Now, you would probably just walk by like I did and not really notice them. But take a good look. All you are seeing of these stones are the tops of them. These were not raised along with the rest of the cemetery and the rest of the city! From my understanding, it was very expensive to have these graves raised and many people could not afford it. So, these graves and a lot of others in this cemetery still lay at the city's original level before the storm.
Now this one on the left is up to the top of its door in dirt. It's very similar to the one that is above ground in the back.
Notice the next picture. When you realize what you are seeing, it looks mighty strange doesn't it?!
Now here is the most interesting one of all. Look at the picture below of our favorite haunted house, Ashton Villa. Take note of the ornate iron fence that runs along the property line. This is a six (6) foot tall fence! This is all you can see of it after they literally raised Galveston! The owners at the time thought it would look okay as a short fence so they left it alone. Ashton Villa itself did not have to be raised because it had lower floors than the first floor that you see here. If you look closely at the house, you can just see the beginnings of the floor that is below the first floor you see here. So, when you are in Galveston next, take the time to really look around you. There are lots of mysteries to be had there and this is just one of them!
I hope you enjoyed this little lesson in Galveston history. Everytime we go down there, we either learn something new or see something we've never seen before. And, I think it's just the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended! There is lots more to dig into in Galveston and we plan on doing as much of it as we can so stay tuned! Until later, Janet