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CLOSEST FREEWAY: I-45
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The Karankawa tribe called this land home when Cabeza de Vaca explored the region in 1528 but it took almost 300 years for American settlers to discover its beauty. In 1836 Michael B Menard, a Canadian fur trader, invested the huge sum of $50,000 for seven square acres of land and with his vision Galveston was born.
By 1885, after surviving tropical storms, yellow fever, and the Civil War, it had grown to be the richest and largest city in Texas. Bankers, retailers, and shippers set up shop along The Strand, making it the "Wall Street of the Southwest." Not only was it the biggest in a state that prides itself on BIG, but it also held bragging rights to having the first post office, navy base, hospital, grocery store, gas lights, telephone, opera house, medical college, golf course, public library, and Chamber of Commerce in Texas.
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