The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900 Page: 47
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Turner's Reminiscences of Galveston.
Improvements in the way of building began. McKinney and
Williams commenced erecting a large warehouse at the shore end
of the wharf which is now called by their name. Collector Borden
began to gather material to build his residence in the southwest-
ern portion of the city. Some other temporary and small improve-
ments were made on Mechanics Street. Vessels from the North
began to arrive with goods, principally for Houston, as that city,
having been made the capital of the State, improved rapidly.
There were about thirty foreign vessels in Galveston harbor
when the great storm commenced on Oct. 1, 1837. It began with
a wind from the south-east and held to that quarter mostly for
three days; then it veered a little to the east and so continued to
the sixth day, filling the bay very full, making a three or four foot
rise at Houston. On the evening of the seventh the wind veered
to the north-east and blew very strong. The Tom Toby, a priva-
teer, parted her chains and went ashore above Virginia Point.
About sunset the wind, veering all the time to the north, and if
possible increasing, brought the large volume of water from the
bay ashore with such force and volume as to sweep everything in
its course. Only one of the vessels held its mooring, while the
others drifted ashore, some higher than others, according to size
and tonnage. On land every house, camp, sod house, and inhabited
structure was swept away except the old Mexican custom-house
occupied by Colonel Turner. That was saved by good manage-
ment, and on account of its location being more elevated. After
this many felt discouraged and left Galveston, thinking it would
always be subject to such storms, while others maintained that
this one was an exception.
Much building material had been ordered for Galveston, and
as soon as it arrived reconstruction began. The owners of the
stranded vessels got them afloat again, and every one went to work
with a vim to repair the damages. Vessels from the North brought
adventurers, goods and lumber, and improvement was the order of
the day. In the autumn of 1837 Col. Turner built a much needed
hotel called the Galveston Hotel, and rented it to Biggs and Broth-
ers. It was situated on Avenue A, near the location of the old
Mexican custom-house, which stood in the center of A Street ac-
cording to the present plot (1876) of the city. This ground was
the highest on the bay front, and was the spot on which stood
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 3, July 1899 - April, 1900, periodical, 1900; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101015/m1/55/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.