The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane Page: 499
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CtREAT STORMS ANT) VAST )DESTRUCTION. 499
shallows the moderate tides of the gulf swirl out channels, which
the small draft boats of Buffalo Bayou paddle and sail just as the
wood and oyster schooners and yachts move up Great Little Egg
Harbor Bay on the Jersey coast. In fact, the situation of Galveston
is not unlike that of Atlantic City, except that the sandy island on
which it is built is lower and its front is to the south instead of to
"Of course there is no well or spring water and the potable
supply comes from the house roofs, which are carefully built to
gather as much rain as possible, to be stored in cemented cisterns.
for use. As to the harbor itself for sea-going ships there is, in
fact, none. Only the open gulf pushed at this point furthest into
the shore, but in a sweep so grand that there are no headlands
whatever. The water shoals slowly from the sea and ships of the
draft of eighteen feet or more colie ill to take the first parts of their
loads in the shallower water from lighters and love out from time
to time until, when down to the load line, they are sometimes six
or seven miles from land.
TRYING TO MAKE A HAVEN.
"c Great efforts have been made to give Galveston a harbor
commensurate with her commercial enterprise, and in some ways
success has attended these efforts. IZong spurs of breakwater were
built out on the principles of the Boca harbor at Buenos Ayres,
with a view to enclosing an artificial haven for ships, but the prevalent
southerly winds, the currents which they engender and the
ceaseless tides have made this work one of great difficulty. A further
obstacle has been the shifting, sandy bottom, whose permeable
formation reaches down many feet before it rests upon clay or rock.
" The city itself is built chiefly of wood and on the lines of
architecture adopted for coolness in tropical climates. That is to
say, with vast doorways and windows, cutting out as much of the
framework as possible and yet leave enough of support for a roof.
This structural form permits the whole house to be opened for the
passage of every breeze, but at the cost of stability.
" At intervals. and particularly when the spring or high tides
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Lester, Paul. The great Galveston disaster, containing a full and thrilling account of the most appalling calamity of modern times including vivid descriptions of the hurricane, book, 1900~; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth26719/m1/557/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .