Galveston boasts the ruins of pirate Jean Lafitte’s La Maison Rouge (1417 Avenue A near the Galveston wharf), destroyed in 1821 or 1822. In 1912, an enormous electric sign declared: “Galveston, the Treasure Island of America.” The “treasure” nickname is from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous adventure novel, Treasure Island (1883).
The electric sign is no longer displayed and the nickname “Treasure Island of America” is rarely used today.
Wikipedia: Galveston, Texas
Galveston (pronounced /ˈɡælvɨstən/) is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2005 U.S. Census estimate, the city had a total population of 57,466 within an area of 208 square miles (540 km2). Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the city is the seat and second-largest city of Galveston County in population.
Named after Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, Galveston’s first European settlements on the island were constructed around 1816. The Port of Galveston was established in 1825 by the Congress of Mexico following its successful revolution from Spain. The city served as the main port for the Texas Navy during the Texas Revolution and later served as the capital of the Republic of Texas.
During the 19th century, Galveston became a major U.S. commercial center and one of the largest ports in the United States. Galveston is known for the hurricane that devastated the city in 1900. The natural disaster that followed still counts as the deadliest in American history.
Much of Galveston’s modern economy is centered in the tourism, health care, shipping and financial industries. The 84-acre (340,000 m2) University of Texas Medical Branch campus with an enrollment of more than 2,500 students is a major economic force of the city. Galveston is home to six historic districts containing one of the largest and historically significant collections of nineteenth-century buildings with over 60 structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Wikipedia: Treasure Island
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of “pirates and buried gold”. First published as a book on 23rd May 1883, it was originally serialized in the children’s magazine Young Folks between 1881-82 under the title Treasure Island; or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola and the pseudonym Captain George North.
Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long John Silver—unusual for children’s literature then and now. It is one of the most frequently dramatised of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perception of pirates is vast, including treasure maps with an “X”, schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders.
12 March 1912, Galveston (TX) Daily News, pg. 12, col. 3:
SLOGAN SIGN SITE
SELECTED ON BEACH
GALVESTON’S MESSAGE OF FLAME TO
FLASH FROM ROOF OF HE
TO FACE SEAWALL BOULEVARD
The site of the Galveston slogan illuminated sign was determined at a meeting of the committee, held Monday. The great electric sign, said to be the biggest in the South, is to be mounted upon the top of the Gulfview hotel, at the corner of Tremont street and Avenue Q. The free use of the roof of the Gulfview has been donated by the proprietor, G. E. Jorgenson. Thomas E. Valentine, electric sign inspector, has already inspected the location and found it satisfactory. The electric sign is to be built facing the seawall boulevard. it will be approximately sixty feet long and forty feet high, containing in excess of 3,000 electric lights. The framework has already been ordered and is to arrive in Galveston within the next three weeks. Construction of the sign will commence immediately upon the arrival of the material.
The design of the slogan sign is to be approximately as described in The News at the time the slogan was selected. The full text is, “Galveston, the Treasure Island of America. Port and Playground. Growing. Greater. Grander.” The rectangular sign will be crowned at the two upper corners with two electric ship’s capatans. it will be outlined in a twisted ship’s cable of electric globes. From the ends of the rope at each side of the sign will be hung an anchor, outlined in electric lights. The text, “Galveston,” will be in the largest block letters in the sign. “The Treasure Island of America” will be spaced immediately beneath. At the bottom of the sign the phrases “Port and Playground” and “Growing, Greater, Grander,” will be flashed out intermittently.
26 May 1912, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Galveston Peninsula Made by Causeway,” pt. 1, pg. 1:
The opening of the massive causeway, costing $2,000,000, bridging the two miles of Galveston bay waters connecting the Treasure Island of America with the mainland of Texas, and which consumed more than two years in the building, was made an event of history in the annals of a State that has upon many other occasions commanded the attention of the world.
29 September 1912, Galveston (TX) Morning News, pg. 9, col. 1:
FLAMES INTO BEING
“GALVESTON, THE TREASURE ISLAND
OF AMERICA, PORT AND
11 May 1913, Charlotte (NC) Observer, “Shriners having Great Time in Galveston,” pg. 8:
Galveston, Texas, May 10.—The Treasure Island of America is today the oasis for caravans of Shriners from 20 States of the Union en route to Dallas where the knights of the crimson fez will assemble Monday for a week of joy.
OCLC WorldCat record
Galveston, the treasure island of America : port and playground.
Publisher: [Galveston, Tex. : Daferner’s Bookstore, 1918?]
Edition/Format: Book : English
The Essentials of Advertising
By Frank Le Roy Blanchard
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
Here are a few of the slogans now employed: Atlantic City, “America’s Playground;” Galveston, “The Treasure Island of America;” ...
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, December 12, 2010 • Permalink