An innate part of life as an Islander is an
undeniable obsession with hunting for
treasure. Our minds are enraptured by the
tales of Jean Lafitte—minted by time and buried
by history. They are saturated with the endless
mysteries and enduring promises of an everchanging
But as the tide rolls in, the veil is lifted ever so
slightly, and at the water’s edge is found a portal
to far-off times and distant places. Beachcombers
journey tenaciously along these miles of shifting
sands, all for the reward of a brief but intimate
glance into the secrets of the sea..
When scouring the shoreline for treasures,
beachcombers are never limited to shells
or naturally occurring baubles. Some
beachcombers even have a specialty and with their
finds create expansive, intriguing collections.
In the 1870s and 80s, the sports craze of competitive walking became an obsession in the United States after first taking hold in England. Known as pedestrianism, these “walking matches” began in Europe with large competitions in major cities. Thousands of onlookers purchased tickets to watch pedestrians compete for prizes by walking a set number of miles in the shortest time or the longest distance in a predetermined amount of time.
Few people know the forerunners to the popular NASCAR races werer locally held events, including beach races in Galveston. The Galveston Automobile Club organized the first public race in 1906. The event attracted 3,000 spectators, but that was just a hint of the excitement to come.