Jamaica Beach History
In the 1800’s Jamaica Beach along with the West Bay of Galveston Island was known to be inhabited by Karankawa people/tribe. They ended up on the island after being run out of New Orleans around 1817. The pirate Jean Lafitte relocated to the island of Galveston, where he established another “kingdom” named Campeche. In Galveston, Lafitte either purchased or set his claim to a lavishly furnished mansion used by French pirate Louis-Michel Aury, which he named Maison Rouge. The building’s upper level was converted into a fortress where he placed a cannon to command Galveston harbor.
In 1819, 300 Karankawa warriors tried to retrieve one of their women from Lafitte’s men at the Maison Rouge compound. Lafitte had 200 pirates as defenders and also used two cannon against the natives, causing numerous casualties and deaths. The Karankawa had to retreat. Exposure to new infectious diseases in 1860 was the final blow to the Karankawa people nearly decimating the entire tribe.
In 1960 they found what they believe to be a Karankawa burial ground in the area of Jamaica Beach.
Jamaica Beach was developed as a weekend playground in 1956 attracting vacationing Houstonian’s. The 2,000-lot development was incorporated on May 12, 1975. By 1978 it had a population of 141, and in 1988 it reached 446 residents and by 2000 it had grown to over a 1000 residents.
Jamaica Beach has one of the largest full time resident populations among the West end communities.
City Phone Numbers
City Hall – 409-737-1142
City Water Department – 409-737-1142
Water After Hours Emergencies – 409-737-1800 x-2
City Park – 409-737-1142
Building Permits – 409-737-1142
Municipal Court – 409-737-1142
Police Department-Non Emergency – 409-737-1800 x-2
EMERGENCY [POLICE*FIRE*EMS] 911
Galveston Central Appraisal District – 409-935-1980
Galveston Island State Park – 409-737-1222
Power Line Locates – Call before you Dig – 811
Water Line Locates – Call City Hall before you Dig – 409-737-1142
CenterPoint Energy – Customer Service – 713-207-2222
CenterPoint Energy – Report Power/Streetlight Outage click here or call: – 1-800-332-7143
Texas Gas Service – New Service click here or call: – 1-800-700-2443
Texas Gas Service – Report Natural Gas Leak – 1-800-959-5325