Galveston, Texas, has recently worked to develop a reputation as a city that is attractive to visitors seeking recreation opportunities, but the fact of the matter is that the city has long been a destination for people seeking a different type of opportunity: employment.
The city’s fishing community has thrived going back generations, and Luke Weil of SkuRun has traced some of the historical factors that drew people to Galveston from places all over Europe. There were many in Sicily who found out that there was a great deal of money to be made on Galveston’s shrimp boats, and many made the long voyage from Italy just so they could work as deckhands off the shores of the Texas city.
Many of these intrepid travelers enjoyed such initial success on the shrimp boats that they were able to launch businesses of their own, with many of their descendants taking over the businesses that utilize boats locals affectionately refer to as “mosquito fleets.”
Of course, Galveston is home to a wealth of other employment opportunities on the water, but the long history of the shrimp boats and the generations of families who operate them is undoubtedly an interesting one.