Thursday, July 10, 2014

HURRICANE!





Recently, I ventured into plotting my second western historical novella titled, Matelyn and the Texas Ranger. The story takes place in Texas around 1875. So while planning how I would put my heroine through h-e-double hockey sticks, I discovered something that I'd bet most Texans don't know. There was another devastating hurricane before the 1900 Galveston strike.

The name of the town was Indianola and it was a major Texas port. In 1853, it had been relocated to Matagorda Bay and Powderhorn Bayou to take advantage of deeper waters.The steamships of Morgan Lines could easily navigate these waters making them able to enter the bay through Pass Cavallo and sail to Indianola in a few hours.

The relocation, however, made the town more vulnerable to rising waters and storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. It also meant the road leading out of the town would've been submerged making it impossible for the residents to escape. They would've been forced to ride out the storm in their homes only a few feet above sea level.

The hurricane of September 1875 inflicted extensive damage and loss of life. Approximately 300 people were killed and nearly three-quarters of the town's buildings were destroyed. Unwilling to concede to the forces of nature, the locals only partially rebuilt the town. A mere eleven years later, in August of 1886, another hurricane wreaked havoc to this area of the Texas Coast and finally brought to an end this once prosperous frontier seaport. Below is what's left of Indianola today.



I guess you can tell how my heroine, Matelyn O'Donnell, arrived in Texas. Now she has to make her way to North Central Texas. Wish her luck.


My western historical romance novella I told you about last month, Katie and the Irish Texan, is now on Amazon. I hope you'll give it a read and let me know what you think.

Katie and the Irish Texan


  








As always, I appreciate you joining me today. Please leave a comment, if only to say hi. I love our talks!

Carra

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4 comments:

  1. I knew Indianola was a Texas seaport. That's where many immigrants entered Texas, and some stayed--even though they had to fight giant mosquitoes, mud streets, high humidity, and well, I see now, a hurricane. I didn't know about the hurricanes.
    Funny, here in Central Texas, we often long for a hurricane to hit the coast. Invariably, the swirling winds brings us much needed rain. But with something good for us, others suffer.
    I used the 1901 Hurricane that devastated Galveston in one of my early books titled Wish for the Moon. I researched...again...the hurricane and the destruction. It saddens me every time.
    Thanks for the story about Indianola. Good luck to your characters to make it north!!

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  2. Carra, you got me with this one. I know a little about Indianola, but I didn't realize the town was whacked TWICE by two hurricanes so close together. Thanks for the information! :-)

    The original owner of my house in Galveston finished construction of the building in September 1915...just in time for another big hurricane to whomp the island. The place is still standing, so I guess he must've done a good job. :-D

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  3. Too fun. My own great grandparents entered Texas via Indianola. I did extensive research on Indianola also when I used it as the setting for one of my stories. They were having the trial of Bill Taylor who was accused of killing William Sutton and Gabriel Slaughter so the town was full of visitors when the hurricane hit.

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  4. Look forward to reading about Maddy. Indianola is where the camels came into Texas.

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