GALVESTON, TX – There’s a very good reason that The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center boasts some of the loftiest views on Galveston Island.
“We proudly share our location with an illustrious part of Galveston’s history – Fort Crockett,” said Paul Schultz, Vice President of Landry’s Hospitality Division. “Fort Crockett, with its eight foot thick walls, forms the foundation for The San Luis.”
- The Fort, started in 1897, was constructed on 125 acres on Galveston Island with the first troops stationed there in 1899. The 1900 Storm destroyed most of the fortifications, but they were rebuilt in 1903 although no garrison was assigned until 1911.
- In 1912, Fort Crockett became a mobilization center during Mexican border troubles. General Frederick Funston arrived with his 5th Infantry Brigade that year and remained to train troops until 1914 when he was ordered to Vera Cruz, Mexico.
- From 1917-1918, Fort Crockett was used as an assemble point to equip and send troops to France to fight the Germans.
- In 1922, the War Department ordered the Fort abandoned, but not for long. Galvestonians became alarmed and local congressman, Claystone Griggs, had these orders revoked. On June 26, 1926, the Third Attack Group from Kelly Field was ordered to Fort Crockett, where they were permanently stationed.
- Throughout the years many famous fliers and generals in the Army Corps trained at Fort Crockett including Richard Donovan, Horace Hickman for whom Hickman Field in Hawaii was named; Generals Hoyt Vanderberg and Nathan Twining, who each later became Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
- During WWII Fort Crockett was used to train coast artillery, anti-aircraft units and air corps as well as serving as a prison camp. The Galveston army air base during WWII was located on the site of the present municipal airport, west of the Fort base.
- In 1947, after 50 years of service, all harbor defenses were dismantled, including the big 12 foot guns, which were part of the coast artillery. The Fort was then used as a recreation camp for servicemen.
- In the 1950s, Fort Crockett became home for fisheries research for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. And by 1953, Fort Crockett was declared surplus and three years later was released to the General Services Administration for disposal.
- Due to the massive amount of concrete used in constructing the protective casemate for the guns and magazines, Battery Hoskins proved uneconomical to remove. The abandoned casemates remained an unofficial tourist attraction for decades.
- In the 1990s, a luxury resort was built on and behind the battery. The massive concrete gun emplacements remain dramatically visible from Seawall Boulevard, even though one gun emplacement now sports a swimming pool atop it, and the other gun emplacement is adorned with a wedding gazebo.
The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center is located at 53rd and Seawall Blvd. For more information, go online to www.sanluisresort.com or call 800 445-0090.
About The San Luis: The 16-story San Luis Hotel, Spa & Conference Center offers 250 luxurious guestrooms and a 40,000 sq. foot IACC conference center with magnificent views of the Gulf of Mexico. The AAA Four Diamond rated resort hotel offers the finest in award-winning dining, overnight accommodations and first-class personalized and professional service. Guests may partake in an array of indulgences including Spa San Luis, the luxurious tropical heated pool with swim-up bar, grotto spa and hot tub; the intimate Steakhouse restaurant and neighboring designer boutique or the nightlife of H2o pool + bar featuring signature al fresco sushi, grapes by the glass and thirst-quenching martini's. The San Luis Resort complex is owned by Fertitta Hospitality, LLC. For more information please call, 409.744.1500 or 800.445.0090.