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The History of the Only Privately Owned Beach in the State of Texas

The Porretto Beach property has a rich history spanning from Texas' independence from Mexico all the way to today. And, after 125 years on the Island, Porretto family has a story even more unique. However, to understand where we are today, you have to know what brought us here. To learn more about our history, explore this page. 

Video Series

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings tells the story of Henry Porretto Sr. and how he came to acquire Porretto Beach. 

Smiling Hank Isn't Smiling Anymore

Smiling Hank Isn't Smiling Anymore tells the story of Henry Porretto Jr. and his role in the expansion of Porretto Beach. 

More To Come..

After our seven decades and four generations of beach operations and ownership, our knowledge of the Galveston beaches and history is unmatched. And, we are proud to share it with you. With a history this long, we are currently working to get the next parts of our story to you.

Articles of Our Story

1. Texas Condemnation - Texas Condemnation outlines the ramifications of the Porretto Supreme Court Opinion and how far the State is legally allowed to go violating the rights of private property owners; moreover, how the State will go back on its word in agreements. 

2. Pacific Legal Foundation - The Pacific League Foundation provides a brief synopsis of the Porretto case history and Texas Supreme Court findings. 

3. Houston Chronicle's Fate Rest in Court - The Houston Chronicle highlights the history of Porretto Beach and how the State's actions jeopardizes a sale for Henry to finally retire. 

4. Henry Porretto Jr.'s Obituary - Henry Porretto Jr.'s life was full of contributions to the Island community he loved so dearly, his obituary describes a few of these. 

5. First Court of Appeals Opinion - The First Court of Appeals' opinion in its entirety.

6. The Supreme Court of Texas Opinion - The Supreme Court of Texas' opinion in its entirety.

7. Porretto Beach's Amicus Brief for Severance Case - As a submission in the landmark Severance case, you can hear directly from the Porretto family their views on the State's troubling actions in regards to private beach ownership. 

8. Bankruptcy May Cause Sale of Land - After fighting for the ownership of the Porretto Beach land, the legal struggles were very nearly the cost of losing the property forever.

9. Crews to Move Sand from Beach - After Hurricane Ike, Porretto Beach was the only beach in Galveston with mounds of stockpiled sand. The Park Board and City of Galveston forced the Porretto owner to only sell to them; however, after 2,000 truckloads of sand were removed from Porretto Beach, they never paid the owner. 

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