College of the Mainland students pose next to an anchor at the Texas City Museum. From left, Perry Walton, Daniel Buenrostro, Brenley Powell and Greta Silvertooth.From left, Mitch Merrit, Perry Walton, April Williams, Daniel Buenrostro, Greta Silvertooth and Brenley Powell.

College students looking for an alternative to national history have another option: exploring history around the corner.

The Texas History class at College of the Mainland examines the deep history of the Gulf Coast. Students dive into topics such as the early Gulf Coast explorers (including Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca), the Battle of Galveston during the Civil War and Texas’ involvement in World War II.

“In World War II, blimps patrolled the Gulf of Mexico looking for German U-boats,” said professor Patricia Ovesny. “There was a fear that if the Germans could knock out the petrochemical industry, it would knock out the American war effort.”

The class explores the events that shaped the area from hurricanes to space exploration.

“People don't recognize how much history is in Texas and locally,” said Ovesny. “We should know about the history in our backyard.”

For extra credit, students tour the Texas City Museum at 409 6th Street North. The museum is home to a U.S. Air Force exhibit, model trains and an anchor of the V.A. Fogg, which sunk off the coast of Galveston after an explosion. 

“After the field trip to the Texas City Museum, I learned that Texas City has such a rich history in the early 1900s, and that Texas City hosted the first Aero Squadron division,” said student Daniel Buenrostro, of Texas City.

Texas History counts toward general education history requirements, or core classes.

It will be offered in spring 2017.

For more information, call 409-933-8304 or email