Pearland - located in historic Brazoria County - is one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, positioned on a growth curve that extends well into the 21st century, fueled by an enviable location. However, Pearland's history goes far beyond the initial founding date. Native Indian inhabitants hosted their first European visitors in 1528. Such famous names as Cabeza de Vaca, La Salle, and Stephen F. Austin leap out from this tumultuous chapter in Texas' colorful history that traces the area's development to present-day Pearland.
Pearland's location is one of its greatest assets. Located approximately 20 minutes from downtown Houston and less than 15 minutes from the Texas Medical Center, Pearland offers the lifestyle of a small town but still provides easy access to the Theater district, and Houston's many fine restaurants. Pearland is 15 minutes from NASA's Johnson Space Center, providing a highly educated workforce. Beltway 8, Houston's second loop, runs along Pearland's northern boundary. In addition, Pearland is located off State Highway 288, which is surrounded by some of the most undeveloped land around Houston. This results in less highway traffic than is normally faced on any other Houston highway. For air travel, Houston's Hobby Airport is less than 10 minutes from Pearland's northern city limits on State Highway 35.
In 1892, William Zychlinski bought 2,560 prime acres of land surrounding the Mark Belt outpost along the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe rail line. Zychlinski platted out the original town site in 1894, and named east-west streets Walnut, Pear, Broadway, Jasmine, Plum, and Orange. The north-south streets were named Austin, Pearland, San Antonio, Washington, Texas, Sacramento, Main, Houston, Grand, Park, and Galveston. A year later, the Southern Homestead Company took over the promotion of Pearland to people in the farm-belt states. The area was promothe intersection of what is now Main and Broadway. Basic businesses such as a hardware store, general store, lumber yard, printing office, and a hotel served the needs of the community. A four-room wooden schoolhouse and the railroad depot also graced this burgeoning village.
In 1917, telephone lines were strung, and a public phone booth erected. By the late 1930s, with the discovery of oil outside Pearland and the rise in rice production, Pearland was doing well economically. Pearland became the location for dance halls and beer joints. By 1949, the city took its first steps towards becoming a town with the development of the Brazoria County Water Control and Improvement District Number Three. This helped to generate the funding for a water and sewer system. In the 1950s, the Lions Club became responsible for a number of improvements, including garbage collection, sidewalk improvements, and streetlights. In 1960, with triple the 1940 population, the city now had a mayor, city council, and city marshal.
In general, the pattern of high growth continues. As the Houston-area grows, the City of Pearland continues to become an increasingly desirable location.