Fifth generation Galvestonian JAN JOHNSON has been seriously studying the Island's rich history as a part-time Tour Guide since 1982. A direct descendant of two 1900 Storm survivors, her interest in her Island heritage was born when her mother, Dorris Stechmann Johnson, became secretary to John Garner's Historic American Buildings Survey in 1966-67.
Jan earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at the University of Houston in 1986 with a 3.94 GPA. In 1995, she attained her Masters of Art in Literature when she researched and wrote the history of Galveston's Little Theatre, 1922-1942. She took the full time "free fall with free lancing" in May 2000.
Her stories have been published in various local publications such as WHEREHouston, the Galveston County Daily News, Twisted Parrot, Centex's Our Place magazine, and on Guidry News Service. In September 2004, Jan completed more scholarly research on "The Reymershoffers: Early Texas Czech Entrepreneurs" for the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International's newsletter, Nase rodin.
For those of you who enjoyed walking the streets of historic Galveston, Beyond the Beaten Paths: Driving Historic Galveston travels most of the 32-mile length of the Island via often circuitous routes, that meander in, out and around those nine distinct historical neighborhoods traversed in the city's first walking guide. Deeper in the districts, the wanderer will discover many few and far-between vintage structures, while reading more in-depth studies about many of the Island's lesser known but thoroughly unforgettable characters – however they achieved their place in its history.
Walking Historic Galveston: A Guide to its Neighborhoods is her first book. Based on her driving tours, this practical guide offers walker-friendly routes of the city's most concentrated historic areas with interesting anecdotes about the people of their past.