Pearland is on State Highway 35 thirty-seven miles north of Angleton in northern Brazoria County. It became a siding switch on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway in 1882. The community was first named Mark Belt, when a post office was established in 1893. The name was changed to Pearland in November of that year because of the abundance of pear trees in the community. By 1898 Pearland had a population of seventy-five, a newspaper, and twelve businesses, including two general stores, a grocer, two lumber companies, two hotels, a real estate agent, a hardware store, a blacksmith, a carpenter, and a wagonmaker. Pearland was promoted by the Christensen Land Corporation and Allison-Richey Suburban Garden Company as an "agricultural Eden." The Galveston hurricane of 1900 destroyed fruit trees and slowed growth for a period of time. Planting of oranges and figs revived local agriculture until the 1918 freeze. In 1914 Pearland had twenty-three businesses, two churches, a hotel, and a population of 400. A school serving twenty-five students and one teacher had also been established. Oil was discovered nearby in 1934. From this time to the 1950s the population in Pearland fluctuated between 150 and 350. By the mid-1960s the town had 1,497 inhabitants and forty-one businesses. Proximity to Houston has more recently produced a steady growth, and in 1989 the town had a population of 15,688 and 456 businesses. In 1990 the population was 18,697, and the city had expanded into Harris County. The population was 37,640 in 2000.