Santa Fe is an incorporated community on State Highway 6 and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line sixteen miles northwest of Galveston in west central Galveston County. Though the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was constructed through the area in 1877, the community nonetheless grew slowly. The 1936 county highway map showed a school, a few businesses, and scattered dwellings at the townsite. Santa Fe was incorporated on January 21, 1978, and its population grew from 5,413 in 1982 to 6,172 in 1986, when it reported fifty-seven businesses. In 1990 the town had an estimated 8,628 residents and seventy businesses. By the 1980s the towns of Arcadia and Alta Loma had been absorbed into Santa Fe.