Katy forms part of the metropolitan area of Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown in Texas and lies within Fort Bend County. The city is just 27 miles west of Houston and 16 miles northwest of Sugar Land, the two largest cities in the vicinity. Those moving to Katy will discover an exciting and lively city.
Katy is on the up and up - a city with strong growth in many sectors, but particularly in the residential market. In 2009 it was named as one of the top nine highest growth areas of all cities in the U.S. and, as a consequence, retail commerce is booming in the area. Historically, Katy was an agricultural settlement with rice and sugar cane being the most important crops grown. Gas, discovered to the west of Katy in 1934, is nowadays one of the largest contributors to the economy, as is the refinery which was built to promote this sector of the economy. Unemployment is low and the standard of living is relatively high, thus making Katy a target area for increased settlement.
Three of the most noted museums in Katy are the Katy Heritage Museum, which focuses on the farming and agricultural history of the area, displaying photographs, antiques and equipment; the Katy Veterans Memorial Museum, also known as The GI Joe Museum, where military artifacts from each and every foreign war or conflict the US has been involved in are exhibited; and The Katy Heritage Society Railroad Museum which documents the history of the railroad system up to 1957. Also in the same building - the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Depot - which is a beautifully restored and historic building in the downtown area of Katy is the Information & Tourist Center.
The Forbidden Gardens should not be missed, as it replicates parts of Chinese history, including a scaled down version of the Terracotta Army figurines of Qin Shi Huang - the First Emperor of China. The City of Katy boasts many green areas and parks, among which are the Katy City, Katy Heritage, Thomas, Mary Jo Peckham and Woodlands Parks.
The Rice Harvest and Folk Life Festivals are outdoor events held annually to commemorate the area's heritage; while the city also hosts a yearly Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The original name of Katy was Cane Island, believed to be because it used to be a large producer of sugar cane and rice. The first known settlement of Katy began in 1872 and the beginnings of the city were planned in 1895. In 1900 a hurricane destroyed most of Katy, so people in the area are known to distinguish the modern history of the city as before or after The Storm. The Featherston family's residences were the only building to withstand The Storm and are still to be seen in the city today. Katy was incorporated as a city in 1945.