Pasadena ( /ˌpæsədiːnə/) is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. It is the second-largest city in Harris County, 17th-largest in Texas, and 162nd largest in the United States. The area was founded in 1893 by John H. Burnett of Galveston. Burnett, the founder, named the area after Pasadena, California because of the perceived lush vegetation.
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city's population was 149,043. The Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department is the largest all volunteer municipal fire department in the United States.
Prior to European settlement the area around Galveston Bay was settled by the Karankawa and Atakapan tribes, particularly the Akokisa, who lived throughout the Gulf coast region. Spanish explorers such as the Rivas-Iriarte expedition and José Antonio de Evia charted the bay and gave it its name. The pirate Jean Lafitte established a short-lived kingdom based in Galveston in the early 19th century with bases and hide-outs around the bay and around Clear Lake. Lafitte was forced to leave in 1821 by the U.S. Navy.