Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Welcome once again to this week's edition of Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by our teacher, Ms. Jenny over at the Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" School for Wayward Bloggers.  This week we are studying the letter "G" as in GALVESTON.

We recently went down to GALVESTON once again for the 2011 Historic Homes Tour.  I love old homes and there really aren't too many old homes where I live.  Considering our town is over 100 years old you would think there would be many old homes, but there aren't.  This area grew when NASA built the Johnson Space Center in the early 1960's and probably 99.9% of this town was built since then. 

However, GALVESTON has a lot of beautiful old homes.  Pretty remarkable when you consider the 1900 hurricane which is still considered the worst storm to ever hit the United States.  The storm surge swept across the island and 1/3 of the city was completely destroyed (more than 3,600 buildings), and approximately 6,000 people died. 

What I've always found amazing is that the people left on the island then went about raising the island.  They jacked up most of the remaining houses and raised the island 8 feet overall...and 17 feet by the newly built seawall.

Here's a picture of them raising the houses so they could fill in with sand.

This shows how they built the seawall to hopefully hold the Gulf waters back in future storms.  Then they filled in behind it with sand.

Today, homes that survived the 1900 storm have special plaques signifying that they survived the Great Storm.  Of course, in 2008 Hurricane Ike came ashore and flooded 75% of the island in spite of the seawall.  The population of GALVESTON went from 57,247 in the 2000 Census to 47,743 in the 2010 Census because of Hurricane Ike.  After Ike I really thought Galveston wouldn't be able to come back, but it has and things are looking better and better every year.  I originally wrote about GALVESTON Island four months post Ike when we drove down to see how much progress had been made.  You can read that post here.

Although many of the beautiful old Live Oaks were lost when the salt water flooded the island, some are finally coming back.  It's taken all this time, but this one looks like it's going to make it.  Many had to be cut down and I've written about how they were repurposed and turned into wood carvings in an Alphabe-Thursday post last year.  You can read about it here.

Now on to the 2011 GALVESTON Historic Homes Tour.  I could only take photographs of the outside of the homes since interior photos are not allowed.  I don't have photos of all the homes...just my favorites!

The was my absolute favorite...The 1871 Walter and Caroline Ansell House.  I liked it inside and out because it was a home I could actually picture us living in.  Some homes on the tour look too much like a museum to me and I prefer the lived in look.

The only thing I didn't like is that this home is right across the street.  (That's my husband in the picture.)

I've found this a lot on GALVESTON Island.  People go in and restore homes and they're beautiful, but they're sometimes surrounded by run down homes.  But, some blocks have most of the homes restored and they're beautiful.  I guess that's the hope of everyone that takes a chance and restores a home in a so-so neighborhood.

This is the 1876 Lemuel and Julia Burr House.

They were selling framed prints of the homes out front.

This was the view from this home.  I guess it's one of the GALVESTON schools that was closed after Hurricane Ike.  That round dome is the background is the Catholic Church.

Every year they have a restoration in progress home on the tour.  This is the 1891 John Charles Harris House and one that we could probably afford at this point.  It's definitely a fixer upper because there had been a fire in this home back in 2005 and it's been empty since.  The brick porch was added to the original home in later years and would have to be removed in order to restore it properly.  Anyone interested?  It's now owned by the GALVESTON Historical Foundation and is for sale.

And this is the 1898 Joseph Goldstein House.  It's the one that had the Live Oak previously mentioned in front of it.  The house next door looks really nice too.

This was another favorite of mine.  It's the 1924 Alex and Hortense Shoomer Bungalow.  I love the old bungalows!

I thought this was clever.  They had Jasmine growing up the side of the house and used this old rusty wheel as a trellis.

There were other homes on the tour, but I thought I'd just show you a few of my favorites.

Now report to Ms. Jenny's classroom for a list of this week's participants and information on how you can register for class.


  1. How fun! I was in New Orleans last weekend and took a historic home tour of the Garden region.

    It was hot and humid and still a lot of fun!

  2. Wow! You showed some great houses, Betty. The stubbornness of the people who want to preserve that island. It is simply amazing.

  3. What a great way to experience that area. Looks like you all had a good time.

  4. What a great time you had - great virtual tour for us!

    XOXO Lola:)

  5. Gorgeous historic homes! I can't even wrap my brain around the logistics of how you would raise houses, much less an island or construct a seawall!

  6. These homes look wonderful! What fun you had on the tour!

  7. Thank you for this tour of Galveston. There's so much to see. The story of how the city survived the hurricane and rebuilt is so inspiring.

  8. I enjoyed this tour of Galveston - I enjoyed all the pictures of the homes and the history of all the hurricanes - what an amazing city. Very inspiring.

  9. you're making me want to visit Galveston...such pretty homes

  10. Thanks for the tour of homes. What gorgeous homes! Galveston is very similar to my town, Charleston. TFS, Nan

  11. How fun! I LOVE historic homes also! Those are just gorgeous. Even the run-down homes have great potential!

  12. what an amazing achievement love all the pics

  13. Oh wow! What a fun trip you had! Fantastic photos! I love old historic homes too. They sure don't build houses as nice as the ones from the old days. Nowadays houses are either fancy looking or very modern. If I had a house, I would love for it to look like that bungalow you took a picture of!

  14. This really looks like a great tour. I'm glad you took us along...

  15. I enjoyed looking at all the historic homes in Galveston, TX, betsy. It is a miracle they survived huricanes and floods, etc, It is even more of a miracle that so much was done to try to save this island from future storms. Talk about perserverance! They are truly worth saving and I'm sure the residents have a great love for their homes and lifestyle.

    I also love the bungalow house! I see a lot of those in Colorado when I visit my son.

  16. What a wonderful post, I really enjoyed it! hugs, Kerrie

  17. oh my gosh. I would love to go on that tour. I love old historic homes. They have such personality.

  18. Our granddaughter lives in Galveston....I'd love to go and
    Visit some of those beautiful old homes.
    Thanks for thie tour!

  19. Thank you for a great tour! We were in Galveston just a few years ago, a detour on our way to New Orleans.

  20. Oh, I loved this! What a grand home tour. I am infatuated with that bungalow! I'm moving in. The house with the brick porch reminds me of something I'd see in the back of my "This Old House" magazine.

    This was really a great link!

    I love hometours where I don't get blisters!

    Thanks for linking.


  21. About the only thing I knew about Galveston was the song. Now I know more. Pretty nice historic houses!

  22. Wow! What a wonderful tour!! Thanks so much for sharing this. Well done!

  23. I remember your post about the Live Oaks. Galveston is such a beautiful city - I was there about 30 years ago and would love to visit it again. Thanks for the updated tour!

  24. Gorgeous homes!


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