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A Victorian
                              Christmas 2014

East End’s 2014 Christmas Homes Tour

Galveston’s East End Historical District Association will host its 25th Annual “A Victorian Christmas” Homes Tour on Friday, December 5th, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The architecture of Galveston’s East End reflects some of the state’s most notable examples of residential Victorian architecture with a variety of styles and periods. This year’s tour will feature four East End homes decorated for the holiday season:

The Isaac Heffron Home, 1509 Postoffice St. Built in 1890 by Issac Heffron, this house has the original woodwork, long-leaf pine flooring, and an elaborate concrete balustrade along the front sidewalk line. After yellow fever and diphtheria outbreaks, Heffron was contracted to lay sewer pipes and build the Galveston Water Works to ensure fresh water.

The August J. Henck Cottage, 1412 Sealy St. Built in 1897 by real estate broker and builder Henck, this five-bay-wide cottage still has the original Victorian glass windows, with beveled cut glass. Henck aided in floating bonds for Galveston’s seawall after the 1900 storm.

The Medard Menard Ganter House, 1209 Winnie St. Built by 1881, this double-dormered cottage was the home of Colonel Menard (Confederacy during the Civil War), from 1881 until his death in 1887. Shortly after 1900, Herbert Ganter, a local jeweler, purchased the house. His family owned it until 1973.

The George Wilson Home, 701 12th St. Built in 1884, this two story home was owned by George Wilson, a pilot, whose office was in the Hendley building on The Strand. The home passed to the DiPuccio family about 1920, and remained in that family until 1945.

Guests may start the tour at any of the homes, or at the EEHDA Cottage, 1501 Postoffice St., where refreshments and restroom will be available.

Three complementary East End sites will also be included on the tour. These sites will feature a variety of holiday music:

The Victor Gustafson Cottage. Now the EEHDA Cottage, Gustafson was a Galveston Wharves cotton screwman, who rebuilt the cottage after the 1900 storm. It has an attached front porch, which tended to be preferred for north-facing houses.

Darragh Park. This park was built after a fire destroyed Darragh House on this site in the 1990s. The property was donated by Galveston Historical Foundation to the EEHDA, and a longtime association supporter, Dr. E. Burke Evans, donated the funds to build the wrought iron gazebo. The association maintains this park, along with Alderdice Park at 15th & Ball.

First Presbyterian Church. This Romanesque building was designed by prominent Galveston architect, Nicholas Clayton, and was constructed in 1872. Its sanctuary has been remodeled since Hurricane Ike, and features breathtaking stained glass windows, three of which were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Homes Tour ticket holders will enjoy a variety of holiday music at the church:

Fanfare! Lutheran Music Academy


Moody United Methodist Church Bell Choir


Transitional Learning Center Choir


Holy Family Catholic School Choir


Galveston College Choral Group


Saxophone Quartet


Belton High School Madrigal Ensemble and Harmony Ensemble


The cost of the tour is $15.00. Tickets are limited. Purchase your tickets in advance online at www.thegrand.com. or in person at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St. 409-765-1894.

Ticket proceeds directly benefit the East End Historical District Association. The EEHDA was formed in the 1970’s to preserve and maintain the heritage and livability of the East End Neighborhood. For additional information, contact Deanna Johnson at vice-president@eastendhistoricaldistrict.org.

Fall Garden Tour

Galveston East End Historical District’s Annual Fall Garden Tour
Dates:             October 4 & 5, 2014 - Rain Date October 11 & 12
Cost:               $10
Ticket sales: Tom’s Thumb Nursery, 45th & Q
Bacon Farm Antique Shop, 14th and Postoffice
Day of Tour at all Homes on the tour
Five home gardens and two parks will be open.

 1122 Sealy
    The Best-Lucas house is a double dormer, high raised cottage built between 1866 and 1871. Catherine Best purchased the site in 1866 and Thomas Lucas bought the house
in 1871. A survivor of the 1900 storm,  the house changed hands several times and was slated for demolition in the 1980's. Bob and Sue Kelly purchased the cottage and totally restored it. The home still exhibits it's original Greek Revival influences and zinc roof. The current owners, after "Ike" destroyed the yard , have enjoyed bringing an "Old English Cottage Garden” to life. Roses, hydrangeas, magnolia trees, salvaged architectural pieces, and a pergola are just some of the items they have enjoyed incorporating into their lush backyard retreat.

 1128 Sealy
           This is a small garden hidden behind a raised cottage that was built in 1874 and it survived the “Ike” storm. To access this space you will go through the adjoining backyard.  A gate opens between the yards but the gardens reflects the personality of the two gardeners. The garden has been described as shabby chic and eclectic. The look is vintage inspired and "finds" and  family keepsakes fill the space, surrounded by a collection of container plantings.  A claw-foot tub filled with succulents and rosemary is the focus of the garden.  A small raised garden is new this year, filled with herbs and fall vegetables. This backyard retreat consists of a covered patio with plantings around the edges.  It is welcoming year round and is very low maintenance.

1202 Post Office
          The current owners are working on building a roof garden.  It is a place for relaxing and entertaining – always capturing the island breeze and away from mosquitoes.  Hummingbirds visit on their yearly migrations. The rooftop itself is made interesting by a  series of old wired glass skylights that light the factory space below. Purity Ice Cream Factory is the oldest ice cream manufacturer in Texas.  Its inception dates from 1889 some 20 years before Blue Bell’s origin in 1911. During it’s heyday the plant manufactured about 5000 gallons of ice cream per month. Some of it was put into fancy molds, hand painted and delivered to the exclusive hotels in nearby Houston.  Today the building, our residence, is still the site of the manufacturing of frozen concoctions, with the transition to Lt. Blenders Cocktails in a Bag – a cocktail mix distributed worldwide.
          Because the factory was built to the lot line, the only place to go for a garden was up! 

1608 Winnie
           Built in 1907 by the Senechal Family as a tenant house, the design of the house is a side-hall townhouse with double galleries. The home remained in the Senechal family until 2006.  The small gardens have the feel of a New Orleans or Charleston garden with the extensive use of reclaimed Chicago Pink brick and Cordoza Stone. The entire garden has been replanted since hurricane Ike and contains some unusual tropical plants such as: Black Bat plants, Madagascar Palms and an Australian Tree Fern.

1617 Ball
          The Adolph and Lena Nitsche House was built in 1886, replacing their home that had burned in the 1885 Vulcan Iron Works fire that destroyed over 500 buildings.  The rebuilt home survived the 1900 storm, but was badly damaged. 
When the current owners purchased the home in 2012, they began a transformation of the front yard and rear gardens using low-maintenance plants that flourish in a tropical environment.  Many of the plants have been transplanted from neighbors’ yards (generally with their permission) or purchased at specialty garden shops, and attract a wonderful variety of birds and butterflies.  The backyard was designed to create separate and inviting living spaces.  Throughout the yard, you’ll find examples of the owners’ taste for unusual and often whimsical outdoor art.   In the front yard, take note of the large iron crucifix that formerly resided in a French cemetery.

Darragh Park at 15th & Church.  
      The East End purchased this property with the purpose of creating a beautification park.  The original planting was done in 1998 and all the plants were chosen to attract butterflies, bees, and birds.    The park is surrounded by a historic cast and wrought iron fence and gates from the original home which was destroyed by fire in 1993.  Hurricane Ike destroyed all the original plantings in September 2008 and in April 2009 neighborhood volunteers replanted the park with another 2,500 plants.
Robert Alderdice Park at 15th & Ball
This is a small pocket park featuring one of Galveston’s treasured Rosenberg Fountains.  It became a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The park is planted and maintained by volunteers from the Historic East End Neighborhood.

2013 Christmas Homes Tour poster

2013 Christmas Homes Tour Article

2013 Fall Garden Tour poster

2012 Christmas Homes Tour poster

2012 Christmas Homes Tour article

Garden tour Oct. 2012

2011 Calendar

2011 Homes Tour A

2011 Christmas Homes Tour
East End Christmas Homes Tour 2011
    The 22nd Annual East End Victorian Christmas Homes Tour will take place this year on Friday, December 2nd, beginning at 6:00 PM and concluding at 9:30 PM. Four beautifully restored homes will be featured on this years tour along with the East End Cottage.
    The following homes will be welcoming guests for this years tour. The 1897 William Beers home located at 1516 Ball. Recently featured in the Old House Journal will be the 1886 Miss Mitilda Wehmeyer Home located at 1616 Winnie. Located at 1618 Church will be the Mrs. Rosa McDonald Peete Home and last but not lease will be the 1890-91 Allen E. Cameron Home located at 1126 Church.
    First Presbyterian Church, 19th and Church, will host the entertainment for the evening and last year was featured as a “restoration in progress” due to Hurricane Ike The church building was begun in 1873 and dedicated on February 24, 1899. During the restoration of the church, many original features including stenciling found behind the pipe organ chamber were found and have been restored back to their original condition.
    Tickets are priced at $ 15.00 each and may be purchased at “The Grand” 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street or by calling 409-765-1894.

2011 Fall Garden Tour canceled due to the drought, click to read details

Yard Sale 2011

Casino Night 2011

2010 Fall Garden Tour

Christmas Homes Tour 2010

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