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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.

A Victorian
                              Christmas 2013

                              Garden Tour 2013

Christmas Homes Tour 2012

Galveston’s East End Historical District Association will host its 23rd annual “A Victorian Christmas” Homes Tour on Friday, November 30 from 6:00 p.m. 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 Sally Trueheart Williams Home, 1616 Broadway.  This Spanish Colonial Revival style home was built in 1929.  This design style was popularized during the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego in 1915.  The home was actually constructed in the gardens of the Trueheart Mansion, which was designed by famed Texas architect, Nicholas Clayton, in 1885.  After the death of the home’s owner, Henry Trueheart, his daughter, Sally Trueheart Williams, decided the mansion was too large and expensive to maintain, so she commissioned a smaller home better suited to her needs. The Trueheart Mansion was demolished after completion of the current home.

The Browning K. Crowell House, 1127 Ball.  This home was built in 1888 in the Queen Anne style. This design style was popularized in the late 19th century during the Industrial Revolution, when the expanding railroads allowed pre-cut architectural details to become available through much of the nation. This home was first owned by Galveston businessman Browning K. Crowell.  Mr. Crowell was an executive with various Galveston companies such as Charles Clarke & Co., the Texas and Gulf Steamship Company and the Bowser Southern Dredging Company.

The Catherine & William Best Home, 1128 Sealy.  This Victorian cottage was built in 1874 and owned by German immigrant William Best and his wife, Catherine.  Mr. Best was Captain aboard the Steamship Maddox.  Mr. Best died in 1884, but Catherine continued to own the home with her son-in-law, Stanislaus Fagan, a Galveston plasterer.

The Alexander Allen House, 1118 Sealy.  This home was built in 1874 and owned by Alexander Allen and his wife, Elizabeth.  Mr. Allen was a marble contractor and monument maker, and was dubbed “the founder of the marble business in Texas,” having established the state’s first marble yard in 1852.  Mr. Allen’s partner in the business was Charles S. Ott, founder of Ott Monument Works, the oldest memorial business in Texas, currently in its 5th generation of business, located at 39th & Broadway.

Three Complementary East End sites will aslo be included on the tour:
Darragh Park, 15th & Church.
  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 East End Historical District Association, 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.

Victor Gustafson Cottage, 1501 Postoffice St.  This historic cottage was built by Victor Gustafson, a Galveston Wharves cotton screwman.  The cottage was partially destroyed during the 1900 storm, but Gustafson rebuilt and enlarged it for his family.  The cottage was moved to its current location from 6th & Market in 1979 for use as a community center for the association.  Refreshments will be served at this location by volunteers of the association.

First Presbyterian Church, 1903 Church Street.  This Romanesque building was designed by prominent Galveston architect, Nicholas Clayton, and was constructed in 1872.  The church is considered one of the best examples of Norman style architecture in the region.  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 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tickets are $15, and are available through The Grand 1894 Opera House.  To purchase tickets call 409-765-1894 or 800-821-1894, or purchase online at www.thegrand.com.

1118 Sealy
1127 Ball
1128 Sealy
1616 Broadway
Garden tour Oct. 2012

2011 Calendar

2011 Homes Tour A
                              Homes Tour b
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


  • Friday 4/8 at Darragh Park, 5:30pm – Dr. E. Burke Evans Day

  • Thursday 5/12 at the Cottage, 5:30pm – Theme TBA

  • Friday 6/10 at the Cottage, 5:30pm – Victor Gustafson Day (Download Brochure)

  • Thursday 7/14 at the Cottage, 6:30pm – All-American Red White and Blue

  • Friday 8/12 at the Cottage, 6:30pm – Tropical heat Wave theme

  • Thursday 9/8at the Cottage, 5:30pm – Theme TBA

  • Tuesday 10/4 at the Cottage, 5:30pm – Natl Night Out

  • Thursday 11/11, at the Cottage, 5:30pm – Light Up the Night

Please look at the current issue of our newsletter for monthly meetings and other neighborhood happenings.

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