Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Day Trip To Galveston, TX

We decided, since we would be in the area,to check out some of the sites.  It was a nice sunny day and we decided on taking a drive to the beach.  The traffic was heavy but it moved along fairly fast and we made the drive in an hour.

 There were a number of brightly painted homes and this one stuck out more than the others.  There was a dummy sitting on a chair 2nd floor balcony.


The fog was so heavy that we couldn't see the end of the pier and in some places heavier than that.  

Pleasure pier

The waves were a little rough today.

The upper floors of the high rise were covered in fog most of the day.

The house below was built from 1887 to 1892 for Colonel Walter Gresham and his wife Josephine, with whom he had nine children. An attorney and entrepreneur, Gresham came to Galveston from Virginia following his service in the Civil War. He was a founder of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad, eventually working to bring about the merger of the Santa Fe with the Atchison and Topeka Railroad. He also served in the Texas Legislature.

Nicholas Clayton designed the house. The small lot and oversized house make it an anomaly among similar houses of its period and architectural style. It is Victorian; however, it is more specifically described as Chateausque given the intricate combination of materials, cast iron galleries and complex roof system. Chateausque is a derivative of the French Revival popularized in the latter part of the 19th century by Richard Morris Hunt. Nicholas Clayton, however, expanded on the style by using varicolored and irregularly shaped stone, round Romanesque and depressed Tudor arches with heavily articulated carvings of vegetation, animals, people, and imaginary creatures. Constructed of steel and stone (it survived the Great Storm of 1900 virtually unscathed), the Bishop’s Palace soars three stories over a raised basement level, with steep roofs and long sculptural chimneys. Typical of Clayton, he used a combination of simple geometric forms in bold massing to create an additional dramatic effect. In Galveston’s great period of mansion building – the 1870s, 80s and 90s – Gresham’s commission of Nicholas Clayton, Galveston’s premier architect, resulted in Clayton’s most spectacular residential design and arguably the finest of the “Broadway beauties.”

The interior spaces are grand with exotic materials such as a pair of Sienna marble columns flanking the entrance hall. The first floor rooms have fourteen foot ceilings that are coved and coffered. An octagonal mahogany stairwell is forty feet tall with stained glass on five sides. The stair is lit by a large octagonal skylight. A massive fireplace in the front parlor is made of Santo Domingo mahogany. The house includes abundant stained glass, wood carvings, and decorative plaster ceilings and walls.

Bishop's House

 We drove down to Wharf Street and looked it over.  At the south end of the street were a number of fish & shrimp houses selling fresh seafood.  It would have been a good time to have our cooler and buy some fish and shrimp.

 There were also some deep sea fishing boats tied up to the docks.  I didn't check into the prices for chartering one of the boats.  If we were going to stay in the area for a while it would be fun to go fishing.

Strand Historic District.  
The original plat of Galveston, drawn in the late 1830s, includes Avenue B. The name 'strand' for Ave. B was coined by a German immigrant named Michael William Shaw who opened a jewelry store on the corner of 23rd and Ave. B. Shaw, not liking the name "Ave. B", changed the name of the street on his stationery to "Strand", thinking that the name (named after a street in London) would have higher-class connotations for his jewelry store. He later convinced other owners on the street to change the names they used for the street as well, and the name stuck. (The word strand comes from the Old English word for "shore" or "river bank"; in German, Swedish and Dutch, the word means "beach".)
Strand Historic District

Carriage rides are very popular in Galveston
 There are a number of cruises that leave from Galveston and hit ports in the Caribbean.  The day we were there two ships were at the dock and one was unloading passengers from their cruise.

It was a very foggy day and difficult to see more than 50 or 60 yards out into the ocean.  There were a number of people at the beach enjoy the day and lots of cars driving along the beach near the seawall.

We stopped for lunch at Benno's, a small restaurant and I had a fish poboy while Gerry had the shrimp poboy.   There was more food than we could eat and we left there stuffed and ready for the long drive back to Baytown.  


That was our first trip to Galveston and were impressed by what was there.  It looked like a very busy place and I imagine it is super crowded during the summer.  


  1. We have been to Galveston to just take a quick look around. We have it on our list to visit. We are only 45 min away. Thanks for the heads up on the Strand Historical District.

  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND GERRY.... Hope to see you both soon.