Historic Homes of Galveston
What can you do when it’s raining or you’re too sunburned to go back to the beach or pool at Stella Mare RV Resort? Visit the eye-popping gigantic historic homes of Galveston!
For over 200 years, European settlers, pirates, and wealthy merchants came to Galveston. Their communities evolved and coalesced into the bustling tourist city we know today. Although many of the original buildings and churches were destroyed by the great hurricanes of the past, many were rebuilt and restored to their original grandeur, becoming event venues and museums.
Stroll By, Peek Inside, or Take a Tour
Michael B. Menard House
Built in 1838 by one of the founders of the City of Galveston, this home is the oldest on the island. During the 1990s, the home had fallen into such a state of disrepair, that the heirs were threatened with its demolition. The current owners spent years researching and restoring this lavish home with appropriate draperies and furnishings. Through a partnership with the Galveston Historical Foundation (GHF), it is now open to the public as a museum and a venue for private events.
Galveston’s grandest and best-known building was built in 1892. Also known as The Gresham House, it’s an ornate masterpiece of intricately carved designs, rare woods, stained glass, and sculptures from around the world. Designed by Galveston’s premier architect, Colonel Walter Gresham’s Victorian Castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This fantastic home has special events throughout the year. Don’t miss it!
St Joseph’s Church
The oldest wooden building in Galveston – St Joseph’s Church – was built by German Catholics in 1859. Aptly named for the patron saint of laborers, the wooden church was lovingly restored after being badly damaged in the 1900 hurricane. When the Diocese decided to close the church and sell the contents in 1968, the Galveston Historical Foundation stepped in and leased the property. Most of the original furnishings were recovered and re-installed. Restoration of this pre-Civil War church is on-going. The GHF opens the church occasionally for group tours and private functions.
History and Retail Therapy
Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier
Not quite as old as the others, but a tradition nonetheless. The original Pleasure Pier endured from 1943 to 1961 when it was destroyed by Hurricane Carla. Today’s Pleasure Pier opened in the summer of 2012, with a roller coaster and 15 rides that soar over the water, plus carnival games and souvenir shops. Go get shells and knick-knacks to commemorate your great Galveston vacation.