The 40th Annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour kicked off on Saturday, and no one could ask for a better weekend. The weather was perfect. Indeed, sunshine and temperatures in the 70s made for an overall grand time.
Our first stop was the Old City Cemetery to take a few photos of the splendid wildflowers covering this hallowed ground. This has been a favorite stop for me these past three years, and I hope the tour organizers continue the tradition.
After looking over a map of our nine objectives, we decided to begin our journey at the Augusta Peters Townhouse, which was built circa 1893. It appeared to be small and quite narrow from the outside, but as we progressed through the home, we found that it is actually a lot bigger than originally thought. Hats off to the owner for the period décor. I’m envious (in a good way), and thank them for sharing their treasure.
The next residence on the list was the Charles Suderman Tenant House, built around 1905. Again, I am always fascinated by these types of homes. To me, the oak and long leaf pine floors were the main feature of this attractive dwelling. The high-wheeler bicycle was also a nice touch for the tour.
After a short wait, we were able to enter the 1886 Adolph and Lena Nitsche House. It was beautifully decorated with antique English furniture and a collection of English boxes. Antique walking canes were also on display throughout the house.
The longest wait of the tour was at the 1875 Julius and Elizabeth Ruhl House. This was the tour’s showcase home, and judging by the line, it was well received. However, it wasn’t until we moved closer to the tour exit door that we found out the main reason for the extended wait: booties. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not a fan of booties for home tours, particularly after last year’s experience. I understand the reason for them, but if you’re that nit-picky about people walking on your floors, then don’t include your home in a public tour! With that said, both the 1875 Julius and Elizabeth Ruhl House and the 1928 William and Marie Helmbrecht House are must-sees. However, you may want to plan on making these your first or last stops on the tour as they were relatively busy when we were there. The crowds are usually thin around ten in the morning or after four o’clock.
Another stop on the tour was a restoration-in-progress: the 1907–8 Thomas Lucas Apartments. The new owners have refurbished part of this property for their private residents but are in the process of fully restoring the balance of the residence. According to the owner, who was there at the time of our tour, the property, when restored, will have three apartments. I hope the owner and the Galveston Historical Foundation will add it to future tours when the restoration is complete.
After a bite to eat at Shrimp and Stuff, we set our sights on another restoration-in-progress. The 1874 Smith-Hartley House has had a bit of work done on it, but I hope to see this treasure in its full glory on a future tour.
The 1867 Poole-Parker Cottage, the oldest home on the tour, was next on our list. As we passed the beautiful climbing roses on the front gate and walked up the stairs, I couldn’t help but admire the well-sized porch. One a beautiful day like that of the tour, it would be a perfect place to sit and enjoy the scenery.
As mentioned before, the 1928 William and Marie Helmbrecht House is a must-see. I love the French design, especially the many charming French doors located throughout the home. The backyard has been beautifully landscaped as well. We toured this home later in the day, so there was not a long queue. It would be worth taking that into consideration when planning this weekend’s tour.
We finally reached the end of the tour at the August and Augusta Neumann Cottage, which was built in 1887. This is another beautiful home, both inside and out. In fact, I can say that with confidence about all the homes on the tour. Each one is worth a look, and since there are still two days left of the tour, you still have the opportunity to take your time and visit each treasure.
I hope you all have a fantastic time this weekend. And of course, I wish the Galveston Historic Homes Tour another 40 years of success.
For more photos please click on the link below to our Flickr page.
Homes Tour: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXgygUY
Old City Cemetery: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXT5uzo