Galveston Tree Sculpture and Historic Home Tour

posted in: Travels | 4

I have a confession to make.  My entire life I’ve always pronounced Galveston; Gavelston.  I don’t know what it is but I have the hardest time putting the “l” before the “v.”  I feel like poor ‘ol George W. trying to give a speech on nuclear energy.  It never comes out just right.

On Saturday of our little Galveston trip we took a historic tour.  We met Bobby Sanderson (a 4th generation Galvestonian) at the visitor’s center for a two-hour tour.  He runs the Galveston Island Historic Tour and is a self-proclaimed expert on all things old on the island.  I have to admit that he was very knowledgeable and a great tour guide.  He took us on a tour of historic homes and tree sculptures.  In 2008 hurricane Ike ripped the island a new one and destroyed homes, trees, businesses, you name it.  At the time we wondered if the island was going to recover.  Those Galvestonians made lemonade out of those lemons and have come back with a bang.  There are new businesses catering to tourists along the sea wall and when a historic hotel on the pier was damaged beyond repair they tore that down and are about to open a new amusement park on the pier complete with roller coasters, ferris wheel and a Bubba Gump Shrimp.  Things are looking up for Galveston.

The city had to take down tons of their beautiful old trees but many of them were turned into tree sculptures.  Our tour guide hated to see the trees go but had to admit that the trees were hiding the curb appeal of all the historic homes.  Now you can drive around and see how beautiful they are.  Many of them were built around the end of the 1800’s and the beginning of the 1900’s.  Many have been restored and many are in extreme disrepair but they all are amazing no matter what state they are in.  If those walls could talk.

What is left of the home of pirate Jean Lafitte.  One of Galveston’s first settlers. circa 1817

The oldest neon Coca-Cola sign in existence

Hurricane water lines.  From the bottom to the top: Hurricane Alicia – 1983, Hurricane Carla – 1961,  Hurricane of 1900,  Hurricane of 1915,  Hurricane Ike – 2008

The Victorian Inn B&B.  In its side yard is a little bunny sanctuary.  I guess even bunnies need a place to go on the island when they are down and out.

King Vidor, one of the directors of The Wizard of Oz, was born in this house.

This beautiful mermaid has been named Tina.  Ike beat her up but she made it through and transformed herself into the strong (mer)woman she is today.

This was my mom’s favorite house because of the beautiful color.  When restoring a historic home the home owner must scrape away all the layers of paint to discover the original color and then try and replicate that color.  She found the rainbow of colors that people used over 100 years ago fascinating.

I should have made this into two posts.  One for the homes and one for the tree sculptures.  Oh well, too late.  I hope you enjoyed it.

4 Responses

  1. Thomas

    Hello….well I am relieved that I am not the only one who also fights saying Gavelston everytime I try to say Galveston!Thanks for sharing your tour!

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