Brief History of Galveston and the Galveston Speakeasy Cottage

Galveston Island is a 32-mile-long barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico protecting the Texas coast and offering unlimited activities for visitors and residents.

Galveston’s rich history, dating back hundreds of years and once the largest and perhaps most important Texas city in the 19th century, was considered the “Wall Street of the South” because it was the financial and commercial center for the state. Many of the opulent Victorian homes which were built to last remain standing in one of the largest collection of pre-20th century homes in the country.

This house, the Galveston Speakeasy cottage, was built in 1890 as a tenant house or rental property for local workers at the port. Originally it was a one-bedroom home, but in the restoration process, it was converted to a two-bedroom, two-bath house, with a comfortable living room, modern kitchen and small dining room. What makes this house so inviting are the walls. Original shiplap wood, collected from the city’s stockpile of recycled materials in the 1800s, has been refinished and restored. The many original colors and styles, reminiscent of conceivably a dozen or more demolished houses, line the walls of the bedrooms, living room and kitchen. Even the ceilings have been restored to their original beauty.

Interior doors, with the transoms atop for better air circulation before air conditioning was invented, have all be restored and are part of the house’s history. The oak floors are also original to the house and have been refinished in their natural color.

The front door also is part of the house’s history – with its cute little peek-a-boo door, thus the name of this house is the Galveston Speakeasy. However, you don’t need a secret password to enter.

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  • Galveston Speakeasy Cottage

  • 1212 19th Street
    Galveston, Texas

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