Galveston in Galveston County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Tremont Houses
The present Tremont House is the third Galveston hotel to bear the name. The island's first Tremont House was built by the firm of McKinney and Williams in 1839 on the southwest corner of Postoffice and Tremont Streets. An impressive two-story structure, the hotel had long galleries on both floors extending the length of the east and north facades. A grand ball in honor of the anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto was held April 19, 1839, to open the hotel. Tickets for the affair cost $50 in Texas currency or $25 in gold specie, reflecting the unstable status of the new republic.
On April 19, 1861, General Sam Houston, standing on the hotel's north gallery, made his last public address. He warned a raging, hostile crowd of the horrors of civil war and predicted that "fire and rivers of blood" would result from the South's efforts to secede from the Union.
A year later Texas Governor Francis R. Lubbock spoke from the east gallery. In his address he advocated laying waste to Galveston, except for fortifications, so that when the "vandel hordes" arrived they would find neither potable water nor shelter… a speech that made Galveston property owners very unhappy. On June 21, 1865, when the old hotel was occupied by Confederate soldiers, a fire destroyed the building.
In 1871, the Galveston
The first-floor elevation of the massive five-story structure was of cast iron in the Corinthian style. The upper floors were brick stuccoed to resemble stonework. A mansard-roofed tower crowned the main entrance on Tremont Street. "The best place for a preliminary look at the Texas metropolis is the observatory on the Tremont House, which overtops the church spires and is the highest point in the city… you see the broad expanse of clean white houses, and wide sandy beaches," reported
The new Tremont House was host to many celebrated guests. United States Presidents Rutherford Hayes, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, James Garfield, and Chester Arthur all stayed at the hotel. Other luminaries included Buffalo Bill Cody, Anna Pavlova, and Stephen Crane.
At a banquet honoring former President Ulysses S. Grant, in 1880, Union General Phil Sheridan, mellowed by good liquor and southern hospitality, arose and apologized for his famous remark that if he owned Hell and Texas, he would rent out Texas and live in Hell.
During the 1900 storm, hundreds of people took refuge in the Tremont House. Clara Barton, organizer of the American Red Cross, stayed there when she came to Galveston after the storm to help in the disaster.
On November 1, 1928 the hotel was closed, its days of glory over, and a demolition started on December 11, 1928. The present Tremont House, a worthy successor to these legendary hotels, opened with a gala Mardi Gras celebration on February 16, 1985.
Location. 29° 18.373′ N, 94° 47.677′ W. Marker is in Galveston, Texas, in Galveston County. Marker is on Mechanic Street east of 24th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Leon & H. Blum Co. Building (a few steps from this marker); Berlocher Row (a few steps from this marker); Mardi Gras in Galveston (within shouting distance of this marker); Davidson Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Rice, Baulard & Company Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Powell Arch (within shouting distance of this marker); Washington Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); 1871 Thomas Jefferson League Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Galveston.
Also see . . . The Heritage of The Tremont House.
The Tremont House is a Galveston institution that dates to 1839. The original Tremont House, built the same year that Galveston was officially founded, was one of the island's most fashionable destinations. Located at the corner of Post Office and Tremont Streets, the stylish two-story building was the grandest hotel in the Republic of Texas. In June 1865, the belle of the South, The Tremont House, succumbed to a great fire (Submitted on May 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Architecture • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 14, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.