PHOTOS: Galveston opening its lovely historic homes to the public two weekends in May

Come on in, y’all!

A historical Galveston home (Galveston Historical Foundation, Galveston Historical Foundation)

HOUSTON – If you’ve traveled to Galveston, you’ll notice historical homes are in abundance, but for the history and real estate fanatic among you, the homes largely aren’t open to viewing -- until now.

Tom Schwenk Galveston Real Estate and the Galveston Historical Foundation are showcasing a select few homes for two weekends at the beginning of May.

Tours will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 7-8, and on May 14-15. Tickets are $35 for general admission until May 2, and $40 after and through the tour.

Tickets are available online by clicking here, or the day of at any of the tour homes, tickets are also valid for both weekends and are not sold for individual homes.

On all tours, the homes featured will be: the 1874 Robert and Ellen Hughes House, Cover House, the 1896 Oscar and Mary Walker House, the 1897 August J. Henck Cottage, the 1906 Romanet-Glenn House, 1922 Stubbs-Garrigan Bungalow, and the 1931 Dr. Albert and Willie Dean Singleton House.

On May 7 and 8, tourists will be treated to the 1866 Thomas and Frances Blythe House, which is undergoing renovation, in addition to the Magruder Cottage, which was built in 2020 as bonus houses on the tour during its first weekend.

On May 14 and 15, tourists will be treated to the Plum House, which was built in 2022, as a bonus house during the tours final weekend.

Take a spin through some of the tour-ific (yeah, bad joke we know) homes below:

Contractor Charles Franks built this wood frame bungalow with inset porch in 1922 for cotton clerk Sidney Stubbs and his wife, Thelma Bagnal. In 1941, Owen and Cora Garrigan purchased the house. Garrigan worked as a bookkeeper before he established Garrigan’s Sporting Goods at 514 Tremont. Located in the Lasker Park Neighborhood, the Garrigan family maintained ownership of the bungalow until 2007. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
This vernacular wood frame house is a rare 1900 storm survivor in the San Jacinto Neighborhood. The first section dates to 1866 and was probably constructed by Thomas Blythe before he died in 1867. The later rear ells create an unusual configuration and may be relocated houses attached to the principal three-bay, center-hall plan dwelling. This project is under rehabilitation as part of GHF’s long-established Preservation Revolving Fund. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Located in the Silk Stocking Historic District, Adolph and Augusta Helmann built this high-raised L-plan Victorian cottage in 1894. Features of the cottage include a projecting bay topped with a gabled roof decorated with patterned shingles and an inset porch with fleur-de-lis panels placed between balusters. Helmann was born in New Orleans and worked as an independent barber. He operated his barbershop on Market Street before he took over the barbershop at the Tremont Hotel. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Images of the historic homes that will be featured on the tour (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Real estate broker and developer August J. Henck built this raised L-plan Queen Anne cottage in 1897 on land owned by his family since 1868. Prominent features of the East End Historic District cottage include a projecting chamfered bay crowned by a gabled roof with dove-tail shingles and ornamental cornice brackets and original Victorian art glass windows that depict the moon, stars, and nautilus shells. Henck’s adopted daughter, Sadie, inherited the cottage upon his death in 1931 and resided there until her own death in 1960. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
In November 1906, Emilie Romanet built this two-story house next door to her home at 2601 Broadway. When completed, Emilie’s son, Louis, and his newlywed bride, Minnie Rolf, used the house as their residence. The building is a transitional design common during the late 19th and early 20th century and reflects the Colonial Revival style that became more popular during the early 20th century. In 1940, Dr. William Glenn Sr., and his wife, Gladys, purchased the house and their family maintained ownership until 2005. Located in the Old Central Neighborhood, the most prominent features of the house are the full-width porch and round columns. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Images of the historic homes that will be featured on the tour (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Oscar and Mary Walker built this Southern townhouse in 1896. Walker worked as a clerk and salesman for several Galveston dry-goods firms including Fellman’s and Eiband’s. He and his family resided at the house until 1904 when they moved to 1311 25th Street. The house is located in the Silk Stocking Historic District and features double galleries and a side-hall plan, a common form built in Galveston during the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Images of the historic homes that will be featured on the tour (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Houston architect Cameron Fairchild designed this Monterey Revival house for internationally renowned surgeon Dr. Albert Singleton and wife, Willie Dean Bivens. Dr. Singleton received his medical degree from UTMB in 1910 and became chairman of the Department of Surgery in 1927. The Monterey Revival influence of Fairchild’s design is noted by the buff-colored brick, tile roof and full-width second-story balcony. Located in the East End Historic District, the house is among several designed by Fairchild for Galveston’s elite between 1929 and 1963. (Galveston Historical Foundation)
Constructed by Joseph Woodruff and completed in April 1927, this Spanish Colonial Revival residence is in Cedar Lawn, one of Galveston’s most prestigious neighborhood developments of the early 20th century. A 1926 Daily News article describes the house as “Spanish Mediterranean” and the only one of this type in Galveston that includes a mezzanine balcony in the living room, rooftop Spanish patio, and iron grillwork. Born in England, Dr. Fletcher served as a captain in the dental corps during WWI and afterwards married Frances Linder a native of Switzerland. (Galveston Historical Foundation)

Tours can start at any of the homes and you are able to view them in the order you prefer. There are no discounts for children; infants in arms are free.

Parking is available near each tour home on a first-come, first-serve basis. No shuttle service will be offered.