History All Around
Peek into the past this summer with fascinating Galveston tours
Make history this summer on Galveston Island, where a new Juneteenth experience is joining the other interactive and fascinating tours and exhibits.
No matter where your plans take you, there's a way for you to connect with the island's past with Galveston Historical Foundation.
And Still We Rise…Galveston's Juneteenth Story
General Orders, No. 3, was issued on June 19, 1865. The orders, among others read by General Gordon Granger at sites throughout the city, announced to the people of Texas that all enslaved people were free.
This day, now known as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, is one of Galveston Island’s most important historical moments. Galveston Historical Foundation, led by its African American Heritage Committee, has debuted a new experience in the carriage house of the 1859 Ashton Villa that introduces the context and consequences of that announcement from 1865 to the present day, in a long journey toward “absolute equality.”
The exhibit draws from over 16 interviews, conducted by GHF's African American Hertiage Committee chair Tommie Boudreaux, as well as numerous historic documents and histories, plus digital touchpoints to interact with the collected photos, stories, and research. An as added bonus, admission is free during the month of June.
1895 Moody Mansion
Restored to its turn-of-the-century splendor, this 28,000-square-foot, four-story Galveston historic home has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1994 and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark since 1967.
Today, guests visit 20 rooms on a tour that depicts the home life of a wealthy Texas family. W.L Moody Jr. bought the Galveston Broadway mansion from the heirs of the original owners soon after the Great Galveston Storm of September 8, 1900.
It was designed by British architect William H. Tyndall and decorated by the world-famous interior design firm of Pottier & Stymus of New York. The house remained home for Moody family members until 1983, when Hurricane Alicia caused major damage. After extensive repair and restoration, Moody Mansion opened as a house museum in 1991. Today, its rooms are filled with the furnishings and personal effects of the family.
Ship To Shore
Follow in the footsteps of Galveston's early immigrants, from the long sea voyage with its mix of hardships and wonders to the hustle and bustle arriving in the 1880s at Galveston, one of the busiest ports and booming cities in the United States.
A series of sequential experiential spaces alternate between hands-on interactive learning and immersive experiences, all based on authentic and documented personal stories of immigrants landing in Galveston.
A digital membership card personalizes your experience with an authentic and new story each time you visit.
1877 Tall Ship ELISSA
Galveston Historical Foundation brought ELISSA, an 1877 square-rigged iron barque, from a scrapyard in Piraeus Harbor, Greece, to Galveston to begin restoration work in 1978. By 1982, GHF staff and volunteers completed restoration and transformed this rare, historic vessel into a floating museum that would actively sail.
Today, the 1877 Tall Ship ELISSA is one of only three ships of her kind in the world to still actively sail, and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually.
She also serves as the Official Tall Ship of Texas, a National Historic Landmark, and a symbol of the Gulf Coast’s historic beginnings as a seaport and active waterfront.
The 1892 Bishop's Palace (also known as Gresham House) is listed as one of the most significant of Victorian residences in the country by architectural historians.
On Saturday mornings, you can tour the house from basement to attic, getting a rare glimpse inside rooms that are typically off-limits.
Historic Harbor Tour and Dolphin Watch
See Galveston Harbor up close aboard Seagull II, Galveston Historic Seaport's 50-foot twin-engine motor vessel that sports an open upper deck for a full panorama of water and sky.
Plan your Galveston trip and learn more about the area's history here.