Saturday, February 19, 2011

Moody Mansion

Kerry drove down today to go see the Moody Mansion with me...we had a coupon, so it was very reasonable, 10.50 for the both of us together. What a beautiful showplace for the city of Galveston! You watch a little movie in the beginning about the colonel who bought the mansion from a widow and raised his big family there...the mansion was built in 1892 and has withstood hurricanes and still looks beautiful despite needing restoration after Hurricane Ike in 2008. That's one thing we noticed about the residents of Galveston, there are signs everywhere marking water lines from when the water came through the city.
Water level at the side door from hurricane

This doorway is on the ground floor of the mansion and the water was at 6.5 ft., flooding the original kitchen, plant room and storage areas of the house.

The house was constructed of two walls of brick with space between to run later duct work and electrical wiring. I'm sure the double walls helped the house withstand hurricane forces and helped insulate it as well. How do you describe the wealthy trappings of this house? I can't begin to explain it, but I'll try---a floor to ceiling stained glass window on the stair landing leading to the second floor, the gold trim, the ornate ceilings and fresco walls, the complicated carved wood trim in the house, the furniture, the tiled fireplaces...I've seen mansions of famous people from this era in different parts of the country and this one really is amazing!

Tiled porch outside front door of mansion
We were not allowed to take photos inside the house, because it is a private collection, but you can buy postcards of the interior if you want to remember the elegance and opulence of the home. What struck us were how some of the rooms had upholstered walls---the French Rocco reception room had walls of silk fabric stapled to the plaster walls and 23 carat gold trim. The living room was less formal than some of the other rooms and had a dramatic Palladian arch that framed the fireplace. The dining room fireplace had a chimney piece hunting scene in bas relief painted to simulate bronze. Let's keep going here, I'm on a roll. How about the glazed plasterwork frieze has neo-classical urns and scrolls, and the fireplace andirons were silver plated! What was really surprising to me was how plain the upstairs was in contrast! Very plain bedrooms, no carpet, just area rugs...simple furnishings, simple woodwork trim, very plain was like the downstairs was the show and the upstairs rooms were the frugal side of the Moody family. There was a set of shelves in one of the bathrooms that contained old medicines, some of which brought back memories....Paregoric....that was an opiate drug, I do believe, that my mom used to give us kids when we had upset stomachs and diarrhea. Pabasol with paregoric, this was the fifties, mind you!.....very interesting collection of medicines and old packaging...Vaseline still looks the same, Burma Shave, Alka Seltzer...After the tour, Kerry and I headed to Star Drug store for lunch...

Here's the water line sign at the drugstore...we sat at the soda fountain counter and had a good lunch...sandwiches and soup....Kerry had what we used to call a "Green River"...or a lime phosphate along with her soup and sandwich......
Time for Kerry to head back home to Spring.....I'll be visiting her one more time on Monday, then Eldy and I will hit the road for points west on Tuesday! Bye for now.....

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely LOVE all the bargains you guys find.

    Just found your website from you following us on Twitter. Will now be following your adventures on your blog as well.