Numerous grand homes from Galveston’s prosperous early days have been lost as families died out or their descendants moved away from the Island. Unfortunately, this category includes the original Sealy mansion built for one of Galveston’s most prominent families.
After the war, the couple returned to the Island and built an impressive home at the corner of 23rd Street (Tremont) and Avenue I (present-day Sealy St.) where they became the parents of two children: Etta Jane “Jennie” Sealy (1868-1938) and John Hutchings Sealy Jr. (1870-1926). The house was large enough to comfortably accommodate the small family and four relatives.
The following December, she had the opportunity to showcase the renovation when she hosted one of the most talked about events of the season: a cotillion to celebrate Jennie’s formal debut to society. The reception featured a ‘German’ style cotillion that involved improvisational dances, games, and party favors. The parlors of the palatial house were elaborately decorated, and the dance was followed by an elegant dinner.
Electric wiring was added to the stable and servants building in 1908, and Jennie hired two new housemaids: one for the upstairs of their home and one to tend solely to the dining room.