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Rosenberg Treasure: Baxter & Wilson

Baxter & Wilson

Rosenberg Treasure of the Month

Last Updated: July 1, 2019 by Rosenberg Library | History


During the month of July, Rosenberg Library will exhibit a straw boater hat sold by Galveston retailers Baxter & Wilson during the early 20th century. The hat was donated to the library by Mrs. W.B. Book.

Straw Boater Hat from Baxter & Wilson in Galveston

Straw Boater From Baxter & Wilson, Galveston

A boater is a type of straw hat popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Boaters are made of stiff straw with a flat crown and brim and typically feature a grosgrain ribbon around the crown.  Hats of this style were preferred by recreational sailors, hence the name “boaters.”  The hats were worn by both men and women during the summer months as these were much cooler and lighter weight than felt hats.


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Baxter & Wilson was a men’s clothing and hat shop established in Galveston in 1898.  It was operated by Scottish immigrants Robert Baxter, John Wilson, and Stewart Parker Wilson.  The firm was originally located at 2206 Market Street, but in 1934, the store moved to 2211 Market Street on the ground floor of the Trube Building.

Baxter & Wilson Retail Label Inside Hat

Baxter & Wilson Retail Label Inside Lining of Hat

In November 1945, a fire destroyed most of the historic Trube Building. Baxter & Wilson lost $15,000 worth of merchandise and suffered an additional $17,500 in structural damage. Other displaced tenants along the 2200 block of Market included Luby’s Cafeteria, Levin’s Army & Navy Store, Morris Photography Studio, and Henry’s Bookstore.

In January 1946, Baxter & Wilson advertised a “Fire Sale” from their temporary location at 2117 Strand and offered all remaining inventory at half price. The Trube Building was demolished in March 1946, and Baxter & Wilson ceased operations after nearly 50 years in the men’s clothing business.


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Rosenberg Library

Rosenberg Library has offered over a century of community service to the Galveston area, and is the oldest public library in Texas in continuous operation. The building itself was dedicated on June 22, 1904, the birthday of its patron, Henry Rosenberg. The Moody Memorial Wing opened in 1971, more than doubling the floor space and allowing for a children’s library, a history center, several galleries to showcase museum collections, and later, a computer lab. The Library accepted its first museum piece shortly after it opened in 1904. Since then, thousands of rare and interesting objects from around the world have been added to the collection. Each month they display a “Treasure of the Month”. Learn more by visiting the Rosenberg Library page and the Gifts of Henry Rosenberg section.

2020-01-22T15:11:30-05:00

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

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