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Rosenberg Treasure: Streater’s Place

Streater's Place

Rosenberg Treasure of the Month

Last Updated: August 1, 2020 by Rosenberg Library | History


Streater’s Place was a neighborhood bar which operated in Galveston’s East End from the 1950s until the 1990s. Rosenberg Library will display a vintage dart scoreboard from Streater’s as its August Treasure of the Month.

Streater's Place Scoreboard
Vintage dart game scoreboard from Streater’s Tavern. Rosenberg Library

Galveston businessman John H. Streater opened a bar at the corner of Winnie and 14th Street in 1958. The establishment was popular with East End residents and with students at the nearby University of Texas Medical Branch. John Streater retired in 1978 and sold the bar to John Yeskewicz who kept the original name.

Perhaps Streater’s is best remembered for its annual O’Malley’s Cup cockroach racing championship. Galveston’s first-ever cockroach race was actually held at another East End establishment—O’Malley’s Bar and Grill—in 1978. However, Streater’s continued the tradition after O’Malley’s closed and named the prize trophy in the former bar’s honor.

Photo of Streater's Tavern
Photo from a Galveston Daily News article related to the Annual Cockroach Race, September 14, 1991. The Streater’s Tavern sign is visible in the background. Rosenberg Library

Sponsored by Galveston’s local radio station, KGBC, the cockroach race was a novel fundraising event in which participants entered dozens of pet cockroaches to race one another across a specially constructed plywood track. The cockroaches were given names such as “Cesspool Sally”, “Zippity-doo-dah”, and “Aloysious P. McGillicuddy,” and each had its own trainer.

In addition to the cockroach racing, Streater’s held a silent auction which included prizes such as weekend stays at local hotels and dinners for two at area restaurants. Proceeds always benefitted community organizations including the Lasker Children’s Home, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Children’s Center.

The Galveston Daily News reported that the event received national attention in February 1980 when Walter Cronkite announced the winner—UTMB student Polly Clafford—during the CBS Evening News.

Streater's Tavern Ad
Streater’s Tavern advertisement from Galveston Daily News, December 31, 1983. Rosenberg Library

After several years of ownership, John Yeskewicz sold Streater’s to Keith Guindon. The Guindon family continued to operate the bar—and host the annual cockroach race fundraiser—until the late 1990s. The building was then sold to Jack Parker and Jerry Bair who converted Streater’s into the popular island eatery, Mosquito Café, in 1999.

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.

2020-10-01T09:23:07-06:00

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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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