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Historical Marker: Grover-Chambers House2020-01-23T14:16:41-05:00

Grover-Chambers House

Historical Marker

1520 Market Street, Galveston, TX (Directions)

One of over 200 historical markers on the island, this marker is located at the Grover-Chambers House. The marker was erected in 1976 by the Texas Historical Commission.

Inscribed

“This beautiful, stately and commodious, “Ante Bellum” home, on 3 1/4 lots of ground, located at 1520 Market St. (Ave D) Galveston, Texas, was built in 1859 by George W. Grover, a member of the Santa Fe Expedition of 1842.”

“All outside and interior walls, are brick from Brown’s brick yard, located on the western edge of the City of Galveston and are 16 inches thick, the exterior being covered in concrete, while the interior is od plaster of Paris, with 12 inch, handmade mouldings.”

“In addition to this, the large drawing room, or parlor is 20×40 feet; the ceilings having hexagon, plaster of Paris ornamentations, in the center of each a 12 ft diameter “Sunburst” of separate handmade petals with 2ft. rosette finishing center from which two brilliant (gas) crystal drop chandeliers, reflecting the lovely pier mirrors and gold cornices.”

“Originally there was a “Captains Lookout” or cupola with two sets of standard size windows on each of its four sides. From this point there was a splendid view of the harbor and gulf, especially so in the “Battle of Galveston” January 1st, 1863, by the Federal gun boats which from time to time steamed up and down the channel bombarding the City of Galveston.”

“One shell entered and exploded in the North wall; a fragment of this shell was still embedded in the wall when the Grovers sold their home to Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hughes, in the early part of 190 [sic]. This fragment is still in the possession of its third and present owner, Miss Mary Cecile Chambers.”

“For many years after, children would dig at the base of the walls for rifle bullets that had struck the brick walls, then fallen harmlessly to the ground below. These flattened, lead bullets, were used by the children, mostly to melt and mould into sinkers for fishing lines, cast-nets, etc..”

“The dining room, 15’ by 24’ opened into the garden, onto a New Hampshire granite porch. Above this door is a transom of ruby, hand cut, Venetian glass. The same beautiful glass was also used around the handsomely designed front doors, both up and down, which still has the heavily engraved brass doorknob and old-fashioned brass door ringer.”

“Dividing the dining room from the 14’ by 18’ breakfast room was a large pantry with trap door leading into the “wine cellar.” The house has three sets of stairs, the front being of Black Walnut, the middle one, by the pantry, smaller but also of Black Walnut and the enclosed one leading from the servants quarters to the kitchen, under which room was a hugh [sic], concrete cistern that supplied the kitchen needs and which was hand pumped. There was still another large, hand pumped cistern under the East gallery, which supplied ice cold water, thru the Summer months.”

“Both the glass enclosed upstairs East gallery, as well as the open downstairs gallery had large solid cedar posts, turned and tapered towards the top. The large South front gallery, across the entire width of the house had a 8” by 5’ New Hampshire granite step. All door sills and windowsills are of Vermont white marble, the mantle over the fireplace in the drawing room, is Italian black marble, whereas the mantle and sides of the fireplace upstairs, is of Vermont white marble. All this was brought in by sailing vessels. There were six bedrooms on the second floor.”

“Many brilliant functions, entertainments and musicales were given in the large beautiful rooms of the Grover home both before and after the “War.” In 1905 this historic old home, was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Landon Gore Chambers, a rancher and cattleman of Chambers County, a great nephew of General Thomas Jefferson Chambers, a Virginian, and one of the makers of “Texas History” for whom Chambers County is named. Mrs. Chambers was Charcilla Josephine VanPradelles the grand daughter of Captain Francis Benedict VanPradelles of Paris, France, who joined forces with Lafayette in the victory of the Colonies. Mrs Chambers’ grandmother, madam Cassandra D’eye Owings VanPradelles served as “Lady in Waiting” to “Marie Antoinette” in France. After her return to America and the death of her husband, she was captured at “Sea” by Jean Lafitte, the pirate, while returning to Baltimore, MD., her girlhood home.”

“The present owner, Miss Mary Cecile Chambers, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Chambers has added a screened, curtained, upstairs sun porch and has painted the entire house white. There are two huge, bearing pecan trees, plum and persimmons planted by Mrs. Chambers, also three fig trees still bearing since purchase 1905 AD Standing, as an ever-watchful sentinel, at the entrance, is a large oak, which is considered the oldest on Galveston Island.”


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