Gracing the cover is Theressa Stonecipher, who with husband, Derick, recently acquired the Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast, 1914 Ave. M in Galveston.
And although the Stoneciphers and guests have reported some strange occurrences, as you’ll read in our cover story, the Coppersmith Inn, built in 1887 as a private residence, is more enchanting than it is eerie. The property, designed in Queen Anne style, features many of its original details, including crafted woodwork, pocket doors, walk-through windows, plaster archways, 14-foot ceilings, stained-glass windows and an opulent carved staircase.
Where did you grow up?
A quaint town called Wilber, Nebraska.
What brought you to Galveston?
After being in the Navy for eight years, I had to settle somewhere near the ocean. I cannot stand the cold and I absolutely love heat and humidity down here.
How did you meet your husband?
We met during his internship at The Tremont House hotel. What started off as a work friendship quickly became more, and we were “secretly” engaged within six months. We both fell in love with hospitality and knew we would make a great team.
What attracted both of you to the Coppersmith Inn?
A lot of people ask us if this was a dream of ours; it was more like a realization that we didn’t think was possible. We used to ride our bikes down Avenue M and romanticized owning one of the Victorian houses. We were touring a house nearby when Derick’s mom mentioned that the Coppersmith Inn was for sale. Derick and I were completely captivated by the ornate woodwork and the history of the home. Realizing the opportunity before us, we quickly made the decision that this would be the next chapter in our lives.
What do you like most about the property?
The ornate woodwork, the Victorian design with specific touches that Alfred Muller was known for, stained glass, walk-out windows, beautiful pocket doors — the list goes on. It has its own unique character and charm that make it feel like home to us, and a home away from home for our guests.
Did anything about your military experience prepare you to be an inn owner?
The military afforded me many life experiences that have helped me develop into the person I am today. I worked in law enforcement, a different side of customer service! If anything, the military has given me the gift of tough skin, ability to work under pressure and strong leadership. I would say working at The Tremont House and managing short-term rentals have been the most helpful life experiences in preparing me to run this business. Although I was terrified at first, I knew it was the right move.
What do you love most about Galveston?
Galveston is such a unique town with an amazing history and unmistakable charm. We are just far enough away from the big city that we feel secluded on our own little island, but close enough where we benefit from the conveniences only offered in a big city. Galveston just feels like home to us. Plus, we can literally walk to the ocean anytime we want. What could be better than that?
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever experienced?
When I was working at The Tremont House hotel, a guest on the Belmont side of the hotel asked if I could send someone to fix the drain in their tub. At the time, our engineer was offsite and wouldn’t be back quickly enough so I thought I would just go into a vacant room to look at the tub to see if I could just do it myself. I was the night-shift manager, so I was able to make myself a key and leave the front desk. I went up onto the fourth floor and stepped into the room. The lights wouldn’t turn on, so I walked from the bedroom through the parlor to the other door and as I reached for the light switch, I heard someone clear their throat. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end as I slowly turned my head in that direction. I saw nothing and bolted out of the room and ran down the stairs back to the front desk! The girls asked me what happened and all I could say was that I was never going in a vacant room at night again!