A Victorian enthusiast works to restore Texas City house to its former glory
Charlotte Beth’s home stands as a testament to her love of Victorian culture.
Since Beth bought the Texas City home three years ago, she has been working to restore it to its former Victorian glory.
“It’s a labor of love,” Beth said. “It’s going to take a really long time.”
The white, Victorian home, tucked just off the historic 6th Street district, sports a wide front porch and a balcony that overlook magnolia bushes in the front yard. A front sitting room holds some treasures Beth has acquired, including a piano from her grandfather, a railroad level from the 1800s and a pew from a local church.
The house, which predates the 1900 Storm, was moved to Texas City from Galveston in 1926.
The owner moved his shipping operations to Texas City after the deadly storm and decided to move the house, too.
He put the house on a barge to ferry it to Texas City and had mules pull it to its current site, Beth said.
The home had been used as a rental house when Beth bought it and had been used as a home for elderly people before. Eventually, Beth would love to turn it into a full bed and breakfast, she said.
Big stairs with original oak wood lead up to the second floor, where several large rooms had been converted into smaller bedrooms.
Beth’s bedroom was once part of the house’s grand room, she said.
“It’s a lovely house,” Beth said. But it’s work to restore it while adding modern touches, she said.
Since buying the home, she has installed air-conditioning and repaired all the floors.
“It was a big deal to put a dishwasher in,” Beth said.
She removed the carpet, exposing the original wood floors.
“Everything was covered with this nasty, 20-year-old carpet,” she said.
Once she saw the original oak wood, Beth knew there was hope for the house, she said.
Beth always had a love of Victorian culture, she said.
She dresses up for Galveston’s popular Victorian festival Dickens on The Strand, and last year she won the virtual Bathing Beauties Contest, which celebrates retro and vintage swimwear on the island.
Beth has a whole room in her house dedicated to her costumes, many of which are from the Victorian period.
“It was beauty,” Beth said. “It was elegance. People care a little more. They really went through the effort of looking nice.”
Beth enjoys learning about the time period and dressing in modern outfits inspired by Victorian styles, she said.
“I guess I feel a little bit out of place in today’s society,” Beth said. “It’s home to me.”
Her interest extends to the house and its construction as well. For example, Beth is fascinated by the fact that the house keeps relatively cool during the summer because the construction allowed for ample air flow.
“They were so wise beyond their years,” Beth said.