Galveston's Gilded Age - 1885 Bird's Eye Map

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Galveston's Gilded Age

Have a look at Galveston as it was in 1885.

Much of what you are about to see had virtually burst forth from the sand in the previous decade. None of it, not a stick, not a brick, had been there fifty years earlier.

In less than half a century, Galveston had transformed from snake-filled dunes to "the Ellis Island of the West" and "the Wall Street of the South."

Think about that. It's stunning. Especially when you consider the growth stunting effects produced by civil war and occupation.

Immigrants came from all corners of the globe. Business empires were built, along with homes as opulent as European palaces.

Pride of Place

This was an era of unapologetic boosterism and civic pride. People wanted to show off what their towns were becoming.

That allowed artists like Augustus Koch to make a living. All that you see here was drawn by him.

They were sold by Victor Phillips at his stationary store on 23rd Street between Ship Mechanic Row and Market Street.

He charged $5.00 each, which sounds cheap until you realize we were still on the gold standard in 1885. That would be $150.00 in 2020 dollars.

A Special Detail

One thing I love about this map is that it shows the rarely seen back view of Nicholas Clayton's famous Beach Hotel.

This beautiful building wasn't there long. Built in 1873, it was lost to fire in 1898.


Physical Details

  • 36 by 24 inches
  • Limited Edition of 254 Copies
  • Each one is hand-numbered
  • Fits in a standard sized frame
This is a high quality fine art print.

The paper is acid free, cold press cotton watercolor with an elegant ever so lightly textured finish. This surface allows the inks to 'bite', reproducing the shading and tonality of the original map vividly, beautifully, and exactly.

The inks are guaranteed color-fast for 80 years, which means you won't need to lay out the extra money for UV glass. You can hang your map in direct sun and it will be just as bright when they are passed on to the next generation it is the day it ships.

It's an instant heirloom. Get yours before they're gone...and get one to give to a friend. He'll owe you!



  • Shipping is $5 for this item.
  • Ships within 3 business days.
  • Ships in a sturdy tube.


We will gladly buy it back if you decide you don't want it anymore. There's no time limit on that.


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