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This volume tells the story of the stately Italianate Galveston mansion known as Ashton Villa. Built in 1859, Ashton Villa stood out in antebellum Galveston for its extensive use of new materials: brick and cast iron. It has weathered many a storm, including the Great Hurricane of 1900, when floodwaters invaded its first floor. Now as a historic house museum, Ashton Villa speaks eloquently about the lives and aspirations of an upper-class Texas family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Built in the winter of 1839-1840, this house, and the Texas pioneer who inhabited it, are the central focus of this thoroughly researched and well-written study of Galveston's merchant elite—Gail Borden, Michel Menard, Thomas McKinney, and others—a generation of leaders who did much to shape their city and Texas itself.