Galveston Island and the Gulf of Mexico have a magical connection but this wonderful relationship was nearly destroyed with the Great Storm of 1900--the island was nearly consumed by the sea. The people who survived were determined to restore their island. Built on the site where the Beach Hotel, Electric Pavilion, and Pagoda Bathhouse once stood, the Hotel Galvez became a new symbol of the economic recovery.
In 1911 the magnificent Hotel Galvez was constructed, and it became the "Playground of the Southwest" for socialites, businessmen, and celebrities such as Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra. American Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson stayed here, as did General Douglas Macarthur. Galveston Island's only truly historic hotel, the Galvez, is a reminder of a gilded age gone by. It's no surprise that a hotel with so much history should have it's own mystery....the guest who checked in and never checked out. You'd never guess from the beautiful tropical lobby would you?
Constructed in 1911, Hotel Galvez was named for Bernardo de Galvez, the Spanish Colonial governor who first chartered the Texas Gulf Coast and for whom the city of Galveston was named.
The Galvez also saw wartime duty in World War II, serving as a U.S. Coast Guard training facility.
Now let's get back to one of those ghost stories.......The most well known spirit is the lovelorn lady of the fifth floor. Many years ago she checked into room #500 which is to the left of the picture below. She would go upstairs to the turrets (see them on the top center), and gaze out at the bay. Her fiancé was at sea, and she went up to the turrets to watch for his return. Time stretched out and she was worried. One day her greatest fears were realized when she got word his ship had perished. But she refused to believe he was really gone. After a month of denial, in utter despondence, she returned to one of the turrets on the top of the Hotel Galvez and hung herself. In a sad twist of fate, a month after her death her fiancé returned, looking for her—he had survived after all! Now her spirit is “locked” here, at the Hotel Galvez. The staff knows this lovelorn lady is around when they feel a sudden cold breeze from nowhere. They know she wants room #500 all to herself when their equipment mysteriously malfunctions when trying to make an electronic key for that room. If you are brave enough, you can reserve room 500 for yourself.