Galveston Historic Overnights: Treaccar's Rental Craftsman
Built in 1920 by Heiman Treaccar.
Built between 1920-1921 by Herman Treaccar, who lived next door and oversaw its construction, this Craftsman cottage served as a rental home for one of his workmen. Featuring an expansive front porch, two large bedrooms, and one bathroom, the original home was near identical to what you see today.
As is usually the case when it comes to the historical record, more information can be found on the property's owner, Heiman Treaccar, a prominent lawyer, community leader, and member of the Knights of Columbus. As for the occupants of the rental cottage Heiman built next to his own, very little is known.
About the Original Owners
Heiman Treaccar married Charlotte Jane "Janie" Shepherd on August 18, 1917, just a few months after the U.S. officially entered World War I. The couple would have been greatly relieved to learn that due to his role as an official of the state (Heiman was Assistant County Attorney), he was able to claim exemption from the Selective Service Act passed by Congress in May 1917, which required all men between the ages of 21-30 to register for military service. Heiman was 28 at the time.
They moved into the corner property sometime after marrying and commenced building the new house next door. Upon its completion in 1921, Heiman rented it out to workmen, though it's unclear if he employed the workmen or was strictly their landlord.
Heiman's Childhood Home
Less than two miles down Broadway, Heiman's childhood home still stands. Heiman (Germanic derivative of Hermann) Hugo Treaccar was born on September 25, 1889, in Galveston, to Joseph, a carpenter and contractor, and Lizzie, whose occupation in 1898 was dressmaking but who switched to real estate sometime before 1910, according to the U.S. Census of that year. A newspaper record in January 1903 indicates that Joseph and Lizzie divorced, and Lizzie was able to keep the first residence they shared (pictured below). Young Heiman would have been just shy of 15 years old at the time.
Before Treaccar: A Corner Store
Before Heiman and Janie called this corner home, Galveston directories indicate many different residents lived at this property's address prior to 1900, when the lot was occupied by a business that sold groceries and beer. As was typical of most storefront businesses, a large awning extending out to the street can be seen in the 1899 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.
Over a hundred years ago, the corner was likely a lively scene; but all traces of the business and its customers were erased in the Storm of 1900. A map of the storm damage was published by the Houston Daily Post just weeks after the storm, indicating the "total destruction" of most of the island's southeastern end. It took more than 20 years for the unoccupied land next to Heiman's residence to be redeveloped into the craftsman home located there today.