A Brief History

This house was originally owned by Julius Lobenstein, who resided in the house around the corner at 1823 Avenue L and rented this once 1-bedroom/1-bath property out to port and wharf workers.

Built in 1890, this resourceful home was constructed with the remains of structures that burned in the Great Galveston Fire of 1885. All the walls and ceilings—mismatched wood and paint colors—come from houses built between 1860 and 1885.

About the Original Owners

Julius Lobenstein was born in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Germany and came to Texas as an infant in 1828 after his father, a gardener by occupation, moved them from Germany to the New Braunfels area.

When Julius was 18, he and his father came to Galveston and purchased 14 acres of land on the island to farm. After several years, young Julius went to work for Gilbert Winnie, receiving $15 a month for services as a stable hand and mail carrier. He married Pauline Werner, also a German immigrant, in 1852 and the couple had seven children: Louis, Bertha, Julius, Julia, Frederick, Wilhelmina, and Pauline.

He remained employed by Mr. Winnie for 11 years, until the beginning of the Civil War, during which he carried mail between Galveston and St. Louis, Texas, near Dallas. After the war, Julius went back to farming, but by 1881, he was finished with the agricultural business and lived out a comfortable life on Avenue L, just around the corner from this house.

Both Julius, who died in 1905 and Pauline, who died in 1892, are buried in Galveston’s Evergreen Cemetery.

Behind the Scenes:

Look for the bottle on display! During renovations, a bottle labeled "Forsgard, Waters & Co." was discovered in one of the interior walls. A search of the 1888 Galveston directory indicates that James W. Forsgard was the bottler and agent of Moxie Nerve Food (see newspaper clipping in photo gallery), a patented “medicine” sold across the US which advertised a cure-all for everything from “softening of the brain” to “loss of manhood.” Beginning in 1884, it was carbonated and sold as a soft drink, advertised as giving the user “spunk.”

Forsgard took over the business in 1887 after J.J. Schott sold his Moxie bottling business to buy back his drug store. Forsgard was in partnership with Waters during at least part of 1887, but that partnership had dissolved by 1888. Forsgard probably had already ordered bottles with the Forsgard and Waters names and thus used them for the Moxie business.

This is an extremely rare Galveston hutch soda bottle as well as a great piece of Moxie history!

1890 Lobenstein House