Spotlight on…David Bowers!

Meet your 2012-2013 Silk Stocking National Historic District President, David Bowers!  David is a licensed Texas attorney and a Texas Realtor.  His childhood was spent in Kansas and later, he graduated from high school in Vermont.  He graduated from college and law school in Kansas and moved to Houston in 1978 to join Stewart Title Company.   David managed their downtown commercial closing office until 1989 when he got into real estate brokerage and thankfully for all of us, moved to Galveston!  David has served as the 2010 President of the Galveston Association of Realtors, and served on the Galveston City Council (1994-2000) and the Galveston Wharves Board (1998-2000) and was instrumental in bringing back the cruise ship industry to Galveston.  A member of the Rotary Club of Galveston, Elks Lodge #126, and a big brother in the Big Brother, Big Sister program, David has also served as the 2009-2010 President of the Galveston Historical Foundation, and received the Distinguished Volunteer Service Award from GHF, reflecting his passion for and commitment to historic preservation on our island.  Indeed, David rode out Hurricane Ike in 2008 in his 1899 Victorian home on 25th Street and subsequently served on the Ike Recovery Committee.

While known as the “King of Open Houses,” David is known to all of us in the Silk Stocking District as a wonderful neighbor!  We look forward to his strong leadership in the upcoming year!

Spotlight On John Eanes!

    

     John Zempter Eanes is the fourth generation of his family to live at 1813 24th Street in the Silk Stocking District!  His great grandfather, James Zempter, moved to Galveston in 1900 to be a part of the rebuilding after the Great Storm.  In 1903, he and W.H. Janssen formed a contracting company, Janssen & Zempter Contractors and Builders.  In 1906, he bought lots for sale on 24th Street and began building his own home at 1813 24th Street in the tradition of the Queen Anne period. Built with cypress wood, the home was painted in traditional white with green shutters and windows.  It was also in 1906 that he married Agnes Mary Webb and they had their only child, Shelby Ida Zempter, John’s grandmother.  After the dissolution of his partnership with Janssen, Jim formed his own company, J.W. Zempter Contracting; it prospered along with the growing town of Galveston.  In 1928, major renovations were undertaken that forever altered the facade.  The front door was moved to the center of the home and a vestibule was added in front of the door.  Additionally, 2/3’s of the upstairs porch was taken into the front bedroom facing 24th Street and only the northern 1/3 of the upstairs porch remains to this day.  After the 1915 storm, Jim expanded the building on his lots by constructing four homes on Avenue P, adjacent to the main house.  They were build as rental property and are owned by the Zempter-Eanes family to this day.  Jim Zempter died in his beloved home in 1964 and was proud to say nothing he ever built in Galveston was destroyed by hurricanes or other acts of God.  His wife and his daughter, Shelby Zempter Eanes Mowat, continued to live in the home until their deaths

John moved to Galveston to work and moved into the home as the 4th generation.  He quickly became a true Galvestonian.  One month after his arrival, Hurricane Alicia struck.  As a testament to the skills of his great grandfather, the house sustained little damage.  John began extensive upgrades of the home’s plumbing, electrical systems, air conditioning and kitchen.  A powder room and rear deck were added as well.  In 2001, John had the great good sense to marry Lynn, and together, they began to redecorate the home with antique pieces from both families.  Upstairs bedrooms include the wedding gift furniture of his great grandmother and his grandmother Shelby’s dressing table and dresser.  John continues a family tradition of living and working in Galveston.  He started Galveston Automotive Professionals, and in 2000, he relocated his business from 23rd Street to the current location of 1918 Mechanic.  Twenty-five years in business, the Eanes family always laughs at the fact that John is a mechanic on Mechanic!  

John and Lynn are active members in our Silk Stocking District; Lynn serves as membership chair this year and always opens their home to our board and our neighbors.  It is truly a show place, replete with generations of family heirlooms and a rich history.  More than that, it is cared for with such love and appreciation for James W. Zempter.  Isn’t his family such a tribute to the visionary and hardworking generations of the people of our island?!

Spotlight Member–Catherine Stroud

Our lovely and talented Catherine Stroud, 1412 25th Street, is such a charming addition to our island!  Born in Colorado and the second of five children, Catherine grew up in the Woodlands.  She attended The John Cooper School where she played the flute (first chair , of course!) and was a competitive horseback rider.  Catherine graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a major in French and European Studies.  She moved to France after graduation to teach English to children ages 3-12.  She then moved to Nice for two years, again to teach English.  Catherine spent time in over a dozen countries, traveled the circumference of the globe, only to land just 70 miles from where she began–goodness, a lot of living in 28 years!

In 2009, Catherine moved to Galveston, where she began building custom furniture with reclaimed lumber.  However, her focus now is on fine arts; many of her original paintings are hanging in the Galveston Art League, The Vanishing Point Wine Bar and Cafe, Mod Coffee Shop, and Island Music.

Catherine’s home on 25th was a “very haunted house” when she moved in; she is glad to report that after a MTV camera crew came through with their psychic, all has been calm!  She has recently purchased an 1877 shotgun cottage, 2523 Winnie, and is working to restore it to be used as a community arts house.

This exceptionally  talented resident of our District has served as membership chair, gracious hostess when needed, and the District’s GHF representative.  She gives of her talent freely to a variety of non-profit organizations as well; when asked to contribute donations to silent auctions, she simply says, “I’d love to!”  So glad she is in our midst, this beautiful horse riding, flute playing, furniture building, artist!

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Spotlight Member – Bob Strevell

Welcome to our new website feature where we will highlight one of our neighbors and their historic home!  And what a perfect person to spotlight in this inaugural edition!  Bob Strevell has served our district faithfully over the 8 years he and Linda have lived in our district.  Bob spent his early years in post-war Germany, learning to speak German before he spoke English!  Bob’s dad was in charge of the group that rebuilt the German school system after WWII.  Bob even took off one day on his tricycle and had every MP available searching for the little rascal!

Bob is a native Houstonian who graduated from Bellaire High School with honors.  He graduated from SMU and was a cum laude/law review graduate of South Texas College of Law.  His odd jobs during college/law school included selling sisal rugs by the side of the road, modeling Arrow’s line of shirts (Bob’s a hunk alrighty!), and chauffeuring a well-known Houston and international socialite (good preparation for doing the same for Linda!).

While attending law school at night and not selling rugs, Bob was an elementary, middle, and high school teacher.  After law school, he was a compliance officer for a financial services company, an executive officer for a broker-dealer, and retired as a member of the Billion Dollar Club of a financial wholesaler—who knew?!?

Bob and his wife Linda moved to Galveston two weeks before the snowfall of  2004 .  His favorite quote about himself is that he was too old to join the circus so he moved to Galveston!  Bob and Linda purchased their Prairie-style home, 1213 25th, that was built in 1913 by Dr. Brett.  Dr. and Mrs. Bret’s daughter, Gladys Dierlam, was born in the home, and lived in it for 65 years until her death at the age of 101.

In his so-called “retirement,” Bob does a bit of writing, contributes to the Blogosphere in the local newspaper website with observations on the local scene through a variety of characters including the “West End Rabbit,” and has developed an alter ego, “Nostril Damas,” who prognosticates on George Lee’s Electric Radio Theatre.

Bob has been married “forever” to our lovely Linda; they have one son who is a college professor (so not surprised!).  We are so lucky to have this wonderful man in our midst!

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