On February 22 and 12 pm, GHF will partner with the Rosenberg Library’s Museum Book Club for a special Deep Water Jubilee book club. This exciting program offers participants a chance to experience literature in a more interactive way. Members will get up close and personal with art and historical artifacts from the Rosenberg Library Museum related to the book. In conjunction with the Jubilee, participants will read House of Mirth by Edith Wharton that tells the story of a woman navigating New York’s high society and get to see items that belonged to the 1891 Mardi Gras Queen, Sallie Trueheart including her gown and fan.



In 1890, Galveston finally received what it needed to become an economically competitive port: a 6.2 million dollar congressional appropriation to deepen the harbor. News of the appropriation sent Galveston into a flurry of spontaneous celebrations and a rush to plan six months’ worth of festivities called the Deep Water Jubilee.

Galveston did not successfully lobby congress alone. By working with other western cities and interests, they proved together that deep water at Galveston held national importance. As the farthest port with access to the Atlantic trade, Galveston and the West stood to gain handsomely from increased goods traveling through the harbor. Deep water meant larger ships carrying more cargo, making more money for the western states.

After over twenty years of planning, deep water was within Galveston’s reach. With banquets, oyster roasts and maritime excursions, Galveston set about thanking its many partners in November of 1890. In February, Galveston held one of her famous Mardi Gras events accompanied by a trades display parade. In April, Galveston hosted the biennial Saengerfest, which boasted three days of concerts by German music groups from across the state. The Deep Water Jubilee ended with the arrival of sitting President, Benjamin Harrison, who signed the bill into law, and all the pomp and circumstance befitting a presidential visit.

Join Galveston Historical Foundation in 2017 as we remember the city’s triumph. Featuring personal stories of individuals, events, educational programs and more, GHF celebrates Galveston’s Deep Water Jubilee.

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