Date/Place: Jan 21st at 4:30, Menard Hall (Lecture begins at 4:30 guests may explore the house afterwards)

GHF Collections Manager, Renee Tallent, will provide an overview of the Deep Water Jubilee discussing why deep water was important to Galveston economically and the four major events of the Jubilee (November Celebration, Mardi Gras and Trades Display, Saengerfest, and the visit from President Benjamin Harrison). This will take place at GHF’s Menard Campus. After the lecture, guests are invited to explore the 1838 Menard House at their leisure while enjoying beer and wine.


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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