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Coppersmith Inn Bed & Breakfast, Galveston, TX
A Dramatic Victorian Showpiece on the Island
by Carl Burnham
The unique architecture of the Coppersmith Inn in the Lost Bayou Historical District includes expansive rooms, high ceilings, and a curved staircase that leads to the 2nd floor hallway. Built as a residence in 1887 for Howard & Minnie Carnes, the architect was Alfred Muller, originally from Krefield, Germany. The 2nd owner of the house was an Irish coppersmith by the name of Paul Shean. As I entered the Queen Anne style Inn, I noticed the exceptional condition of the original pine floors and the spiral staircase.
The side gardens and original staircase
The staircase is a masterpiece, built of walnut, curly pine (now extinct), and cypress which leads to original stained glass windows reflecting vibrant red, yellow, and cobalt colors. The staircase is popular for weddings. Each of the extra wide steps are still solid after all these years with not the slightest creak.
Muller also designed City Hall, Market House, Maritz House, J.C. Trube Castle, the Tetita Rosenberg Home, the Galveston Orphan's Home, and the Telephone Building, before dying of typhoid fever in 1896. When the 1900 Storm came to Galveston, the house sustained only minimal damage with about 3-6 feet of water. In fact, the whole block had little damage except for one house that floated intact down the street and ended up parked in front of the Coppersmith. Mule teams were used to move the house. The house is now at the southwest corner of 19th and Ave. M.
The house has been an Inn since 1994, and is owned by Ellen and Kirby Bubenik.
Besides the five guest rooms available, the Inn is also popular for weddings, many held on the winding staircase.
Each guest room is equipped with feather beds with high speed wireless Internet access, cable TV/VCR with CD/DVD player, with each having their own air conditioning and heating (except for central air/heat in the Carriage House).
A Hospitality Suite is located upstairs, which is appointed with comfortable chairs, cookies, wine, beer, and soft drinks. The suite is equipped also with a Flavia machine which can make a wide range of distinctive gourmet coffees and teas in a matter of seconds.
Jasmine's Garden Room
Heather's Rose Room
This popular room includes a queen-sized feather bed with a nickel-plated frame, a gas fireplace with mirrored mantel, sitting chairs, TV/VCR/DVD and CD player. As seen in the photo, there is a walk through window to a private balcony with wicker furniture to recline and overlook the front garden area. The entrance to the closet is an old style pocket door, which was common in houses of the era. The private bathroom includes a claw foot tub and shower, including a rare Bridge faucet dating back over 110 years.
The Carriage House
Breakfast Dining Room
Family style breakfast at Coppersmith Inn
Free parking for cruise guests is available.
View here for cruise ship departure schedules for Galveston.
We would like to thank the Bubeniks and the Galveston Bed & Breakfast Association for assisting with our feature and accommodating us.
I-45 becomes Highway 87, then Broadway once in Galveston. From Broadway, you will turn right onto 19th Street and travel 3 blocks, where you will turn right onto Avenue M and the b&b will be the 3rd house on the right at 1914 Avenue M.
1914 Avenue M
Galveston, Texas 77550
Toll Free: (800) 515-7144
A centerpiece of the Inn is the kitchen area, complete with a vintage 1933 Chambers stove made in Oxford, Mississippi. The Chambers stove is in pristine condition, used to make the daily breakfasts at the Inn. Unique features of the stove include a Duracrome (chrome plated) top, a built-in broiler, griddle, and crockpot, dual ovens, mechanical timer, back venting, heavily insulated inner walls, and large utility cabinet for storage. Weighing over 500 pounds, the innovative Chambers stove was highlighted during the 1939 World's Fair Exposition in New York City. View an ad giving all the merits of the original Chambers stove. A sought-after collectible, the Chambers stove is used by Rachel Ray on her TV show.
The Inn owners also own the Bath Junkie specialty store in Galveston, with discounts offered to guests.