Construction on what was to become The Moody Mansion started in 1893 and was completed in 1895. Listed for sale in 1899 the home initially received several offers. On September 8, 1900, the worst natural disaster in the Nation’s history hit Galveston, killing over 8,000 people, and destroying over 2,600 homes. The Mansion stood and on September 25, 1900, was purchased for $20,000 by W.L. Moody Jr.
General Admission Fees
Exclusive Two-Hour All-Access Guided Tour
What You Will See During Your Visit
The Moody Automobiles
You will start your tour through Moody Mansion in the garage where they showcase three of the Moody’s favorite automobiles. The first is a 1931 Studebaker, which was the first car Mary Bought for herself. The second is a 1949 Cadillac Fleetwood, which was the last car W.L. Moody would purchase, which became his personal chauffeur-driven vehicle until he passed away in 1954. The last is a 1940 LaSalle 4-Door Touring Sedan owned my Mary Moody Northen’s husband E.C. “Mike” Northen. Due to gas and rubber rationing during the second World War, and the 8 miles per gallon consumption of the LaSalle, the Northen’s had to request permission from the government for supplemental gasoline rations in order to visit their ranch and farm properties throughout Texas.
The Main House
After you leave the Garage, you will walk through the side of the mansion toward the north gate and to the porte cochere. Up the stairs and around the porch you will find the main entrance to the Moody Mansion. Ring the doorbell and the attendant will let you inside. The audio tour that accompanies your visit is well worth listening to, either before, during, or after your visit. Listen here to the audio tour.
The Main Level
You will tour rooms like the Reception Room, Library, Dining Room, and Ballroom. In the Sitting Room the family would relax together and listen to Mother Machree by John McCormack playing on the Victrola and reading the December 7, 1918 copy of The Saturday Evening Post. The Butler’s pantry used the Annunciator to send requests throughout the house. The Main Annunciator Panel is located on the first floor, just inside the entrance to the Galveston Children’s Museum. In the Butler’s Pantry there is a dumbwaiter or delivering food and such to the other floors. The Dining Room was used for many gala parties, especially for New Year’s parties. It also houses the Tribute Tree, a Christmas Tree that stands year-round as a tribute to Mrs. Mary Moody Northen showing appreciation for her many gifts to Texas, Galveston, and the World.
The Second Level
Upon ascending the stairs you enter the Upper Hall and encounter portraits of a large portion of the Moody family. The upstairs is where you will find the children’s bedrooms along with bathrooms, master bedroom, and master bathroom. The boy’s rooms have been turned into presentation rooms for Mary Moody Northen’s wardrobe, jewelry, and community and country support acknowledgement.
Libbie’s room has a toilet, sink, and tub, with a wooden thermometer used to test the bath water temperature prior to entering. There is a window in the bathroom that Libbie would open to allow the breeze to blow through. There is a jar in her room containing a copperhead that she brought in to keep people out of her room. On her desk are several composition books, one open to reveal her practicing her French.
During this time period showers were deemed too harsh for the delicate skin of the female so women would only take baths and the boys would be the ones showering. Because the house was so large and hot water took so long to get to the bathrooms, and thereby cool off on its journey, two of the bathrooms upstairs have smaller, gas water heaters built into the bathroom. In the master bath, there is a selector valve on the shower attachment with a thermometer to make sure the water running the rain-style shower head isn’t too hot or too cold. There is also a bidet in the master bathroom straight from France.