During the last quarter of the 19th century Galveston Island was a major center of commerce for the Southwestern United States. Finished goods arrived at Galveston's natural deep water port from across the world, while cotton and other raw materials left the port for the East Coast, England and Europe. Local businessmen prospered as the population of Texas and the Southwest grew.
Imported goods filled the shelves of local mercantile houses ready for sale and shipment to the rest of Texas and the Southwest. Banks, cotton traders and merchants prospered. As the city's wealth grew, successful businessmen built grand homes and mansions for their families and handsome buildings downtown for their businesses. Such was the case with the elegant Davidson Building.
The corner portion of the building was constructed in 1890, and sold the same year to Marx and Aaron Blum for their wholesale hat and shoe company, Marx and Blum. The four-story building was headquarters for these well-known local businessmen until 1902, when they sold the property and adjoining lot to Simeon P. Mistrot. Mistrot specialized in ladies' ready made clothing, shoes and dry goods.
After the building was damaged by the 1900 storm. Mistrot did major remodeling, using materials from the top two floors of the original 1890 structure to construct the adjoining building. Today, the two building interiors are indistinguishable. A closer look at the exterior, reveals the subtle differences between the 1890 and 1905 buildings.
Jake and Harry E.
Davidson purchased the building in 1927 for their dry goods business and continued to operate in the location for over 30 years, when the properly was sold to Abe, Ben, Louis and Sol Druss and their sister, Rebecca Druss Buck. The Druss family held the property lot 41 years, using it primarily as a furniture warehouse. In 1994, the survivors and heirs of the original Druss buyers, sold the property to George and Cynthia Mitchell.
The Mitchells completed the restoration and adaptations of the building for use by The Tremont House as an elegant ballroom and meeting space. The Davidson building re-opened once again, with the celebration of Mardi Gras! Galveston in 1995.