Through the preservation of architecture, stories and vessels, Galveston, Texas has set itself apart as a city that cares enough to hold onto rich history. Visitors will find it refreshing as they wind their way through 19th century buildings to notice how the old and modern world find a beautiful balance in this coastal city. One of the shining landmarks of Galveston’s historical preservation efforts is found at Pier 21. Anchored for viewing but remaining seaworthy, the 1877 tall ship Elissa continues to enchant visitors to this day.

Traveling Through Time

The story of how Elissa became an icon of Galveston starts in 1877 in Scotland. Built at the hands of Alexander Hall & Company, this three-masted sailing ship measures 205-feet long and nearly 100-feet tall. A magnificent vessel complete with 19-sails, Elissa was built to carry cargo between ports and countries. For nearly 90-years, Elissa was charged with carrying goods for a number of different owners. When deemed unworthy to continue working, the ship was left for junk in Piraeus Harbor, Greece. It was here that a team of individuals dedicated to ship preservation found her and ensured her story would continue on. Eventually, she would become the pride and joy of the Galveston Historical Society and earn renewed status as a seaworthy vessel off the coast of Texas.

Modern Meaning

Today, Elissa spends most of her time at Pier 21, but with rigorous annual maintenance, remains a vessel that can be taken out to sea. A testament to the art of sailing and a genuine piece of living history, Elissa continues to captivate visitors with resilience. Much like her reported namesake Dido from The Aeneid, Elissa’s travels have led her to amazing adventures and places, well beyond the world’s expectations. Those interested in learning more about these adventures in depth can experience a complete history at The Texas Seaport Museum nearby.

Rethink Vacationing with Ryson

Galveston is a place brimming over with history and the opportunity to experience it firsthand shouldn’t be missed! When you’re here, make sure to partner with Ryson Vacation Rentals and book a vacation property that matches your personalized taste and style. Comfortable, convenient and keeping you close to those Galveston hot spots you’ll want to explore, we’re here to make sure your trip is absolutely unforgettable! Contact us today to start your search for the ideal vacation home when you make your way to Galveston!