Building Bibliography

Record#

 

Building Name

Wildwood – Foster House

Address

1723 Oleander

Building Construction & History

*Chronological from established to current

Date

1923 – 1950

Property Owner

Charles & Eugenia Fowler, Jr.

Event

This beautiful large two-story house was built by Charles and Eugenia Fowler who were living at 2508 Broadway in Galveston. The house was built on wooded land that was previously part of the Oleander Country Club grounds. The house was named “Wildwood” and never carried a street number at that time. There were many trees on the property and the Fowlers had horses, dogs and chickens, along with a strawberry patch. Mrs. Fowler was very involved in the community and took part in spearheading the relocation and restoration of the railroad station in Dickinson. She also has an oleander named after her.

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Date

1950 – 1957

Property Owner

Charles & Eugenia Fowler, Jr.

Event

At this time, the property was divided and the Fowler’s built another house at 1722 Oleander. It is presumed they maintained ownership of the original house at 1723 and rented it out a apartments after moving to the new house.

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Date

1957 – 1975

Property Owner

Dean & Gwen Neugent

Event

Dean Neugent was a very successful lawyer and had a law firm in Texas City for 47 years. It is assumed they bought the house and lived in it from l957 to 1975. During this time he served in the Texas State Legislature for 8 years. Gwen was born on a houseboat in the marsh in Port Arthur, Texas and became a very active, award winning civic leader in Dickinson. She was one of the founders of the Dickinson Railroad Museum Center as a project of the Weed n Wish Garden Club and worked diligently to restore it. They enjoyed entertaining in their beautiful home, travelling and meeting interesting people. Their children and grand children live in the area to this day.

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Date

1975 – 2003

Property Owner

Herman and Catherine Koester

Event

Herman and Catherine Koester moved into the house from 1975 to 2003. Hurricane Ike in 2008 destroyed 23 of the oldest trees on the property but the house had minimal damage.

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Date

2003 – Present

Property Owner

Robert and Laura Randall

Event

Robert is a successful businessman and Laura is a noted artist. They did a lot of repair and restoration work to the house and Laura turned one of the out-buildings into her art studio. She also held art classes there. Hurricane Harvey was not as nice and the property suffered some flooding. However, once again Robert and Laura repaired and restored the house known as “Wildwood” to its original beauty and present glory. The restoration work was noted in one of the Galveston County News Coastal Magazines after the flood.

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