PRETTY COWGIRL AT MURDOCH’S BATH HOUSE IN GALVESTON, TEXAS

Louis Tobler was a photographer at Murdoch’s Bath House in Galveston, Texas. This vintage real photo postcard is an example of his work. The young woman in this photograph came to his studio and decided to wear a costume. She dressed as a cowgirl and she used many of the props offered to her by the photographer. Note her wooly chaps, gunbelt, holster, gun, bandana, and cowpoke hat. It appears that she is wearing regular shoes rather than boots. The cow girl in this portrait appears to be having a great time being photographed. She is flashing a wonderful smile. The AZO stamp box seen on the reverse of the postcard indicates that the photograph was taken sometime between 1924 and 1949. Murdoch’s Bathhouse played an important part in Galveston’s history. It was originally built in the late 1800’s, and for some reason, wood building was built on the beach. A storm destroyed the bathhouse in 1900. The Bathhouse was reconstructed in 1901 but was destroyed in the storms of 1909,1915, 1961, and 2008. Murdoch’s rented bathing suits and provided showers for beachgoers. When the bathhouse reopened in 1910, it had 542 rooms and a gift shop. The store sold souvenirs, shells, and other hazarai. The bathhouse also had a restaurant named Gaido’s Seafood. Having lived in Houston during the 1980’s and 1990’s, I ate at the restaurant many times and it was considered a Galveston institution. The restaurant remains in business today. The photographer of this postcard portrait, Louis Tobler (1866-1944), was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1879. This portrait postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

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