The original Steamboat House was the last home of Sam Houston, and is located in Huntsville Texas.
Sam Houston had a long and colorful live. A list of his major activities: US Army Officer; adopted son of Cherokee chief and later a Cherokee citizen who represented the nation to Congress; Attorney General of Tennessee; U.S. Congressman from Tennessee; Governor of Tennessee; Major General of Texas Army; member of Constitutional Convention for Republic of Texas; General of the Army of the Texas Republic; led Battle of San Jacinto which defeated Santa Anna ( lost 6 men while the vastly superior Mexican army lost over 600); congressman to Republic of Texas;
President of the Republic of Texas; urged Texas to join Union; Texas U.S. Senator; Governor of Texas, and deposed as governor when he refused to sign the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy after Texas seceded from Union.
The Steamboat House Steakhouse in located on the northern edge of Houston. In addition to being a restaurant, the owners have indulged their love of Texas history by creating a museum, as well. The displays lining the walls are part authentic and part replica, and tell the story of the days of the battle for Texas independence, nationhood, and entry into the Unites States. The owners, Charlie and Senie Fogarty also give tours to school children, telling them about Sam Houston and the founding of the state. Occasionally, you will see Mr. Fogarty in his restaurant, dressed in period costume. Although this sounds a bit hokey, it is not obtrusive and has not detracted from the fining dining atmosphere and good wine list.
I recently revisited the Steamboat on a business lunch and took a few pictures. The parking lot has a half-size replica of the 67 foot statue of Sam Houston located on I-45 just outside of Huntsville. The restaurant version, 23 feet tall and standing atop a pedestal, is visible from the Beltway. The place was still decorated for Christmas, and the combination of dark wood, twinkling lights, and smells of grilling steak were inviting. While waiting for guests, you can enjoy the paintings, read the letters written by Sam Houston, examine antique maps, and maybe have a glass of wine in the comfy bar.
The menu is primarily steak, but there is a fair selection seafood choices and a lone vegetarian pasta dish. Although it’s not my favorite steak place in the city, the food is very good. Out-of-staters won’t recognize some of the names attached to the menu items, which are various statesmen or heroes of the Texas Revolution. If you are in the north Houston area, it’s worth a visit.
- Houston, We Have Our First Senator (ghostsofdc.org)
- Priceless documents from Texas’ early days survive a hurricane and a fire (star-telegram.com)
- Commentary: Modern day secessionists could learn from Sam Houston (kansascity.com)