Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Located at 2010 Strand and 20th and Strand in Galveston, Texas. The Hendley Market and Hendley Building were once known as Hendley Row and built prior to the Civil War. W. Hendley & Co. was one of the largest and most substantial business houses in Texas in the 1850s. The Hendley buildings make up the Hendley Market and the Hendley building which was purchased by Mitchel Historic Properties in 2012 and is currently under renovation. The Hendley Building is the oldest remaining commercial building in Galveston. Constructed in 1850, the Greek Revival-style building is actually four, attached brick buildings located in the Strand National Historic Landmark District.
Hendley Building Built in 1895 top photo from the Rosenberg Library
The building was constructed to serve as offices for brothers William and Joseph Hendley, cotton and commission merchants. The building served as a "watch tower" during the Civil War because it was the tallest commercial building. The Hendley Building served as a natural lookout point for observers watching both the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay. A red flag was flown from the building on July 2, 1861 announcing the Federal blockade (Read the Civil War Era Letter Here). A shell fired from the USS Owasco during the Battle of Galveston on January 1, 2863 hit the Hendley Building and the damage is still evident today. (See a Picture Here) Confederates were posted inside and around the building firing at US Navy vessels. Confederate John B. Magruder retook Galveston with a loss of twenty-six killed and 117 wounded. Union losses included the captured infantry and the USS Harriet Lane, about 150 casualties on the naval ships, as well as the destruction of the USS Westfield. The port remained under Confederate control for the rest of the war. The building was also a morgue building after the devastating 1900 storm. Bodies were laid out across the floor of the building and people from all over the island came to the Hendley building in search of lost loved ones who had been washed away and drowned.
Battle of Galveston. Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
City of Galveston Historical Marker
Damage to the Hendley Building caused during the Civil War Battle of Galveston 01/01/1863. Photo Courtsey of William Bozic
State of Texas Historical Marker
John Bankhead Magruder. Confederate General during the Battle of Galveston. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Fragment of the shell that was fired at the Hendley Building and stuck in the 3rd floor. Exhibit at the Rosenberg Library.
Body cart outside of the Hendley building after the 1900 Hurricane that killed an estimated 10,000 people.
The Lady in White
The Lady in White is one of the many, many, many, many ghost rumored to haunt Hendley Row. She is an illusive spirit known to stay on the back side of the building. She can often be seen going up and down the stairs however some residents and witnesses have claimed to have seen her on the street as well frantically searching and crying. She is often described as being dressed in a white dress or nightdress of Victorian era style. She is often heard crying or pacing and is almost always described as sad or upset.
The Little Boy
Photo Credit to Texas Chronicles and Jackie Wheeler
The Little Boy is heard more often then he is seen however residents claim he is the most active ghost in the building. He is often seen as a static figure running back and forth from one end of the room to the other. He most often appears wet or disheveled. He appears to be wearing a grey winter suit with a hat and boots. He has been seen playing, running up and down the stairs, running from room to room, and both sitting and leaning on the stairs. He has been seen on the stairs, in the residences, and in the shops below. Ask the shop owners about the little boy spirit and most either have heard about him or have seen him themselves. When you visit Hedley Row be on the lookout for this small apparition because I've heard that he appears when you least expect.
The Confederate Solider is another ghost that is often seen. Soldiers both Confederate and Union are often seen in Galveston because several Civil War battles took place right on the island or just off shore. The Confederate Solider seen in and around Hendley Row is often dressed in a grey uniform. Staff and residents have described seeing him running up and down the stairs. Another resident said that he often would hear footsteps walking back and forth across the ceiling of his unit (which was the roof) where the "loop out point" used to be located. Other staff and residents claim to have seen the solider whenever they walk around a corner. He will be standing next to a doorway, riffle in hand, as if he is standing guard or on duty. The Confederate Solider has also been seen at night through the shop windows in Hendley Market. He is seen as a shadow, a white mist, or a solid apparition either moving through the shops, along the roof, or in the street below creeping along the buildings.
The Little Girl
The Little Girl spirit is only seen and more often heard in Hendley Market. She is described as being around 4 to 5 years of age, wearing a dark dress, with dark or possibly wet hair, and her clothing is described as being Victorian era style. She is often heard by young children or seen by children. They describe her as being lost and looking for her mother. Staff have described parents of children coming up to the registers in the shop saying they are looking for a little girl because their own son or daughter had told them she was lost. However when the parent goes to find and help the young girl she isn't there. Patrons, staff, and residents have also seen her playing on the 2nd floor near the glass floor and it's reported foot steps and running can often be heard across the glass floor and when you look up there is absolutely no one there. A staff member of Hendley Market also told me that she believes the little girl is a victim of the 1900 storm because she has heard her crying and crying out for her mother on more than one occasion.
The Young Man / Teenager
Living in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century was hard even on Galveston Island. However it was especially difficult for children who were often used as child labor. They worked cheaper or were just paid less because they were after all "children," their hands were smaller and they could more easily access small moving parts in machinery, and if their parents couldn't find work they often were supporting the household with their own factory jobs. Hendley & Co. was a cotton factory that employed child labor just like every other factory in the country at that time. As a working cotton mill it had its fair share of accidents as well.
One ghost that is seen rarely is the ghost of the injured factory worker. He is seen just before a tragedy or before something bad happens to whoever sees him. He is seen as a warning of peril. The young man is seen with blood covering his white shirt, cuts on his face, a missing arm, covered in lacerations and stumbling. No one wants to see his ghost because he almost always foretells something dire happening to whoever sees him. One staff member who saw him discovered that her sister was killed the same night in a horrific car accident.