On June 16, 1987, the main house made her maiden voyage by barge down the Neches River from Sabine Pass Avenue in Beaumont, Texas to 4400 Atlantic Road Port Arthur, Texas. Originally slated for destruction, Dave and Ilene Gisselberg chose to save the house instead. Coming down the Neches, the voyage created a lot of public attention, garnering front page coverage in the local newspapers, and sparking the remark that Dave had given new meaning to the word “houseboat.” The home was in poor condition and took the Gisselbergs three years to restore much of the original floor plan, uncovering the six fireplaces and replacing the missing mantels with mantels purchased in Mississippi. Research is ongoing at this time to uncover the original owners and their reason to build such a grand structure of over 6200 s. f. and standing 49’8” tall. Research has revealed that at the time of the construction, plans were being made to connect all of Southeast Texas’ major shipping ports and to build a railroad from Beaumont to Sabine Pass due to the Spindletop Oil Boom in 1901.
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