News Flash


Posted on: May 16, 2023

Historic Nicholstone Home Engulfed in Fire: Residents Safely Evacuated, Investigation Underway


Historic Nicholstone Home Engulfed in Fire: Residents Safely Evacuated, Investigation Underway
[Dickinson, Texas] - [May 16, 2023] - A devastating fire broke out late this afternoon, fully engulfing the historic Nicholstone Home located in the 5000 block of Park Ave in Dickinson. Thanks to the prompt response and heroic efforts of the Dickinson Volunteer Fire Department, all residents were able to escape the home without injury. Unfortunately, three firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries and have been transported for medical care. A comprehensive investigation is still underway.
The DVFD, along with the Dickinson Police Department - Texas, Dickinson EMS - City Government, Santa Fe Fire & Rescue, League City Fire Dept., San Leon Fire Department, Galveston Area Health Authority EMS, Texas City Fire Department & EMS, League City EMS, Santa Fe EMS, and Galveston Fire Department, responded swiftly to the scene, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to public safety. These dedicated teams worked together to ensure the safety of the residents and bring the fire under control.
The Nicholstone Home, part of the esteemed Nicholstone on the Bayou estate, holds significant historical value within our community. Originally the country estate of Fred McCraven Nichols, a renowned land developer, entrepreneur, and Galveston County Tax Assessor/Collector for 21 consecutive terms until his passing in 1935, this Queen Anne Victorian-style residence served as a symbol of Dickinson's rich heritage. Overlooking Dickinson Bayou, it stood proudly on the eastern border of the Nicholstone Picnic Grounds & Park, near the corner of Nichols and Park Avenues.
During its glory days, the park boasted an impressive exposition hall, a ladies' pavilion, an artesian well, and a private railroad spur that accommodated excursion cars from Galveston and Houston. Fred Nichols, a visionary with grand plans for attracting residents tired of the hustle and bustle of Galveston and Houston, meticulously designed the blocks, streets, and avenues east of the G.H.&H. railroad. He even financed road clearing and grading to bring his dreams to fruition.
This tragic event serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving our community's history and cherishing the architectural treasures that tell our story. The loss of the Nickelstone Home is deeply felt by the residents of Dickinson and beyond.
We express our sincere gratitude to all agencies involved in today’s response for their unwavering commitment to saving lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured DVFD firefighters, and we wish them a speedy recovery.
As the investigation into the cause of the fire continues, we stand together as a community, united in our determination to preserve the legacy of the Nickelstone Home and honor the vision of Fred McCraven Nichols.
Photo Courtesy of: Richard Cook