Saturday, December 31, 2011

Candlelight Tour: Historic Houses

Back on December 3, we served as docents for the Hood County Courthouse on Granbury's annual Candlelight Tour of Homes (and other historic structures).  One of the benefits of our two-hour shift was a free ticket to see other sites on the tour, which I have featured all this week.

Most of the 20 sites on the tour were private residences.  Therefore, I could not take photos inside the homes, but here are the exteriors of the ones I toured, plus some interesting information on each.

The Estes House is just a few blocks from my home.   It was built in Fort Worth around 1910 and moved here in 1994, creating quite a scene as it rolled down Highway 51 from Weatherford.  It has a pressed tin ceiling inside. At one time Billie Sol Estes lived here. [ETA:  In February 2014 a fire destroyed a significant portion of the house, and it was demolished the next month.]

The Walthall House was built in the early 1940s, by dentist Robert Walthall, based on plans his wife Mary found in Holland's magazine. Building materials were in short supply due to World War II, so its concrete foundation had to be reinforced with scrap metal from junked automobiles. Mr. Cockran, a rock mason from nearby Tolar, laid the exterior rock in a random "peanut brittle" pattern, and used large slabs of limestone for the window lintels, arches, and sills.  Metal of any kind was scarce, affecting the family's ability to find door hinges and faucets. The Walthall family lived through the winter of 1943-1944 with limited heating, electricity, and plumbing.  The redwood door was propped into place and the family went in and out of the house through a window.

The Daniel-Harris House is one I pass each day on my commute.  From the state historical marker in front:
Early Granbury merchant and saloonkeeper Robert Randolph Daniel (1864-1918) had this house built about 1892. In 1899 it was sold to Wesley Smith Harris (1854-1930), a prominent local furniture dealer and undertaker. Representative of elegant turn-of-the-century homes in Granbury, the Victorian residence reflects influences of the Italianate and Eastlake styles and features an ornate square tower and intricate ornamentation.

Notice also the limestone mounting block in front of the home, used to step in and out of carriages or mount a horse, and the stained glass in the front door and upstairs windows, which is original.  During World War II this home was divided into three apartments, which will be advantageous in its upcoming use as a bed and breakfast.

The Holderness-Aiken House is next door to the Daniel-Harris House.  Also from the historical marker:
Contractor E.J. Holderness, credited with building numerous Victorian structures in Granbury, erected this home for his own family, in 1896. The front porch features intricate Eastlake style decoration. Enlarged before 1910, the one story frame house was occupied by Holderness until 1913. It was acquired in 1926 by Mary Narcissa Rylee (Mrs. Ed) Aiken (1856-1931), member of a Pioneer Hood County family.

This tiny house had lots of interesting details, including the state seal carved into the paving stones of the walkway.


The Rickenbrode Residence is across the street from the Daniel-Harris House. This early-Craftsman style bungalow was built for Charles E. Brady and his wife Annie in 1913 by local contractor Jim Stout, at a cost of $550.


The Cogdell "Yellow Rose" House was the last one I visited on the tour, just before it ended at 5 PM on Sunday (hence the darkness of the photo).  The house was built around 1895 by Daniel Calhoun Cogdell, a prominent businessman and banker, supposedly for one of his daughters.  Cogdell also built the large house next door (not on the tour) as his main residence, and at least two other houses in Granbury for other children.

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

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