Friday, December 21, 2012

Tiny Houses

These three cinder block houses on E. 7th Street used to be owned by the Presbyterian Church and sat vacant for many years. Someone recently purchased them and has pretty much gutted the interiors. If anyone hears what they plan to do with them, let me know and I'll share it on this blog. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Woodson Patrick House - Part 2

One of the neatest things about doing this blog is that I sometimes get e-mails out of the blue from people who have read my posts and want to know more about the houses I feature. Last week I got an e-mail from a woman named Beverly Joyce Patrick Boyd who lives in Arizona. Her grandfather used to own the Woodson Patrick House that I featured in a recent post. Beverly said she was born in that house, which was known as the Stump House during World War II. She has many vivid memories of the house from her childhood. "It used to seem to big," she wrote me. "When we visited from Austin, we played games in the front yard."

Beverly said when she was little, they had to go outside to use an outhouse. "I had to be 9 or 10 when they finally got indoor plumbing," she said. Beverly also said her Grandmother Tate had a wood stove in the kitchen for years before they got a "real stove with burners and oven."

Beverly sent me several great old family photos. The top one shows her and her brother, Raymond, on the porch of the house with her grandfather John Patrick and his wife. Another photo shows her grandmother in the yard of the house with a cow.

She also sent me two photos of Woodson Patrick. One shows him in his military uniform and the other one shows him on the bottom row at the right.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Morrow-Forsvall House

My favorite spa in Georgetown used to be located in this house at the corner of Main Street and Austin Avenue. Unfortunately the owner of the spa ran into some health problems and she closed the spa. I think the house went into foreclosure before she was able to sell it. I don't know whether it has a new owner or whether someone is just trying to fix it up to sell it, but the house is currently being painted a light brown.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Woodson Patrick House

This house at 211 E. 5th St., which was built around 1880, is one of the oldest surviving houses in Georgetown. Its first owner was Woodson Patrick, who was born in Overton County, Tenn. in 1835 and served in the Civil War.

A Southwestern University professor used to own it as a rental property, but it now has new live-in owners who are obviously putting a lot of work into it.


Earlier this year, I reported on how the house at 415 W. 10th St. was slated for demolition (You can read that post here). The house was torn down this fall and the new one has gone up very quickly. Here is what it is looking like. The plans for the new house were originally quite different from what has ended up going in - and I think for the better. This new house actually fits in with the historic houses in the neighborhood pretty well. Here is the finished house in July 2013:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Valuable Find

For many years now, Southwestern University has had some material in its Special
Collections related to the Belford Lumber Company. This material is used extensively by people who are trying to do research on their homes or architects who are renovating Belford homes in Georgetown. One of the most widely used resources are the ledgers from the Belford Company that tell who each house was built for. However, several of the valuable ledgers are missing.

Recently, Scherry Chapman (a former president of the Georgetown Heritage Society) was talking to Main Street resident Kay Harris, and Mrs. Harris tole her that she had obtained one of the ledgers when the Belford Lumber Company was being torn down in the 1970s.

"We have searched and searched for these ledgers. We had no idea who had them," Scherry said. 

Scherry convinced Mrs. Harris to donate the ledger to the Georgetown Heritage Society and hopefully it will eventually make its way to Southwestern University so it will be available to the public. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

The J.H. Reedy House

Like many of the houses along University Avenue, the house at 908 East University Ave. has many ties to Southwestern University. The first owner of the house was John Henry Reedy, who was a chemistry professor at Southwestern from 1905 to 1913. Reedy purchased the lot for the house from Absolom Travis Irvine in 1907 for $900 and the house was built sometime between 1909 and 1911. Professor Reedy was one of three faculty members who left Southwestern in 1913 with to join the faculty of Southern Methodist University in Dallas under President Robert Hyer.

After Professor Reedy left Georgetown, his house was sold to the Kappa Sigma fraternity and it became their chapter house for 25 years. In 1938, the fraternity sold the house to Aubrey Earl McLean and his wife, Minnie Mae. The McLeans provided room and board to other Southwestern students and the house was known to be a popular gathering place in the 1940s. Aubrey McLean died in 1961 and Minnie Mae McLean died in 1977. After Minnie Mae's death, their daughters sold the home to Robert L. Stewart and Martha Dunham-Stewart, who owned it from 1978 to 1981. Carroll and Dorian Sullivan purchased the home in 1981.

All the owners of the house from the McLeans forward have made some sort of changes or renovations to the house. The Sullivans added a back porch and and extended the front porch around the northwest corner of the house.

The current owners of the house, Ken and Brenda Smith, purchased the house from the Sullivans in 1998 and have improved the house even more, especially in the back yard. I had the opportunity to visit the house last spring and it is truly beautiful - one of the most beautiful homes in Georgetown.

The Smiths have recently decided to put the house on the market, so it will be changing owners again soon. The listing for the house, which can be found here, has some photos of the inside.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Linnie Campbell House

We have discovered all sorts of interesting tidbits about Georgetown residents of the past while researching this house at 1502 Ash St. for the 2012 Georgetown Heritage Society Holiday Home Tour.

The house was built around 1922 for a woman named Linnie Campbell. Mrs. Campbell was born Salinda Laura Young in 1866 in Winchester, Texas. She married Shelby Campbell in 1886 and assumed his position as tax collector in Lee County when he died in 1903. Later, relocating to Georgetown, Mrs. Campbell became the first woman to hold public office in Williamson County when she was elected county clerk, serving in that role from 1918 to 1922. One reason Mrs. Campbell may have moved to Georgetown is because her daughter, Lucille Campbell, attended Southwestern University from 1904-1908.

Lucille Campbell herself has an interesting story. After graduating from Southwestern,  she was hired to teach English at a Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Oklahoma by Samuel Page Duke, the assistant principal and football coach. Lucille Campbell later married Samuel Duke and they returned to his family home in Virginia. In 1918 Samuel Duke was appointed president of Harrisonburg Normal School, later to become Madison College, and then James Madison University.  Dr. Duke served as president of Madison College until 1949. Mrs. Duke lived in an apartment not far from campus until her death in 1980. Linnie Campbell died in 1954 and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery behind Southwestern University.

The current owners of this house, Jordan and Lesley Ann Maddox, are only the third owners of the house. They recently completed a beautiful restoration of the house (you can see a photo of the house prior to restoration in this previous blog post), and it will be open to the public Dec. 8-9.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New to Old Town

A new house is going up at the corner of Holly and Third Streets.

Transformation Complete

The transformation is complete on this house at the corner of Myrtle and 5th Streets. See my previous post from September 2011 for a photo of what the house looked like before the new addition. The new garage that was added on 5th Street is particularly nice!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Identical Twins

The house at 1202 15th St. known as the Chesser-Morgan House has an interesting history. It was built around 1895 and was originally located on the Southwestern University campus. A house that looks exactly like it still exists on the Southwestern campus and is currently used as the campus police station (see below). The house at 1202 15th St. was moved to its current location by a team of oxen in 1905, possibly to make room for the extension of Maple Street.The house that remains on the Southwestern University campus was covered with limestone when the campus decided to have all its buildings have the same limestone exterior.

Even after it was no longer located on the Southwestern University campus, the house at 1202 15th St. still had connections to Southwestern. The second owner of the house was Daniel Morgan, a retired Methodist minister. After his death, the house was owned by Morgan's daughter, Ruth Morgan Ferguson. Ferguson served as Dean of Women at Southwestern from 1935 until her retirement in 1960.

The Chesser-Morgan house is one of six that will be on the Georgetown Heritage Society's annual Holiday Home Tour this year. The tour will be held Dec. 8-9, so mark your calendars if you want an opportunity to see this charming Victorian house on the inside. Leslie Kaufman has filled her house with a variety of interesting collections.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Looking Better

This house at the corner of College and 8th Streets was recently repainted and is undergoing some renovations. Meanwhile, just up the road at 602 College Street (top photo), a house that was formerly pink has just been repainted.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New on Main Street

This new house has gone up on the 1800 block of Main Street where a smaller house was previously torn down.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Changing Colors

This house on 6th Street is getting a new look. The photo on the bottom is the repainted house.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Getting Started

Construction has started on the new house that is being built at the corner of Elm and 7th Streets. The house that was previously on the property (see photo in this previous post) was demolished a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another Demolition Approved

At its April 26 meeting, HARC approved a request to demolish these two structures at 307. E. 18th St.

Friday, March 23, 2012

New B&B

A couple from Austin recently purchased this house at the corner of Austin Avenue and 16th Street and plans to open a small (two-room) bed and breakfast in it. At its March 22 meeting, HARC approved the additional use for the property and waived the requirement for additional parking spaces.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Double Demolition

At its March 22 meeting, the Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) considered requests to demolish these two historic houses off W. 13th St. The house at 612 W. 13th St. is one of Georgetown's few remaining "shotgun" houses. Both demolitions were approved since the houses were deemed to be unsalvagable. The property these houses are on is now zoned for office use, so any future construction on these lots will not be residential. Both houses were owned at one time by a woman who was a cook at the former Carver High School.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Another Demolition Request

The Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) considered a request at its March 22 meeting to demolish this house at 415 W. 10th St. The current owners of the property want to replace it with a new single-family residence. HARC approved the demolition of the old house but asked to see plans for the new house modified before they approve them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

For Sale in Old Town

This cute 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in Old Town is now for sale. I'm prejudiced, of course, because it is my house. But it is not that often that houses come up for sale in Old Town that are move-in ready and relatively affordable. If you know anyone who is looking for a house in Old Town, please share this listing with them:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ranch Redo

This ranch house at the corner of Virginia and 16th Streets sat stripped down to the tar paper for several years. Someone has finally come in and finished the restoration. Several nearby ranch houses on Hutto Road have also recently been renovated as well.

Complete Renovation

A local resident recently purchased this house at the corner of College and 15th Streets and is completely renovating it before reselling it.