What do I say about 1207 Austin Street? It’s not just any ordinary Thursday Doors contribution. It has too much rich family history wrapped up in it, and it has far more of a history than I can possibly convey here.
After all, the earliest records of 1207 Austin Street in Brenham, TX is that there was a deed for the lot that showed the purchase price to be around $500 Confederate dollars, or an equivalent amount in some other currency. This shows that the property was purchased sometime in the 1860s, while the War of Northern Aggression continued, and was coming to an end. Since the courthouse of Washington County burned in the 1880s, the records that exist on when the house was built are unclear. But we know it existed at least in the 1880s.
We also know some of the trees are much older than that. Trees have a way of putting things into perspective.
My dad and stepmom, Liz, bought the place in 1996. I’m sure that my stepmom was key in finding the place. She had an eye for real estate. They turned the house into his office and operated Creekside Investment Management from there until he retired in December of 2018, after 60 years in the business. The goal was always to keep it in the family if possible, and that is what is happening.
It was a great office, and I shared it with him for a while when I was working in Brenham as a substitute teacher back in 2013-2014. I would get off work, head over to the office and work on my teacher’s certification as I looked for a job.
After my father died back in January, the place went to my sister Amy, who quickly went to work updating it so she could turn it into a bed and breakfast. The things she has accomplished are amazing. The place looked great before, but it needed a good face lift, and work on the foundation, and plumbing, and the kitchen, and the bathrooms, and the windows, and everything else an old house needs. Amy got it done. Now, she is just working on some finishing touches and hopes to open it after the first of the year. It has such promise.
But for now, it’s my entry in Dan’s Thursday Doors.
My lovely wife is standing on the front porch.
This is the room where I would work on my teacher’s certification and search for a job. What Amy doesn’t know is that it was the room where I met my wife, Heidi. I didn’t just search for a job.
Heidi and I met on a dating website and after my father would leave for the night and go back to the ranch, she and I would talk to each other on Skype. That was eight years ago this month.
(This is my Batman picture — those who remember the old television show will know what I’m alluding to.)
The window pane was broken by one of the workers and Amy found a place that actually made antique glass to replace it. If you know old building, the glass in the windows has waves in it because glass is actually a liquid. Over time, gravity takes hold and gives it a wavy look. Amy wanted to keep it consistent with the other panes and the place she found only charged $100 for the glass, and $300 to ship. What a deal.
The breakfast room. The table is actually the island that will go back into the kitchen once it’s finished.
The lights that will go over the island.
The view from the front door.
The door to the patio out back.
The woodwork in the front door.
The front door bell.
Joey, testing the front-door bell.
All photos are copyright © Timothy J. Hammons, 2022.