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Yee-Haw-Yippee-I-Yo! Texas Here I Come

>> Thursday, May 01, 2008

As one of Brenna’s favorite Backyardgan’s songs goes:
“Yee-Haw-Yippee-I-Yo
Texas Here I Come
Yippie-I-Yippie-I-Yippie-I-Yo
Texas Here I Come”

Yep, this fall it will have been two years since the family loaded up for a trip to Texas to visit Doug’s mom, dad, brother and assorted aunts, uncles and cousins. Which means that it will be our turn to make the trek. It tends to be a long trip, and sometimes rather dull as there isn’t much to do near where his mom lives. I’m hoping to maybe get away from hanging out at houses and doing something this year.

Because Doug & I both love history and beautiful houses the W.H. Stark House in Orange, Texas caught my eye.



How could it not, right? It’s built in the Queen Anne style of the turn of (the last) century and is filled with antiques.

Interestingly enough the house was only occupied from 1894 until 1936 when the owners W.H. Stark and his wife, Miriam Lutcher Stark, had both passed. The house then sat empty until 1971 when it was completely renovated and opened for public tours 10 years later in 1981. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission.

The Stark family history is just as interesting as the house. The patriarch, W.H. Stark was 12 during the Civil War and, at that time, he lead his mother and infant brother to a Confederate camp in Louisiana where his father was stationed. His mother became ill on the trip and died in Louisiana. He then took his brother back to Texas where he, his grandmother and his sister cared for the remaining children.

H.J.Lutcher Stark, the only surviving child of W.H.Stark and his wife, also led an interesting life marrying three times (two of them were sisters) and founding (with his third wife) the Shangri-La Botanical Gardens in Orange.

The philanthropy and legacies left behind by the Stark family are many and varied. This is definitely someplace I want to visit on a future trip to Texas.


1 comments:

vw bug 6:49 AM  

I like that one better than the soccer monster song that my kids have a tendency to sing.. even at the age of 4 and 5. ugh...

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