Western Trips

Western Trips

Friday, December 26, 2014

Historic Texas Home Tour / Waco

If you future travels take you to Waco Texas, make sure to view and explore some the city's historic residences. Thanks to the Historic Waco Foundation, there are several historic houses that have been restored and maintained that can be toured by the public. All of these houses of course have a different story behind them. Touring these historic properties will give you a good feel for late 1800's and early 1900's Waco. The houses offer tours, exhibits, lectures, workshops, and other educational and recreational programs.

waco texas baylor university
Waco, Texas is located about halfway between Dallas and Austin along Interstate 35 and along the shores of the Brazos River.The first inhabitants at a settlement at present day Waco were Native Americans. The first Anglo settler in the area was Neil McLennan in 1838. The first block of Waco was designed by surveyor George B. Erath in 1849.

Today, Waco, Texas is home to Baylor University. Waco was also the city where the popular soft drink ,Dr. Pepper, was invented and today is the home of the Dr. Pepper Museum. Also make a stop at the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and Museum which has it's home in Waco.

Waco, Texas is the county seat of McLennan County.

Earle-Napier-Kinnard House

The Earle-Napier-Kinnard House is of Greek Revival architecture and is located at 814 South 4th. The first structure on the property was a one story home built by John Bayliss Earle in 1858. The home was made into a larger house in 1869 by Dr. John Napier Smith Sr. who had the wherewithal to expand the then modest house. It was after Napier's addition and renovation that the house took on it's true Greek Revival styling.

historic homes waco texas
Earle-Napier-Kinnard House
Dr. Napier's daughter, Sarah, married Reverend David C. Kinnard, Jr. The two moved into the home and subsequently inherited it.  Sarah and her husband continued to live in the house with three of their children as long as they lived.  The last two residents in the house were Miss Mary Kinnard and Miss Kate Kinnard.

In addition to the beautiful house there is a Victorian Teeling Playhouse that as built in 1881. Children can enjoy the playhouse today.

Many of the pieces in the house are original. The home looks especially beautiful during the Christmas season with each room having it's own decorations.  This historic Texas home is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.You can tour the home during it's regular hours (Sat and Sun 2p-5p) and private tours for groups are available by appointment. For more information call (254) 753-5166.

victorian homes texas
Fort House
Fort House 

Fort House is located at 503 South 4th. Built in 1868 in Greek Revival style by William Aldridge Fort who came to Waco from Alabama. The Fort House has authentic Victorian furniture and artifacts from early Waco. The house was purchased in 1956 by the Junior League of Waco.

Along with many family heirlooms are fine examples of early Texas artists. Guided tours are available and they last perhaps 30 minutes. Most of the rooms in the house are full of items from the Fort family's era, some from the family itself. The rooms are set up like they might have been in the past. When you view the kitchen you'll get a good idea of how different cooking was in the 1800's.

waco historic preservation
Hoffman House

The Hoffman House is located at 810 South 4th. 

This house was built in the late 1890's in the Queen Anne style Victorian and today is the home of the Historic Waco Foundation offices. You'll enjoy the tours and there's a gift shop. This home again features articles from the era of the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Western Trips has published several interesting articles on historic houses of Texas. See these articles from the links below... 

Historic Homes of San Marcos 

A Walking Tour of Gonzales Texas Historic Homes

Homes in the 1800's / McKinney Texas 

mcculloch house waco texas
McCulloch House
The McCulloch House 

The McCulloch House Museum is located at 407 Columbus Avenue. The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the late 1800's the McCulloch House was the social place to be in Waco. This Greek Revival style home was built in the 1860-70's by the McCulloch's who made their home the center of socializing.

On display in the house are some of the family heirlooms and art collection.  The original house was a two-room structure. The McCulloch House was enlarged to its present two-story Greek Revival architecture made of local pink brick.

Trained docents offer tours of the McCulloch House and Museum which give visitors a real appreciation of the Victorian era.

As mentioned above there are several excellent Waco Texas attractions and visiting and touring the historic homes of the city is one of them.

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)

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