Texas Pythian Home - Weatherford, TX
Posted by: QuesterMark
N 32° 45.026 W 097° 45.374
14S E 616517 N 3624305
Quick Description: Built with the style of a castle due to the sponsorship of the Knights, the Texas Pythian Home for children is called the "Castle on the Hill".
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 5/8/2010 3:27:35 PM
Waymark Code: WM8RW8
From the History page of the website
The Texas Pythian Home began on March 1, 1909, as a home for widows and orphans of Knights of Pythias members. Three hundred acres were donated to the Pythians to build the castle-like structure. The castle was designed to house 250 people.
The administrative staff had their offices and quarters on the first floor. The second floor housed orphaned children, matrons and teachers along with classrooms and a large auditorium. The basement was divided into apartments for widows with children. The castle was designed with the intention of adding additional wings for housing as needed.
In 1914 all of the boys were moved into their new dorm and the orphaned girls moved to the basement. A girl’s only dorm was built in 1925. By the early 70’s the last remaining widow had died and there was no longer a need for widows to live at the Pythian Home due to the completion of a retirement home for aged Pythians in Greenville, TX.
From the beginning, the Home was designed to be totally self sustaining. The Home had a large dairy operation and livestock was raised to provide meat for the residents. There were also huge vegetable gardens, orchards, a laundry, a hospital with a full time Doctor and nurse on staff, a power plant generator and a water tower. The staff and children living at the Home kept busy maintaining all of the operations. Extra produce, fruit and milk produced by the Home was sold and provided substantial regular income."
Eventually local children were allowed to attend, and then the number of grades here at the school was reduced. Laws regarding child labor changed, so the children could not labor as much. Some of the land was sold, and part of that land went to construct Interstate 20, which runs a bit south of the castle on the hill.
There is still some livestock on the grounds, for occasional income and meat.