Landmark Inn State Historic Site - Castroville, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member WalksfarTX
N 29° 21.312 W 098° 52.433
14R E 512240 N 3247346
Quick Description: Begun originally as a one-story home, tavern stand and store about 1849, the business was later enlarged to become a roadside inn and larger mercantile to serve travelers on the San Antonio Road.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/10/2021 5:17:42 PM
Waymark Code: WM1446H
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
Texas Historic Commission Website

"In the 1840s, the Republic of Texas encouraged European settlement of the country’s vast lands. Responding to the opportunity, entrepreneur Henri Castro recruited more than 6,000 settlers, mostly from Alsace and surrounding regions, to travel to Texas and settle tracts in his 1.2 million-acre land grant. On Sept. 3, 1844, Castro and 50 men founded Castroville.

Cesar and Hannah Monod in 1849 built a roadside tavern and store, which blossomed into a bustling commercial and industrial center after the American Civil War.

John and Rowena Vance built on the work of the Monods, greatly expanding operations for travelers and residents alike in the 1850s and 1860s.

In the 1880s, Joseph and Julia Courand increased the capacity of the mill by adding a gas-fired boiler to power equipment in times when the water flow was low. The Courands also added functionality by expanding from grist milling to include a sawmill and a cotton gin.

In 1925, Jordan T. Lawler bought the property with the idea of converting the mills into a hydroelectric plant. He brought his siblings Ruth and Harry, along with Harry's family and the siblings' mother, Claire, to Castroville. In 1952, their sister C. Genevieve Lawler and her partner Mary Ruth Lionberger also moved to Castroville.

Ruth Lawler restored and reopened the Vance House Hotel under the new name, Landmark Inn, on July 4, 1942, to serve the families of servicemen.

Over time other families made their homes on the site, including Michel and Rosine Simon (1840s), Michel and Marie Kauffmann (1870s), and Eugene and Dorothy Suehs (1950s).

Ruth Curry Lawler was a tireless civic champion teaching school, authoring history books, holding elective offices, and serving in many community improvement organizations. Ruth led efforts to preserve Castroville's unique architecture and history, starting with the Lawlers' property.

The stirring commemoration for the Texas Independence Centennial in 1936 inspired Ruth Lawler's first historic preservation project, which restored the verandah in 1937. Ahead of the National Bicentennial of the American Revolution, Ruth donated her property as a historic site to the State of Texas on March 11, 1974. The site opened to the public in 1981.

Ruth Lawler's foresight for preserving history and her generosity in donating the site continue to provide visitors a unique opportunity to learn about history and to use its experience to create a brighter tomorrow."

Park Type: Overnight

Picnicing, fishing, hiking. Weekly public programs and tours.

Landmark Inn State Historic Site is a five-acre site under towering trees along the peaceful Medina River. Its buildings reflect the commercial, industrial, residential, municipal, nonprofit, and historic preservation stories of Castroville.

Date Established?: 1974

Link to Park: [Web Link]

Park Fees: Not listed

Additional Entrance Points: Not Listed

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