Preserve Granbury

Preserve Granbury Preserving and promoting the historic integrity of our community.

Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change, the question is how. - Edward T. McMahon

Mission: Founded in 2005, Preserve Granbury is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works to preserve and promote the historic integrity of our community.

02/07/2020
Lampasas Heritage Foundation, Inc

Take a read then watch the video of Lampasas’ entry to the HGTV town make over contest! Good luck Lampasas!

It's OFFICIAL! Lampasas is an entry in the HGTV Hometown Takeover request for applications! There are so many people to thank that helped make this happen but I'd like to post those separately along with some explanations so you can see the entry as HGTV received it. We hope you enjoy it!

Dear Erin and Ben -

I’m submitting this application on behalf of my hometown, Lampasas, Texas. I was born and raised here. I’m a third generation Lampasan. I left home to attend college and then work in Houston where I had a very successful career. I got married and when the topic of children came up I realized that I didn’t want to raise my children in the big city. I wanted them to experience the benefits of community and the values of a small town. So I came back to the place I call home – the place where my children will know their neighbors, have a sense of security, appreciate our rich history, and most of all be surrounded by family and friends.

I know you have received numerous applications so I’d like to briefly address your most important question – Why Lampasas?

There are thousands of small towns that have beautiful buildings, homes, and parks that have been abandoned, decayed, and are begging for help. And yes, Lampasas certainly has its share. But there are two key things that make Lampasas different. First, we know that rebuilding our past is the key to our future. And secondly, any project undertaken by HGTV can be supported and celebrated long into the future by the residents of Lampasas.

Let me explain. Lampasas was founded because of the belief that the spring waters had healing powers. There is documented proof of that, however, modern medicine convinced the public that taking medications was the actual solution, not some Indian lore of healing springs. What “mystical power” did the healing waters have? Sulfur. And what is in the antibacterials and antibiotics of today? Sulfur. Today we line up at stores to purchase bottled water, mineral water, distilled water, flavored water, and “pure” water that offer none of the benefits of the spring waters of Lampasas. We are living in an age of holistic medicine. Add to that the rich history of a frontier town that led the expansion to the West. With our town spruced up and our healing springs celebrated, people arriving from outside of our town will provide the necessary revenue to continue to rebuild and maintain our town long after HGTV has moved on.

Secondly, simply rebuilding a house or a building or a park doesn’t ensure its future. A little over two years ago an abandoned stage coach stop and hotel from the 1850s that had suffered major damage over the years was purchased and restored. The town followed closely every step of the restoration. People stopped by to bring artifacts that families had stashed away years ago and to share stories passed down through generations. We even interviewed a woman who at 101 waxed poetically about her honeymoon night in the hotel two days after WWII ended. People have come from all across our country and even from Canada to see this hotel. Famous musicians have come simply to play in the ballroom and hear the amazing acoustics. As of today, there are over 4500 people that follow that hotel, and since its purchase, seven other historic homes have been purchased in Lampasas and are being restored along with new businesses opening on the square.

So what separates Lampasas from other applications is that we have seen the impact that reviving our frontier town can have on our future. And with the help of HGTV, we can not only finish what has been started but hopefully leave a legacy for at least the next 167 years. We sincerely hope you will come visit Lampasas, let us show you where we are and where we think we need to proceed.

I am Mandy Love Walsh, Economic Development Director for Lampasas. But I’m not asking for your consideration in my official capacity. I’m asking as a resident of my hometown. I recognize that I am only one voice but I am representing my friends, my family, my neighbors, and thousands of residents of Lampasas. In the end we hope you will come to the conclusion we have – We believe in Lampasas!

A good article on visiting Granbury
01/15/2020
An Afternoon to Explore Granbury Texas

A good article on visiting Granbury

Take an afternoon to explore Granbury, Texas, a small town with big history and amazing architecture around the courthouse square

12/16/2019
Texas Hill Country

The San Antonio Mission Trail

We absolutely love the San Antonio missions!

Granbury is beautiful year around, but especially at Christmas!
12/12/2019

Granbury is beautiful year around, but especially at Christmas!

After the sun goes down, the Christmas magic in Granbury's parks comes to life! Which park has your favorite Christmas light display?

(Photos from 2015, by Shad Ramsey Photography)

12/10/2019
Granbury Theatre Company

Don't miss "The Nutcracker" at the Granbury Opera House, December 8-11. Presented by Ballet Frontier and Granbury Theatre Company.

Don't miss "The Nutcracker" at the Granbury Opera House, December 8-11. Presented by Ballet Frontier and Granbury Theatre Company.

For tickets, go to http://granburytheatrecompany.org/the-nutcracker/ or call the Opera House Box Office at 817-579-0952.

Beautiful PRESERVATION - The Keystone Star Hotel, Lampasas ... on the Christmas tour
12/09/2019

Beautiful PRESERVATION - The Keystone Star Hotel, Lampasas ... on the Christmas tour

Two years after purchasing the Keystone Star Hotel she was finally ready to show. And although not completely finished she looked beautiful for the tour, decked out for Christmas and with Bob Patin from Austin playing the piano in the ballroom. Thank you to the hundreds of people who came through and commented! For those who were unable to attend, here are photos of the hotel taken immediately before the doors opened.

Watch Good Day Fox 4 starting at 7:30 am MONDAY for a Christmas in Granbury segment!
12/09/2019

Watch Good Day Fox 4 starting at 7:30 am MONDAY for a Christmas in Granbury segment!

Watch Good Day Fox 4 starting at 7:30 am MONDAY for a Christmas in Granbury segment!

You need to know Texas Drive Speak! A wave is “hiddy”
12/08/2019

You need to know Texas Drive Speak! A wave is “hiddy”

Which one is your go-to?

Don’t miss the chance to see some of Granbury’s most historic properties all decked out for Christmas!
12/07/2019

Don’t miss the chance to see some of Granbury’s most historic properties all decked out for Christmas!

Explore the 8 historic homes today 1-9 and Sunday 1-5. Tickets, booklets, info located at Granbury Square Plaza at 12 noon both days. You are in for a special journey back into Granbury's past.

Keystone Star Hotel
12/07/2019

Keystone Star Hotel

It was built in 1931 as a tall porch on the West side of the building to compliment the 1870 porch on the East side. During the banking and savings and loan era both the upper and lower porches were completely enclosed and the ceiling was dropped from the original height. The original bead board ceiling had been removed and presumably replaced with acoustic tile. When the exterior wall was removed leaving only the structural support posts for the upper porch, we realized that termites had created a gap between the post and the concrete for the two posts supporting the West end leaving that part of the porch unsupported.

I interviewed a woman whose office was at the West end of the porch during the S&L days. She opted not to work in the dining room office because "people back there were always sick." During the removal of the aluminum windows in the dining room it became evident why - black mold was oozing around the window frame of the first window on the left.

During the restoration we were able to locate one photo of the end of the upstairs porch that helped us match the railings. The exterior walls were removed, the ceiling was returned to the original height and the bead board ceiling was replaced. All of this was coordinated with removing a massive amount of junk and weeds between the porch and the kitchen in what we found out after cleaning for three days that it had been a courtyard.

Today the porch looks into the quiet courtyard that is shaded by a magnolia tree that had been cut down but refused to die and had beautiful blooms last summer.

Texas Independence Trail Region
12/04/2019

Texas Independence Trail Region

We love it when the grand old ladies of Galveston get all gussied up for the holidays!

📸: @lonestarstyles

What an amazing story. If you have any interest in Historic Texas Architecture, early days of Texas, the people who live...
12/04/2019

What an amazing story. If you have any interest in Historic Texas Architecture, early days of Texas, the people who lived and worked on the edge of the west ... take a look at Keystone Star Hotel. There are wonderful pictures and stories. Congratulations on the remarkable restoration and all that is springing forth from this effort!

Four days after purchasing the Keystone there was a knock on the plywood front door. There stood the mayor, the building official, the fire marshal, and the economic development director. So much for quietly trying to restore the hotel. Only problem is there was only one set of "rose-colored" lenses and I was wearing them. And so the tour began in the original reception room for travelers on the Austin Stage from the 1850s. There was no ceiling, the walls were covered with graffiti, all of the doors were broken in one way or another. There was a large hole into Mrs. Gracy's room that had been cut into floor above. The one positive thing was that there was plywood on the floor that at one time, had been beautiful pine flooring but had since been covered with linoleum and then ultimately completely removed.

Early on, this space served as the war room. We used portions of the teller desks to layout tools and plans as the demolition of "modern" alterations to the building were removed along with debris and trash. When it came time to start the restoration, the center beam of the room was replaced with a much stronger LVL beam. The original door into the dining room that had been damaged was sent to Weimer where it was meticulously repaired. All of the walls were re-stuccoed, the windows were rebuilt and broken panes were replaced with 1800s glass, and the front door was stripped and painted red to show that life was returning to the old girl.

The chandelier was one of the five purchased that belonged to Governor Campbell. The two pieces of furniture came from a sale of the antiques used in the filming of the television series "The Son" with Pierce Brosnan. The flooring is part of the 2800 feet of 1800s oak we purchased for the entire downstairs.

One brief story of particular interest involves the bell which is currently located in the small courtyard. In reading an article written by Jasper Gracy in 1907, he recounted that when meals were ready his mother would ring the bell from the reception room. A search of the room didn't initially give any clues. If she rang the bell from there that meant the bell would have been on the roof. A search of the attic located a large wood base centered on the wall between the reception and the dining room but offset to the West the space of the door. Looking at the roof there were four rectangular holes cut in the rafters and a fifth round hole. Those lined up perfectly with the wood base. We could see a hole that appeared to lead into the room below, however, it had been covered over with sheetrock at some point. The flooring on the second level didn't show a hole because it was installed in 1929 over the original flooring. When reexamining the ceiling in the reception room we located the hole where the rope had hung for years. The original roof of the hotel was wood shingle. At some point in the late 1800s the shingles were removed and replaced with a metal roof. At that point the bell, and presumably the cupola that housed the bell, were removed and placed in the East courtyard.

As the restoration has progressed we have had many distinguished guests come visit the Keystone and have their picture made in front of the original 1856 fireplace. Dorothy Derwin, now 102, spent her honeymoon night in the Keystone and has shared many great memories with us, including the key to that room. And for those who have followed the page for a while will remember the incredible performance of Elizabeth Pitcairn on the most famous violin in the world, the "Red Violin" Stradivarius.

More Keystone Star Hotel, Lampasas Before / After
12/01/2019

More Keystone Star Hotel, Lampasas Before / After

The third in the before-and-after series leading up to the open house this coming Sunday is the view that told me that I had to save this building. I was driving north on Live Oak Street to see the Santa Fe Depot when I spotted the back of the Keystone through the trees. The 1870 porch had been completely enclosed but through the windows I could see the iconic Texas stagecoach inn porch. I know why the porch was enclosed during the S&L era but to me, the original porch was one of the greatest statements of the history of this building.

Early in the restoration process the glass wall was removed. The upstairs porch railings had been decimated, and other than being able to use them as a pattern, there were no sections that were complete enough to reuse. Gary Cernoch of Weimer, Texas who did our window work, had the equipment necessary to replicate exactly the original 1870 porch railings which we used on this porch, the 1931 porch, and the railings in the ballroom.

When the Gracy's decided to expand the hotel from the original center section, a young man named Charlie Green applied for the job. To prove to Mr. Gracy that he had the ability to cut the stone necessary for the job, he cut a huge trough out of a single piece of limestone. The trough was an early version of a refrigerator. Cold well water was put in part of the trough where the milk containers were placed, and cheeses and butter were placed on two stone shelves cut into the trough. A large wet cloth was placed over the trough. As the water evaporated from the cloth it chilled the stone. Green was then awarded the job to build the 1870 wing. He was 17 years old at the time.

The large pecan tree that had been contained by the wall was again free to grow, and grow it did, producing a huge supply of pecans. In researching the history of the hotel it was brought to my attention that the Gracy's 15 year old son had been captured by the indians, scalped, and shot full of arrows as he attempted to run back to the hotel. His body was buried the following day next to the pecan tree along with a hand carved headstone that read "Killed and skelped by Indians". The date was April 9, 1862. That is a very old pecan tree. Years later the body was exhumed and moved along with the headstone to Oakhill Cemetery where he lies today along with his parents and a brother.

Four of the five downstairs rooms in this wing will be on display during the homes tour. The upstairs of this wing isn't finished yet but the electrical and A/C into each of the rooms, and bathrooms are progressing.

Christmas parade is a go
11/29/2019
Christmas parade is a go

Christmas parade is a go

The Night of Lights Christmas parade is a go tonight! Festivities on the square begin at 5:30 p.m. with live music and hot chocolate. The parade is at 6:30 p.m.

If you didn’t see before, you won’t appreciate this amazing “after.”  Clean up is starting at the Baker Hotel, Mineral W...
11/29/2019

If you didn’t see before, you won’t appreciate this amazing “after.” Clean up is starting at the Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells!

Peek our progress — The Lobby and formal restaurant, The Brazos Club, have now been remediated and cleaned up, completing the abatement for the ground floor and lobby levels. In addition to these photos:

- Electric service has been restored to the building, with temporary lighting being installed

- Temporary water services have also been restored to the building

- Original standpipes (for fire protection) have been repaired and tested, with new connection valves being installed

- Temporary roof repairs have been made to prevent further water penetration

- Windows will be pulled in mid-December, will be abated onsite and will be refurbished off-site

A before / after of the Keystone Star Hotel in Lampasas, saving this amazing structure.  The stories of and about this b...
11/29/2019

A before / after of the Keystone Star Hotel in Lampasas, saving this amazing structure. The stories of and about this building and the people in it, are a part of the Story of Texas!

This week as we prepare for the Lampasas County Museum Homes Tour I thought I would show you a series of before and after photos of the Keystone Star Hotel. It has been almost two years since I purchased her. The first four months were spent removing debris, weeds, and trash, as well as demolition of "modern" alterations to this beautiful treasure. I hope you will not only enjoy the photos but make the $10 commitment to the museum and tour the five homes on the tour this year. The volunteers at the museum have done an amazing job preserving not only the artifacts but the history and context of Lampasas. So if you haven't already, put Sunday, December 8, from 1:00 to 5:00 on your calendar, and come join us for a Charles Dickens celebration at the Keystone Star Hotel!

Today's photos show my first view of the inside of the hotel as I walked through the back plywood door and into the 1856 dining room. There were two toilets that made a makeshift table and two 4x4s that supported the entire second floor which had a serious sag in it as well as huge sections of flooring missing. The original windows had been replaced with aluminum in the 1960s, all broken, one window that had been cut down in size, and one window with black mold oozing around the frame in the Northeast corner. The stuccoed walls which had been sprayed with graffiti were pealing everywhere as well as huge chunks that had already fallen off the stone.

I knew the building had to be saved. I'm sure my friends and family thought I was crazy, but as I walked through I could see past the incredible damage and to what I knew she could be. No, I had no previous experience restoring a historic building other than a log cabin when I was 10. It is through the talented contractors we worked with in Lampasas that were able to convert my vision into the reality that exists today. I am grateful for their patience but more importantly, their investment in this vital part of the history of Lampasas.

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Granbury, TX
76048

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Louis and I are excited about going to the Party on the Peakwith the girls!!!! Can't wait!!!!
Granbury is a cesspool of Ingnorance and homophobia.