Apr 292008

Z and I are still trying to work out the plans for our summer road trip. If gas keeps going up at its current rate we’re probably going to have to limit both the amount of time and the miles logged. But if it can hold or (never gonna happen) decrease then we’re still hoping to head all the way to Texas by way of the Grand Canyon and Four Corners.

Should we make it all the way to Texas then we may have to go later than planned so that our trip can coincide with the 115th anniversary of the W.H. Stark House in Orange, Texas on June 29th.  Well, at least that’s the anniversary of the date that William Henry Stark purchased the land on which the house rests.

Although this 14,000 square foot Victorian era masterpiece is much smaller than the 24,000 square foot Winchester Mystery House which has so enthralled Z, the fact that the house was closed up upon Mrs. Stark’s death in 1936, and went through a 1-year restoration process it should still prove both fascinating and educational.  The W.H. Stark House stands in strong contrast to our own local Victorian mansion since it was designed and built by much more traditional architects.  Beside, the Winchester Mystery House could probably never survive 125 mile per hour winds like the ones the W.H. Stark House survived when Hurricane Rita blew through Orange, TX in 2005.  Luckily the damage done to the house was repairable and the house was quickly restored (once again) to its former glory.

Add in the extensive collection of 18th and 19th century art that both Mr. and Mrs. Stark compiled over their years together in the house and it is no wonder that so many people trek so far to view and tour this long standing example of the Queen Anne architectural style.  With more than 100 years of history, the obvious dedication of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation and the fact that the home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission I doubt it’s going anywhere soon.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned after touring back and forth across our great nation it’s that you can never count on anything still being where you left it.

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