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Wilson County History


The history of the Dewees Remschel House, part IV


The history of the Dewees Remschel House, part IV


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August 3, 2010
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This is the final part of the history of the Dewees Remschel House.

The house that you see today looks very different from its original appearance. Visualize a three-sided, two-story porch with octagonal spindle columns, railings with flat board scroll-work, and brackets surrounding a steeply roofed tower. The bay windows and their decorative flourishes were essentially as you see them now. This was a house built in simple Victorian style with Italianate flourishes.

There is evidence to indicate that a fire may have been the cause of a first major renovation. Sometime this century, the original tower was removed and the three-sided porch replaced with the large round porch and the Corinthian columns you see today. In the course of the years, the house accumulated, as an old house will, additions, in filled porches, scabbed-on stairways, and subdivided rooms serving as separate apartments.

The rebuilding was not completed prior to Claribel’s death, and the house was left with the massive front columns strapped to the building and their intricate terra-cotta capitals lying on the ground. Making sense of all this was the challenge of the restoration.

The architect, Randy Hohlaus, set a goal of peeling back the intervening layers of past construction to allow the form of the old house to reveal itself.

Hohlaus began by preparing design documents looking at the various options of restoration and decided to restore the house as much as practical back to the period of the first major renovation. The result of his outstanding work is evident in the completed project.

The house was filled with furniture and household goods belonging to Claribel, and after the renovation was complete, members of the Wilson County Historical Society began the process of returning only those pieces needed to restore the home to its earlier elegance.

Today, the beautiful Dewees Remschel House is available for meetings, receptions, and other related civic activities, in addition to serving as a museum documenting the Dewees Ranch history and its contribution to ranching in Texas during the trail-driving days after the American Civil War.

Compiled by Gene Maeckel from information in the files of the Wilson County Historical Commission Archives, P.O. Box 101, Floresville, TX 78114. Website: http://www.wilsoncountyhistory.com .
 
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