Heritage, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 1990 Page: 31
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Henri Castro's rock house before renovation. It had stood a century of remodeling by three generations
of one family.
Moye Formation Center. A second church
was built in 1850 but soon was not large
enough to house the ever-growing parish.
By 1870 the Gothic style church, measuring
150 feet long by 52 feet wide, was
completed. At that time it was one of the
largest churches in Texas. Local limestone
was used for its construction, and the original
flagstone floor still graces its entrance.
Some of the stained glass windows were
imported from Europe. Its bells can be
heard in the farming area for miles around
Castroville. The church has been in continuous
use since 1870.
The St. Louis Day Celebration is an
annual event and is held on the Sunday
closest to August 25th, the feast day of St.
Louis, patron saint of St. Louis Catholic
Church, who reigned as King Louis IX of
France. The celebration began 105 years
ago as a small church picnic and homecoming
and now attracts more than 10,000
visitors from all parts of the state and nation,
to celebrate cultural heritage of the
Landmark Inn State Historic Site on
the Medina River in Castroville has provided
rest for weary travelers for more than
a century. In 1846, Cesar Monod built a
one-story structure on the property which
housed a general store and his family residence.
John Vance bought the property in
1853, continued the store operation, and
added a second floor. Because the building
was located on the heavily used road from
San Antonio to El Paso, Vance often rented
rooms to travelers and outfitted them with
supplies. In 1854 a dam, raceway, and grist
mill were built on the Medina. The mill
performed custom milling for farmers,
ginned cotton, and later a saw milling
operation was added. When the Lawler
family purchased the property in the late
1920s, J.T. Lawler modified the mill struc
ture and generated electrical power for the
local area. J.T.'s sister Ruth-school
teacher, church organist, city commissioner,
and later municipal judge- reopened the
Inn and named it Landmark Inn because of
its many historical associations. During
World War II the Inn provided overnight
accommodations for the wives and families
visiting the pilots stationed in Hondo. In
the early 1970s Miss Ruth, as she was
called, donated the entire site to the Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department. It underwent
extensive renovation and was reopened
to the public in 1981.
In 1869, the Sisters of Divine Providence,
a teaching order of nuns founded in
Alsace by Father Moye, came to Castroville
to open a parish school. These nuns
made a cultural as well as a spiritual contribution
to the pioneer community. By 1873,
the Sisters, with the help of the St. Louis
parishioners, built a four-room schoolhouse.
The first convent and Motherhouse of the
Sisters of Divine Providence in the United
States was completed in 1873. A newspa
TOP: Henri Casto homestead after it was purchased and renovated by Cornelia English Crook. It is now
the business office of Sterling C. Evans.
ABOVE: The Cordier-Tschirhart-Seal house was restored in1974. It is owned by Leroy and Ima
HERITAGE * WINTER 1990 31
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 1990, periodical, Winter 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45426/m1/31/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.