Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 10
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drugstore on this site ever since 1847.
The Callender Home-404 W. Guadalupe,
a Greek Revival "raised cottage,"
is reputed to be the first Texas home
constructed from precut lumber of pine
and oak. It was built in 1855 by Dr.
Thomas R. Cocke. Purchased by the Callender
family in 1870, it has remained in
their ownership for more than a century.
The Ledbetter Home-604 N. Craig
sits on the site of the last Indian raid on
Victoria, made by the Comanche Indians
in 1840. Hamilton Ledbetter, whose family
survived the attack, built the first portion
of the house and sold it to Judge Alexander
H. Phillips in 1844. It is believed
to have been Phillips who placed the stars
and bars of the Confederacy above the
entrance in memory of his sons who lost
their lives to the Confederate cause. The
seven stars represent the seven seceded
Confederate states, the three bars the
three colors of the Confederate flag. The
house was redesigned in the early 1930s
by the noted architect John Staub and is
now the home of the pioneer ranching
family of Patrick Hughes Welder, Jr.
The Thurmond Building-905 S.
Bridge, was built by C. L. Thurmond in
1898 in the then heart of Victoria's business
district. It is believed that he patterned
it after a New Orleans bordello. It
changed hands twice in the early 1900s
and served as a grocery store, a general
mercantile store, and a farmers' cooperative.
Generally referred to as the old
Farmers' Co-op, this complex is now a
privately owned residence and art studio.
Old Nazareth Academy-105 W.
"A country without a past has
the emptiness of a barren
continent; a city without old
buildings is like a man without
-Attributed to John Ruskin
Church, was designed by Jules Leffland
and constructed in 1904. This fanciful
Alsatian structure is one of the city's most
important architectural landmarks. It was
built to house the convent school of the
Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed
Sacrament, a French order. Sisters from
the Lyons order came to Texas in 1852
and to Victoria in 1866 and founded the
The brochures, available free of charge,
were placed at twenty-eight locations
in April of 1986. The interest has been
so great that a second printing is now in
Through the years many groups and individuals
have given generously of their
time, talents, and funds to further the endeavors
of VPI. In 1985, as a Sesquicentennial
gift, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Hughes
Welder, Jr. donated the proceeds from the
sales of the reprinted book 300 Years
in Victoria County to VPI and the Victoria
County Historical Commission.
The book, first printed in 1968, was
edited by the late Roy Grimes, former
editorial page editor of the Victoria Advocate,
and illustrated by noted historian
and artist Tom Jones. In February 1986,
the First Victoria National Bank underwrote
the cost of Victoria, a Pictorial History,
coauthored by Robert W. Shook and
Charles D. Spurlin. Net proceeds from
sales were donated to VPI. Both of these
issues have been substantial sources of income
Since VPI's conception there has been
a desire that one day it would own and
develop one of Victoria's historical structures
to use as headquarters and central
storage for all the materials acquired over
the past six years. Recently the Thomas
home at the comer of Forrest and DeLeon
was sold to the Victoria Advocate. This
house was designed by Jules Leffland and
built in 1905 for William and Josephine
For expansion purposes the Advocate
needed to remove the structure, but not
wanting the priceless building destroyed,
the Advocate and three families donated
the Thomas house to VPI. Shortly thereafter
another family donated land just a
few blocks away, where the house will be
relocated. A former owner of the Thomas
house had the original Leffland drawings,
blueprints, and building specifications of
labor and material, according to research
by Terresa M. Fagan. Leaving no detail
undefined, Leffland included specifications
for excavation, foot and brickwork,
materials used, carpenter work, skills,
framing work, weatherboarding, roof,
cornice and ornament shingles, crossbridging,
and floors that were to be "perfectly
rat and mouse proof." Precise directions
and materials were outlined for the
ceiling, wainscoting and base work that
called for curly pine, the stairs to start
with a newel seven feet square with base
and sink panels of curly pine and railings
of pine. The gallery, or porches, was
specified to be made of four-inch, allheart
cypress. The home was completed
in early 1905 and has had only minor
changes and additions in the last eighty
years. Once moved, the Thomas home
will be the official headquarters of VPI
and will itself become a permanent addition
to the annual tour of homes. The
Nestled beneath proud stately oaks, The Santa Rosa Oaks Bed
& Breakfast quietly awaits your arrival. During your visit you
will savor the special warmth of "turn of the century" details
that surround and fill your personal cottage.
We make every guest, feel like the only guest.
For additional information, call:
Santa Rosa Oaks
Bed & Breakfast Cottages
601 Santa Rosa Victoria, Texas 77901
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/10/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.