By Greg Ritchie
LOVELADY – The State of Texas granted the status of “historic landmark” to a Lovelady home which was celebrated with an official proclamation and an unveiling of the monument.
The home, located at 411 Noble Street in Lovelady, was originally built in 1899 – with the home coming together with help from many different places.
The home was assembled onsite with plans from Nashville architect George F. Barber and the materials coming from The Bradley-Ramsay Lumber Company of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The parts came in on the new rail line.
The house was built by the Lawrence family on a 35-acre spread, not far from the railroad which had led to the founding of Lovelady only 27 years earlier.
The house is as a two-and-a-half story “Queen Anne” style home with a cross-gabled plan, prominent turret, wraparound porch and decorative millwork.
The home stayed in the Lawrence family until 1989 when it was sold.
The event was attended by current owner Charlotte Reynolds and her family, Wanda Jordan from the Houston County Historical Commission, soon-to-be Justice of the Peace Mike McCreight and other interested local history buffs.
McCreight read a proclamation from Houston County Judge Lovell recognizing the unique history of the home.
“At one point in time, a quilt rack hung in the living room of the home and neighbors traveled by wagon to quilt with Mrs. Lawrence. The home was painted yellow for many years,” McCreight read from the proclamation. “Whereas the daughter of K.D. and Callie’s lived in the house from the age five and maintained ownership through the stages of modern conveniences such as piped-in gas and telephones.
Mrs. Lawrence had gas-powered lights in the home from an early stage but preferred to use kerosene. Once she got converted to gas, she was reluctant to give that up, too. She was forced to add electricity when her gas refrigerator went out and the only available replacement was electric
Reynolds said it took five years to get the historical marker approved and installed. The home will now be listed online for interested locals and tourists who wish the view the unique house. After the festivities, she invited all the guests inside out of the cold drizzle for snacks and to view the home.
Reynolds said she grew up in the area and actually knew Mrs. Lawrence but her first impressions weren’t what you would expect.
“My sister and I would walk down the street as little girls and one day Mrs. Lawrence and her sister came out with black umbrellas and long black dresses to the ground,” Reynolds remembered. “They came down the sidewalk and my sister and I thought they were witches! I actually built a home in Tomball where I raised my children based on this house.”
There may have been something to the suspicions of the two little girls, as Mrs. Lawrence herself seemed to be able to predict the future.
“I had lunch with Mrs. Lawrence in 1978 here in the house and she told me one day I would live here,” Reynolds said. “Never in my imagination did I dream I would live here. But here I am.”
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]