Friday, April 1, 2016

Granbury, again!

Old buildings and car
It’s just too easy to run down the road to a historic town with good food. We gave in to that urge and went back to Granbury, this time in search of German food and to test the Texas History app, again. Associated with this little town are oodles of historic buildings and a nice lake that has attracted lots of new residents, retirees and those still working, to the Granbury area.

Lake Granbury, located on the Brazos River, rambles through the eastern half of Hood County. The construction of the dam to form this lake began in the 1950s and was
Lake Granbury
supported by the Brazos River Authority. De Cordova Bend Dam, named for Jacob De Cordova, a land agent and entrepreneur is made of composed of Ambursen-type concrete and earthfill The lake began to fill in September 0f 1969. What followed was about 2000 new lakeshore developments. Lake Granbury is still a popular fishing and recreational reservoir.

Of course, there was already a substantial town prior to the creation of Lake Granbury. The
First Presbyterian Church
town of Granbury is the seat of Hood County and has many historical businesses, houses, and cemeteries in the area. First Presbyterian Church held services for all denominations here in the 1850s and actually became a church in 1879, just a few years after Granbury was founded. This modified gothic building with its 3-story belfry and steeple was built by the congregation in about 1895. The church is still standing, with the addition of a stained glass window in the 1960s.

Not too far off the square is the James Hogan Doyle and Mary Kate Stringfellow Doyle House. Built in about 1875, it’s one of the few historical homes that has not been changed
Doyle House
substantially since its construction. This High Style House with a Queen Anne design influence sports diamond shaped stained glass window, 80% of which are original to the home. There is little know about Mary Kate Stringfellow Doyle (1861-1942), other than she came from one of the original Granbury families, but James Hogan Doyle (1846-1933) was a decorated Confederate soldier. He became prominent in Granbury society, including serving as the Treasurer for Hood County.

Very close to the Doyle House is the residence of E.A. Hannaford. Not only is there a
Hannaford House
historic house, but there is also a marker for his drugstore on the square. Hannaford moved to Granbury in 1871, establishing a drugstore on the north side of the square. Until 1881, the drugstore was in a tent, but in that year, he and J.D. Baker built a commercial building that housed not only the drug store, but a book store, doctor’s office, beauty parlor and a newspaper. Hannaford promoted higher education, and eventually served on the Granbury College Board of Directors.

Although little is written about Robert Randolph Daniel and Wesley Smith Harris, they resided (at separate times) in a house near the Doyle and Hannaford houses. Both were
Daniel-Harris House
merchants, but Daniel ran a saloon and Harris was an undertaker. This makes me wonder if their businesses didn’t overlap a bit. Their 1892 Victorian home has influences of both Italianate and Eastlake styles with the decorative brickwork and the square tower. Harris’s furniture store also has this sort of decoration in the rock walls of his commercial building that is still on the courthouse square. Along with making furniture, Harris also made casket parts; this supported his job as an undertaker.

Honeymoon Cottage with hitching stone
Next door to the First Presbyterian Church is a cute little 1895 Victorian cottage with fishscale shingles in the gable and stained glass windows. It was built for Dr. William Walker and his bride, Eunice Fitzhugh Walker as their ‘Honeymoon Cottage’. Walker was born in Tennessee and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University. Soon after he settled in Texas he married Eunice and set up his medical practice over the Cherry Drug Store on the square; his was the first x-ray machine in the area. Outgrowing the Honeymoon Cottage, the family moved to a larger house near the square; this second house is now an antique store. Their third house, built because the family wanted to live in a more rural atmosphere, was on the grounds of the current Hood General Hospital. Dr. Walker became known as a specialist in the treatment of eye, ear, nose, and throat diseases, and was successful in the treating skin cancer. After many years of selfless service, Dr. Walker developed tuberculosis; he moved west seeking a cure, but finally succumbed to the disease in 1918.

Another High Style House with Queen Ann influence is the one built in 1907 for Jefferson David Brown: the J D and Georgia Brown House. Brown ran a dry goods store and became
Brown House
one of the leading citizens of Granbury. He was instrumental in building what is now the Granbury Opera House and a hardware store that is now Brazos Moon Antiques. He also served as mayor and as the president of the City National Bank. His wife, Georgia, and their seven children lived in the house, remaining there even after Brown’s death.

There are oodles of other historical homes and buildings in this little town, but we were getting hungry, so we made our way to the square. For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

What we ate:
Three and one-half carrots

Ketzler's Schnitzel Haus and Biergarten (101 E Pearl St, Granbury, TX 76048, 682-936-
Top L to R: Sign, Streusel Sandwich and spätzle
Bottom L to R: Sausage Sampler, Hawaiian Streusel
2777) is on the square in downtown Granbury. It’s been in business a few years and is run by a lady who is actually from Germany; recipes used are from her family or those she has developed. Vince ordered the Streusel Sandwich with spätzle. He really liked his meal. Dave had the Hawaiian Streusel with hot potato salad; he said that the salad was the best he’d ever had. I chose the Sausage Sampler with sauerkraut. The sauerkraut was tangy, but had a sweet taste; the sausages were good, but the smoked one was my favorite. The wait-staff were friendly; all three of us thought that the restaurant was rather chilly. The restaurant is small inside, but has the feel of a traditional German restaurant. Outside seating is plentiful.

Texas Bluebonnets

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