Northwest of Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country lies the tiny Mason County. Home to less than 5,000 people, you'd never guess that this little Texas gem is home to a seriously cool historic landmark. The Seaquist House is the oldest standing mansion in the entire state, and you can visit it today.
Rev. Thomas A. Broad first began construction on the three-story Victorian house on Comanche Creek back in 1887. It first sold to a New York banker, Edward M. Reynolds, in 1891. Reynolds hired Richard Grosse, a German architect, to finish the house and make it even larger. When he completed the home, it was a staggering 22-room masterpiece. Fun fact: Grosse also designed the county jail.
Finally, Swedish immigrant Oscar Seaquist purchased the house in 1919. Though Oscar died in 1933, the Seaquist family lived in the house until his wife Ada passed away in 1972. Ada continued to maintain the property until her death, though, refusing to let the mansion get run down. She rented out rooms and filled the house with life.
Garner and Clara Seaquist, Oscar and Ada's son and daughter in law, first started refurbishing the house following Ada's death. Despite already being busy operating the local Mi Pueblo Restaurantè, they opened the mansion in 1973 for public tours, and the following year received a historical marker on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Seaquist House Foundation purchased the property in 2015 and continues to maintain and update the house. The sandstone structure continues to stun with its wrap-around porches and incredible interior, which includes a chapel and a ballroom (when will they rent this out for weddings?). Who knew this little piece of history was hiding in the Hill Country? The Seaquist House Foundation is working towards getting the mansion ready for local activities and events to be able to boost its local tourism further.
You can learn more and donate to improving this historic mansion at seaquist.org.
This article was originally published in October of 2019.
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