From western forts to Victorian mansions and pivotal battlegrounds, the Texas Historical Commission's 20 state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. Come explore the real stories at the real places.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maxey House and Starr Family Home Celebrate Reopenings

After undergoing necessary restoration for more than a year, both the Sam Bell Maxey House and the Starr Family Home recently reopened their doors. Visitors can now experience the significant upgrades made to preserve these historic Texas gems.

Officially reopened at a ceremony in Paris on January 13, the Sam Bell Maxey House showcased its comprehensive exterior preservation work, including an exterior repainting; repairs to framing, wood siding, doors, and windows; stabilization of the pier-and-beam foundation; roof replacement; and installation of a new central heating and air conditioning system. The restoration project allows visitors to experience the elegant structure as the Maxey family did in the 19th century. A new interpretive plan is also underway to identify additional improvements to help educate visitors about the Maxeys’ experiences in the home.

The Starr Family Home in Marshall officially reopened on November 30. Upgrades to the main house, Maplecroft, included the addition of a central air conditioning/heating system, accessibility improvements, extensive carpentry repairs, and a complete repainting of the home’s interior and exterior based on a professional analysis of historic paint colors. Interior rehabilitation projects ranged from period-appropriate lighting fixtures to a visitor orientation area with changing exhibits. Other buildings at the site have also been repaired and repainted, and restrooms are now available to visitors.

In an ongoing effort to restore the Starr Family Home to its 1870s splendor, the site will temporarily close for tours January 25–February 8. During this time, the home will undergo a series of restoration projects, including installation of ingrain carpeting and chandeliers in the dining room and parlor, reconversion of a bathroom to its original use as a nursery, and overall painting and sprucing of the bedrooms.

Sam Bell Maxey House is located in Paris at the corner of Church and Washington streets in the Texas Lakes Trail Region. Starr Family Home is located in Marshall on the corner of Travis and S. Grove streets, in the Texas Forest Trail Region.

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