I Love Victorian Homes!

When Denis and I go on vacation we like to take notice of the architecture (in Amsterdam I loved the row houses, in Scotland I loved the House for an Art Lover designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh). So when I saw this picture of the W.H. Stark House in Orange, Texas I sighed in delight at this Victorian landmark. That house is 14,000 square feet! That’s massive! The surprising thing is that the house “only” has 15 rooms. Those must be some HUGE rooms! I don’t know who the Stark family is, but they did well for themselves! From the website it looks like they were in lumber in the 1800s.

Anyway, this house was restored in the 1971s after decades of neglect, and from the pictures on the website they did an AWESOME job. I love Victorian homes. Looking at some of the pictures on the website I alternate between laughing in disbelief (that pink sitting room is shockingly pink) to being absolutely covetous (the third floor storage room is AWESOME). No wonder this house is on the National Register of Historic Places!

The carriage house on the property apparently had some significant damage after Hurricane Rita went through in 2005, mainly causing a leaky roof (the roof on the main house also retained some damage). The Carriage House serves as a kind of museum for the Stark House, so they obviously got that fixed quickly (after removing 3,000 artifacts, of course).

I don’t know how many people would specifically travel to Orange, Texas (is there anything else in Orange worth visiting?), but for the W.H. Stark House I’d be willing to pass through and take a tour (tours are available throughout the week for only $5)! Much like the Art Lover House in Scotland, I’d love to take a tour if only to get ideas on what I’d like to put in my own house when we build in a few years.

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  1. William Henry Stark (1851-1936) was an industrial leader whose contributions helped the city of Orange, Texas develop financially. Stark was the president of the Lutcher Moore Cypress Lumber Company of Lutcher, Louisiana.

    Stark was born March 19, 1851 unto John Thomas and Martha Ann (Skidmore) Stark. Originally from San Augustine County, Stark lived in Burkeville, Texas and Newton, Texas before moving to Orange in 1870 to seek employment in the sawmills. [1] He worked in the early area sawmills and would soon become a leader of the local lumber industry. In 1881, Stark married Miriam Melissa Lutcher (1859-1936), the daughter of Henry J. Lutcher, a partner in the Lutcher and Moore Lumber Company. In the early 1880s, Stark’s expertise in the lumber business would soon land him the position of manging two mills belonging to his father-in-law’s firm in Louisiana. Stark’s success in the lumber industry led him to invest in other businesses such as iron and coal production, real estate, and ranching. His innovative ideas, including development of the deep water ports on the Sabine River and an irrigation system that provided needed resources for the region’s rice industry, led to increased population growth for the city of Orange.
    Stark also served as a regent for the University of Texas System, 1911-15, an office later held by his son Lutcher Stark, who became chairman of the University Board.

    Stark died on October 8, 1936, and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Orange,Texas. The Texas Historical Commission has constructed a marker to commemorate his contributions to the city

  2. *lol* Thanks Ace. I didn’t feel like posting his entire bio (or reading it, for that matter). It’s the HOUSE I like.

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