The land that the house is on was once part of Bexar county, awarded to German settlers in the 1830s. Over time, the land was divided and subdivided over and over again until it began to resemble what it is today. In looking at the deed history of my property, at one time this lot of land stretched back to the river in town - a huge swathe of property.
People first came to this area of Texas because of Fort Concho. Closer to a safe water source than Fort Chadbourne, Fort Concho began it's build up in the 1870s. It was populated by soldiers and their families. By the 1860s, a town had grown up across the river that was mostly saloons and houses of ill repute (wink wink).
My home was built as part of this focus. Construction on the home was completed by 1910 - it's three bricks thick, and according to my grandfather it was built by a man who owned a brick factory. An old woman told my grandparents after they purchased the home that she remembered attending house parties when she was young - and then the house was in the country. She said that the family would open the big pocket doors downstairs and their guests would roam from room to room. The house itself physically tells its own story. When I was having the central heat and air installed my contractor was worried about cutting through the brick. It became obvious that the kitchen and back porch were added on to the home after it was originally constructed. In looking at Sanborn Maps, one can see the original shape of the home - a servants quarters in back, and the carriage house (servants quarter is gone, a huge Desert Willow is in its place, but the carriage house still stands).
In the 1940s the home was converted from a single family home to an apartment building because of the housing shortage caused by World War II. There were two units downstairs and two upstairs (which meant that three more kitchens needed to be installed in the home...and the only place for them were former closets). Each unit had one bathroom, two rooms, and one kitchen area. When my grandparents moved into the home the apartment locks were still on the doors (and I haven't removed them because it's part of my home's history), the kitchens were still in closets, and there were random gas lines (which I removed with the central heat and air installation).
My grandparents said that I first started asking for the home when I was five years old, but my sister started asking for it when she was younger than that. After my grandmother's death, my Grandfather sat down with the three grandchildren (my sister, my cousin, and myself) and announced that he was leaving the house to all three of us. He wanted it to stay in the family. He then began some renovation projects on the property. In October 2015 the home deed was transferred to us. I moved into the home and began cleaning it and working on other restoration projects - and that's where we are today. My cousin, my sister, and I delight in this heirloom: a property where we felt so loved, where we had our best childhood adventures, and the home where our family would frequently gather. I feel blessed that we now have it to preserve for the next generation.