Some of the finest examples of historic homes and buildings in the state can be found in Bay City. Preserving and encouraging preservation of historic properties has kept the history of Texas and Bay City viewable to the public. The very act of preservation helps to educate today’s youth, as well as future generations, with a knowledge of local inherited values and treasures. The historic home shown below is a small sampling of what you can expect to see when you visit Bay City in Matagorda County.
Holman House at 2504 Ave K – The Texas Historical Marker for the Holman House reads:
Spanish-American War Veteran And Matagorda County Judge (1908-1914) William Shields Holman And His Wife Louise (Kaulbach) Built This House In 1908-09. Designed By A. W. Large And Constructed By Contractor H. Speckles, The House Is An Excellent Example Of Queen Anne Styling.
It Features Asymmetrical Composition, An Elaborate Roofscape, Corner Tower, Wraparound Porch, And Varying Textures On Its Wall Surfaces. It Remained In The Holman Family Until 1978.One of the most photographed homes in Matagorda County, construction of this Victorian jewel was started in 1908 and completed in 1909. Built for Judge and Mrs. William Shields Holman, the home is 3-stories in height with a 2-story carriage house in back and occupies a quarter of the city block.
The house contains 14 rooms, 3 porches, 3 balconies, an expansive attic, an upstairs hallway, ample closets and 3 original fireplaces. The exterior of the home is of Louisiana cypress weatherboarding, the interior of pine, with wide-planked pine floors. Metal shingles cover the sharply-pitched roof, on which lightning rods with ornamental glass balls are mounted. While on a business trip, Judge Holman spotted 2 carloads of Louisiana cypress on a railroad siding. He bought it on the spot for his new home. Underground concrete blocks are anchor-bolted to solid pillars of red brick, 3-feet in height which were designed to support the house above then recurrent floodwaters. These also provided strength against hurricane force winds and would provide a drying/crawl space under the house.
The front entrance of the home faces east and is protected by a large brick-and-nine-columned porch which was designed to catch morning light and gulf breezes. A large turret covers the southeast corner of the porch, with a multi-windowed tower on the third floor above. An enjoyable balcony is above the main entrance and a dormer on the roof above. The front entrance is stunning with leaded glass above ornamented pine panels on either side of and above the heavy relief-decorated pine and oval plate glass front door. The original hand-turned door bell is still in operation on the panel to the left.
This is just one of the many beautiful homes you’ll see in Bay City, so be sure and stop by the kiosk next to the Matagorda History Museum located right across the street from the courthouse square for more information on historical sites around Matagorda County.