For years, Don and I have been intrigued with the Alsatian town of Castroville. The European-style village was established by 27 people in 1844.
We finally got to spend a night in Castroville and we slept at the Landmark Inn State Historic Site.
Sleeping in a Museum
I love sleeping in a museum! The original building where we slept, goes back to 1849. That was when Cesar and Hannah Monod built a one-story L-shaped residence. The structure also housed a store, post office and stage stop. Stage stop? I need to learn more about that history.
In 1853, John and Rowena Vance bought the property and built an expansion and second story.
In 1925, the Lawler Family bought the property, along with its gristmill. The hotel was renamed "Landmark Inn" in 1942.
Ruth Lawler donated the site to the State of Texas in 1974. Lucky for us, since it has been preserved well and we were able to stay at the inn/museum, in May 2021.
We checked in at the gift shop in the afternoon. David greeted us wearing a mask and going over their Covid safety measures.
Even though much of Texas had been easing up, the museum and inn was extremely cautious. Our room had stayed vacant the night before, in prep for our stay.
Signs of Old
We were staying in the only downstairs room at the inn. It was simple and spacious and immaculately clean.
Our room had no TV or coffee maker and we were fine with that. It did have a nice copper ice bucket though. And the thick walls gave us impressively deep, shelf-like windowsills.
The no frills bathroom was also spotless, but we were happy to have it.
The bathroom window looked out on the Monod's original detached kitchen and the stone wash house. We were glad we didn't have to walk out back get washed up.
The grounds were pretty on a May afternoon. The white building in the far back was the Vance House, built in 1859.
I walked down the dirt path past some garden plots, to get a good look at our 2-story inn.
After checking in, Don and I explored more of the grounds.
We found the grist mill that processed wheat, cotton and lumber over the years.
The Dam and Mill
It was just a quick walk to see the Medina River, which was dammed back in 1854. The water powered mill once produced cornmeal for the U.S. Army stationed in nearby forts.
The mill was the industrial center of Castroville until the 1920's. Quiet and picturesque, today.
The home where the Vance family once lived, now holds a number of guest rooms.
It was fun to peek inside the old Vance parlor, where inn guests were given breakfast in recent years. We could have lounged around the tables with books or games, but the weather was too nice.
Don and I were determined to enjoy the weather and use the porch. David had tipped me off that no other guests were staying in our building, so we were excited to have the whole space to ourselves.
The porch was just as fresh and clean as our room downstairs. We sat on the green rockers and looked out over the grounds while we chatted and enjoyed the breeze. For dinner, we walked to town and ate at a Mexican restaurant. Perfect!
Wandering in Town
Don and I got up early and walked around the sleepy little town.
What a curious area, with many of the homes built in the style of Alsace, where many of the original residents were from. The community felt quiet and peaceful on a Saturday morning.
Breakfast on the Way Out
Our stay at the Landmark Inn, came with two breakfast coupons at another hotel. It wasn't within walking distance, so stopped in, on our way out of town.
The rain held off and we had a huge feast on the deck! It was a pleasant way to end our visit to Castroville.
Our quiet stay at the Landmark Inn, was pretty glorious. We had a nice visit to the inside museum, (through the green doors, near the poppies) and we did a little shopping at the gift shop. That was a bonus to our stay.
But mostly, I'll remember enjoying the pretty grounds, on a spring evening. I loved wandering the grounds and I loved viewing them from above, in our rocking chairs. The combination of historic inn and historic town, was just lovely.
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My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!