I love to visit historical sites, especially houses where people lived. It’s like taking a step back in time! I try to imagine what it would have been like to live in that era and try to learn about the lives of people who lived in those houses.
The W.H. Stark House is a great example of a beautiful, historical house built in 1894. Designated as a National Historic Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission, this 15-room Victorian mansion is located in Orange, Texas, and has been a community landmark and point of interest for many visitors through the years.
Now let me introduce you to the family who built the house:
- William Henry Stark was born in 1851. After a long courtship, he married Miriam Lutcher in 1881. He became a prominent businessman and philanthropist in the Orange, Texas, area. He died in 1936.
- Miriam Melissa Lutcher Stark was born in 1859. After marrying William Stark, they had two children. Frances Ann, however, died as a young child, so Lutcher became their only living child. Miriam was a collector and donated much of her collection to UT in Austin. This included works by Byron, a page from the Gutenberg Bible (circa 1456), and a first issue of the King James Bible dated 1611. She died in 1936, shortly after the death of her husband.
- Henry Jacob Lutcher Stark was born in 1887 to W.H. and Miriam. Later in his life, he established a private foundation to improve the quality of life in Southeast Texas, including education, the arts, and health and human services.
When I read about this family, it sounds like a family who cared about other people. They had a tragedy in their life, the death of their young daughter, but they didn’t let that keep them from being a productive and helpful family.
Visit the W.H. Stark House website to learn more about this beautiful house and family.
Tours are available Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Admission is limited to individuals who are ages 10 years and older. Part of the tour includes stairs.