February 23, 2018
From the grand mansions built by captains of industry to the utilitarian dwellings that reflect the aspirations of pioneers trying to harness the American dream, the historic homes of Beaumont, Texas tell the story of those who started it all.
John Jay French was a tanner and merchant who built his house in 1845, a two-story structure that is the oldest surviving home in Beaumont. The Greek revival-style home is the first in Beaumont to be constructed from milled lumber and painted. The home, furnishings, and grounds reflect pioneer life, and are now a museum.
The stately McFaddin-Ward House is an architectural marvel in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style befitting a wealthy family of the early 20th Century. W.P.H. McFaddin made his fortune in cattle ranching, farming, commercial real estate and trapping before the discovery of oil in 1901, which made him even more wealthy since he owned interest in the Spindletop land. W.P.H. and Ida McFaddin moved their family into their Beaumont house in 1907, and the members of this family lived in the home for 75 years. Surrounded by 100-year-old Live Oak trees and enchanting gardens, the McFaddin-Ward House features exhibits of original furnishings and priceless antiques.
Down the street, a tour of the Chambers House provides a fascinating glimpse into the 20th Century middle class life of the Chambers family. Built in 1906, the house contains original furnishings and pieces that tell the captivating story of sisters Ruth and Florence Chambers.
Along the seawall, Port Arthur's Pompeiian Villa, sometimes referred to as the "Billion Dollar House," was built in 1900 for Isaac Ellwood, known as the "Barbed Wire King.' The W.H. Stark House in Orange, was built in 1894 as is one of the best preserved examples of the Victorian era. See the complete list of Beaumont and southeast Texas historic homes below.