Step into history at The W.H. Stark House on select Fridays throughout the year! The public is invited to walk the grounds and view the first floor of the historic home, which includes the library, music room, dining room, and breakfast room/office. Dates for First Floor Fridays are March 10, April 14, May 19, June 23, July 21, August 11, September 22, October 27, and December 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the last entry at 1:30 p.m. Entrance to The W.H. Stark House is free of charge.
“We are thrilled to open The W.H. Stark House to the public and share all of the wonderful history, lore, and preserved artifacts with the community, said Hannah Danielson, director of education and engagement for The W.H. Stark House. “The house is a testament to the craftsmanship, local resources, and the mill employees of Miriam and William Stark.”
The W.H. Stark House was built from 1893 to 1895. The Queen Anne style has many Victorian architectural features including bay windows, a turret, and an asymmetrical floor plan. Three brick chimneys with corbelling work connect to nine fireplaces. The historical house was solidly constructed to survive the extreme weather that sometimes occurs in Southeast Texas. The foundation is brick with concrete plaster to offer structural strength and protection from high water. The exterior walls are ten inches thick with two layers of diagonal storm sheeting, while the interior double walls are sixteen inches thick. Cypress is the basic material for the structure, due to the damp conditions of the area. All of the lumber for the framework came from the family-operated Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company, and each board was measured and cut for a precise fit.
“We have gone to great lengths to preserve this historical home and the items that belonged to the Stark family. Visitors can expect to see art, rare books, and treasures from around the world, as well as intricate American craftsmanship on the exterior and interior of the home,” said Danielson. “We also invite visitors to explore the beautiful grounds and their ever-changing landscapes.”
Materials for a self-guided experience are provided for all visitors. Underwritten by the Stark Foundation, timed tickets are available at the Carriage House on a first-come, first-served basis. This experience is appropriate for individuals and groups no larger than six people. There are no age restrictions, but visitors must be able to climb stairs to access the house entrance. Please note these spaces are not wheelchair or stroller accessible.
For more information about The W.H. Stark House, please visit whstarkhouse.org or call 409.883.0871. The W.H. Stark House is located at 610 Main Avenue in Orange, TX.