Historic Downtown Tour

Historic Walking Tour Card Outside

Historic Downtown Waking Tour Card Inside

Enlarged Text below courtesy of San Saba Historical Commission

316 E. Wallace
(Wedding Oak Winery) was built in 1926 by Miss Nora Walker who had a thriving millinery business. Her Norette Shop offered good quality women’s apparel for over 30 years until her untimely death in 1957. Later the building housed the Sears & Roebuck Catalog Agency then Marie’s Gift Shop.

The Campbell-Hagan Building
Built in 1910. J.C. Campbell’s establishment wanted their customers to make the store their headquarters while in town. So the Campbell’s offered their patrons a “rest room” on the balcony in the south end of the store where there was a “good breeze.” The area included a couch, rockers, a library table, stationary and a lavatory with a “surplus” of water. In later years, before it was absorbed by the San Saba National Bank, the Campbell-Hagen Building was the home of Hartley’s Paint & Wallpaper.

The Dofflemyer Building
Built in 1913 by W.C. Dofflemyer for the San Saba National Bank. The artificial stone finish was “something quite new” at the time. The third floor was immediately leased by the San Saba Club, a gentlemen social club of the day. It was outfitted with two pool tables, one billiard table and a player piano with the latest music. The front of this building was made into a parlor and reading room. The bank remained in this location until, as a branch of the Arrowhead Bank, it moved across the street.

404 E. Wallace
In December of 1906, a major fire destroyed the T.C. Henry “store houses” on this corner. Mr. Henry immediately rebuilt the two-story building with two store fronts. In 1935, new owners rebuilt the structure. The tenant housed in the building was “The Economy Store” (dry goods). Later, this structure become the home of “Harry’s Fabric Store & Ladies Store.”

406 E. Wallace
In 1935, the existing two-story building and its neighbor were torn down and rebuilt. Dooleys “5, 10 & 25” was the tenant until 1942. In the 1950’s, Taylor Electric housed its business in this building. It also served as additional building space for “Harry’s Fabric Store & Ladies Store.”

408 E. Wallace
Another victim of the 1906 fires, was the Woods and Laird Hardware Building. It was rebuilt as a single story in early 1907. In 1910, W.A. Martin had the front removed and rebuilt and a “deck story,” the mezzanine level, was added. In the early 1930s, this address was the “Piggly Wiggly.” In 1936, it was the home of the first Modern Way Grocery. In 1942, Dooley’s relocated in this building and it became a variety store until 2006.

410 E. Wallace
The building in which Sisters Country Store is located was built for W.T. Murray prior to 1885. This simple stone building survived the 1906 fire. During the 1920s, the building was part of the Morris Mosley Dry Goods business, located next door. The archway is still visble on the east wall. In 1931, the space became Dickerson’s Variety Store. The store then became affiliated with the Ben Franklin chain in the late 1940s. Charles Little bought the store in 1953 and reorganized it to be the first “self-serve” variety store in central Texas. The variety store remained in the Little family until 2006, when Chuck Little, son of the late Charles Little, sold it.

414 E. Wallace
(Miller & Spinks Law Offices) was complete in 1910 by T.A. Murray. It suffered interior fire damage in 1934. Recently, Dick Miller renovated the building. During the history of the building, it has housed a furniture and hardware store, department store, dress shops, insurance agency and an alterations shop. A jewelry store was located under the arch at the east end of the building. The interior suffered severe fire damage in 1934. The building was restored by Dick Miller in 2002.

105 S. Cherokee
Metal-Sheathed Building at the Corner of Wallace and Cherokee (Three Buildings)
This building was completed in 1909 and contained a basement. From 1910 until 1996, there were pharmacies in this location; Watkins Pharmacy and Everett’s Pharmacy, two of the more recent. For many years, prior to 1950, Doctors Farley and Felts had their offices on the second floor. Recently, it served as the location for Mbellishments, a home furnishings and gift shop, until its closing in 2013.
The two buildings facing Cherokee Street are among the oldest business buildings in San Saba. They were both in place by 1885. Top Donuts has been home to cafes, dry goods and grocery stores. Renovations in the 1950s to the second (La Plaza) revealed square nails This building could then be as old as 1878. It was home to meat markets, grocery stores, a dairy store and White’s Home & Auto Store for over 40 years. For many years, there was a pool hall on the upper floor.

110 S. Cherokee
(Ivy’s/H&R Block) was built in 1912 by W.T. Murray. It was immediately leased and operated as a post office until 1922. A variety of businesses, including Mr. Townsend’s Tailor & Dry Cleaning Shop and Hendricks Barber were located at this address.

Armadillo Iron
Built in 1912 for Sam McAtee. It shares a party wall with the previous building. Mr. McAtee equipped his building as a pool hall. When he sold the building, it became home to a series of restaurants and Mrs. Howard’s bakery.

Estep-Burleson Building
Located in the center of the block. It is San Saba’s oldest stone building.

In the early 1870′s, Estep built this two-story building facing the courthouse out of locally quarried, rough-cut hard limestone. Each floor is a single 20 x 16 foot room with hewn beam ceiling joists and pine floor planking. A newer 10-foot square room attaches to the west end. Much later, the structure was mistakenly called “The Burden Hotel,” attributed to Nathaniel Burden from 1857, but records reveal that Burden’s property was on the north of the square and that he died in 1870, the year before his new son-in-law bought this lot for $75.00. The building became a residence and Estep operated a mercantile store on the east end of the same lot.

The Estep family owned it until September of 1890, when prominent central Texas attorney, Leigh Burleson, bought the property for his law office. Later. E.E. Risien and his heirs owned the property for more that 50 years. The building was occasionally an annex to other businesses, but often remained vacant. It even faced deconstruction in the 1990′s before local students helped persuade the William Fritz Family of Fredericksburg to to donate the property to the community. The building was restored to its earliest know appearance from a 1911 photograph, including a gabled wooden front porch and exterior stairs. This symbol of San Saba’s frontier period also reminds us of the value of history fashioned into wood and stone.

122 S. Cherokee
This building was built in 1947 for Jim Circle Motors. There were apartments on the second level. In June of 1949, it was severely damaged by fire, which started in one of the apartments. The business reopened in June of 1950 in a reconstructed one-store building. Following its use as a car dealership, the building was home to Western Auto for many years. It is the former home of Everett’s Furniture and Emporium.

The San Saba Courthouse Building
At the center of the town square, is the county’s third courthouse building. It was completed in 1911. The first building, completed in 1857, was severely damaged by a wind storm. The second was completed in 1878. All three of these buildings have been used for social and civic affairs. The Pioneer Monument was erected in 1940. The monument was financed by “$1.00 per name” subscriptions by family members.

North Side of the 400 Block of East Wallace Street
401 E. Wallace
(Harry’s) was destroyed by a major fire on December 6, 1906. An all building of stone was completed in the summer of 1907. This address then became the home of Dr. S.W. Rimmer’s new drug store. Later, Dr. Rimmer joined with E.E. Fagg and W.C. Dofflemyer to re-open the business as The Corner Drug Store. It became the Laird Corner Drug Store in 1924 when the business was purchased by E.S. Laird. Upon Mr. Laird’s death in 1936, his son, Sam Laird, took over the business. During the 1940s and 1950s, the building was a morning coffee spot. When this business closed in 1970, the building became the home of Harry’s.

403 E. Wallace
(Harry’s Building #2) was completed in 1908 for Ernest Williams. Mr. Williams, in turn, leased the building to J.W. McConnell & Sons for their grocer business. The next year, Mr. McConnell purchased the building. In 1940, McConnell leased the building to Gus Mayes. Mr. Mayes installed a men’s store known as Hopper & Walker. In the early 1950s, the building was purchased by the Harry Shapiro family.

405 E. Wallace
(Harry’s Building #3 – the original Harry’s) was built in 1907 by J.W. McConnell. The McConnell’s businesses included groceries, produce, pecans and cotton. In 1938, Harry Shapiro began his career in the People Department Store, housed at this address. His father, Ike, and he soon started The Leader Dry Goods Store. They bought this space in 1942. In the early 1950s, the name of the business was changed to Harry’s Department Store.

Harry’s Fourth Building
This building was completed in 1885 for R.G. Murray and J.W. McConnell to be used as a general mercantile. The brick and plate glass doors were installed in 1933. For many years, the building housed San Saba Hardware, owned by Dick Keyser and Lynn Ward. The hardware store was a gathering place for the local men. On the back wall, the local weather of San Saba was recorded. Much of this history is still visible today. In 1998, the building became part of Harry’s Department Store. During renovations, the original archway, shared by the former hardware store and Harry’s Department Store, was opened. The archway had been filled with rocked and plastered shut when what was originally one building became two.

413 E. Wallace
Built also in 1885 for J.N. Eddins and John H. Martin. J.J. Eddins & Company, which dealt in medicines, chemicals, paints, oils, varnishes and toliet articles, occupied the first floor. Mr. Martin’s real estate and surveyor offices were located upstairs. Later, E.E. Fagg’s drugstore was located at this address. The building then became the First National Bank from 1907 until 1925. After 1925, the building was home to Jones Dry Goods. In 1951, the building housed Sterner Dry Goods.

415 E. Wallace
Built in 1906 by Sullivan & Hinyard. Their store carried buggies, surreys, hacks, hardware, harness and saddles. It continued as a hardware/furniture business under different owners. The best remembered business at this address was Little’s Hardware. This building and its neighbor to the east were built at the same time with a common wall and a decorative facade covering both.

417 E. Wallace (Select RISC)
Completed in the spring of 1906 by J.E. Sorell. E.A. Murray opened a drugstore on the first floor. The drugstore eventually became City Drug Store which operated until the late 1970’s. At one time, Dr. W.S. Pence, and other physicians, had offices in the upstairs of the building. Recent restorations have revealed details of twentieth-century paint colors and decorative stenciling.

423 E. Wallace
(Texas Department of Human Resources) was originally the Jake Williams building. In the early 1880s, the J.S. Williams Company occupied the first floor. The company advertised the sale of groceries, agricultural implements and a “sampling room.” The “sampling room” was another name for the Wiley Williams Saloon. In 1942, this address was absorded by the bank building and ladies’ ready-to-wear store called Bonsteins. Following the second world war, the building became the home for Little Butane, owned and operated by Garth and Kathryn Little.

San Saba Company Appraisal District
Built by T.W. Ward and Wiley Murray in 1884. Made of stone, this building housed the Ward-Murray Bank, which later became the City National Bank. The building has been renovated several times. In 1942, a basement was added, an extension to the rear was built, and an expansion installed which adjoined the neighboring Jake Williams building to this address. The metal facade was installed on both buildings in the 1970s. The original architecture of these buildings is in the process of being restored.

500 Block Of East Wallace Street
501 E. Wallace
(Burnham’s Lodging) was completed in 1935 by J.D. Carter to replace an earlier wooden structure destroyed by fire in 1931. Later in the summer of 1935, Mr. Carter opened a cafe with a dance floor located on the roof top of the building. On Saturday nights, the city square was filled with music. The City Market, a butcher shop, was located in the rear of the building.

503 E. Wallace
This building was built by W.C. Dofflemyer in 1935. This building replaced what was once the offices of John McKenna Lumberyard. When Frank Churchill opened his Watch & Trophy Shop in 1957, he shared the space with Arch Clements Insurance Agency, real estate firm of Temple West & Gene Faubian, and the Farm Bureau, run by Henry Ratliff.

505 E. Wallace
(San Saba News & Star) was also built in 1935. The existing building replaced a wooden structure which had been erected in 1904.

507 E. Wallace
(Burnham’s Lodging) was built in 1911. This building has been home to Owl’s Pool Hall, Jeff Byrd’s Grocer, and Whitley’s Sporting Goods. Whitley’s Sporting Goods later became Reavis’ Sporting Goods Store.

509 E. Wallace
Built for W.K. Ray in 1897. The San Saba News occupied the upstairs of the building from 1898 until 1904. For a time, it was home to the Queen Hotel. The Alpha Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows purchased it in 1917. The lodge occupied the second floor while the first floor was leased to various businesses, one in particular known as Community Appliances.

The Second “Two Story Building”
Completed in 1905 by J.H. Martin. The First National Bank occupied the first floor. In 1907, the First National Bank moved to the address of 413 East Wallace Street. The “newly formed” San Saba National Bank then occupied the space. For many years, the Martin building was home to the San Saba Star until the editor, Mrs. Amelia Cowan, retired and sold the paper to the owners of the San Saba News.

517 E. Wallace
(Pepperbelly’s ) was built in 1920 by S.T. Taylor and B.F. Hardt to serve as a “garage.” The building was renovated and became a retail space in 1940. It was occupied by Modern Way Grocery. Then in 2000, it became the home of Logan Furniture. The building’s parking lot was the original site of S.T. Taylor’s Tin Shop.

Humble Oil Station
Humble Oil Co., built in 1930, was a originally a company station now owned by the The Great San Saba River Pecan Company.

Arhelger’s Machine & Blacksmith Shop was built in 1939. The business was a valued member of the community for over 60 years. G.A. “Gus” Arhelger began construction of the first building in the 1890’s. His son, John Wiley, designed and built the second and continued the business until the 1960’s. It now houses the San Saba Volunteer Fire Department and the San Saba County EMS.

County Jail
Built in 1884, the jail is the oldest continuously operating jail in the United States. It was built of native blue limestone in an Italianate style. The jailer and family lived on the first floor, while the offenders were held behind bars on the second.

Pecan Valley Hardware
Built in 1937 by R. Ragsdale, the building served as locations for Int’l Harvester sales and car repair.

Saba Produce
L. Smithwick constructed this building in 1949 to be used as a bonded warehouse for purchase and storage of wool, mohair and pecans.

Shahan’s Auto Parts
Built in 1949 by Jim Circle, the east side of the building housed Jim Circle’s Used Cars while the west side housed Huckabee Auto Parts. Huckabee’s Auto Parts became Shahan’s Auto Parts in 1949.

Sloan & Company
Built in 1929 by Cowen, the building was home to Smith-Whippit Car Company, and later, W.T. Vogel.

Dr. Hudson Dental
Also built in 1929 by Gosch Simmons, this building housed W.T. Vogel Farm Machinery.

G & R (main building)
J.T. Kelley built this building in 1929 and it was home to Brown’s Grocery, a bowling alley and a beauty parlor.

G & R (second building)
This building was constructed in 1946 by T.A. Murray and housed Jeff Byrd’s Grocery. It was purchased by G & R in 1970.

Bagley Pecan Company
Built in 1913 by J.M. Carter for his business, which sold everything from groceries to tractors, was sold to Mayhew & Jordan in 1928. Bagley and Byrd bought the building in 1938.

San Saba Hotel
In 1928, San Saba Community Hotel purchased this property from McConnell to build a hotel. McConnell, in turn, built a “matching” building next door to the hotel.

For more information contact:

Director of Economic Development and Tourism
Tony Guidroz at tguidroz@gmail.com

Leave a Reply