1875 – Bayside, TX

SOLD / Archived Post
National Register
Added to OHD on 2/26/18   -   Last OHD Update: 12/28/20   -   Comments Closed

Bayside, TX 78340

  • $595,000
  • 8 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 5159 Sq Ft
  • 0.86 Ac.
The Wood house was damaged in the storm and needs repair by the buyer. It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and also has a Texas Historic marker in front. The home has a long and storied history, and is a well known landmark in the area. There are kitchens located on both floors, 4 fireplaces, and a widow's walk. It is build from Florida long leaf pine, brought in by sailboat, and is set on a shellcrete foundation.
Contact Information
David Paulson, Realty Associates
(713) 301-2525
OHD Notes
Known as the John Howland Wood House, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Links, Photos & Additional Info

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44 Comments on 1875 – Bayside, TX

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  1. says: 83 comments

    Was it built earlier and then Victorianized? The interior is so rustic (I find it charming) which surprised me after seeing the exterior.

  2. TimothyTimothy says: 140 comments

    I can’t say that the rustic interior is what I expected, or hoped for.. But location, location, location, and my goodness what a great location!

    • Cay says: 3 comments

      This home was my great-great grandfather’s and grandmother’s home. Originally the walls were lined with canvas and wallpaper was applied. This was in all old homes before sheet rock was invented.

  3. Cody H says: 133 comments

    I know its a southern thing, but I couldn’t handle the unplastered walls and ceilings. I love natural woodwork and it bothers me when I see beautiful moldings painted white, but this is just overkill. Beautiful home otherwise. What an impressive exterior!

  4. lara janelara jane says: 465 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Wow! I love it. It’s perfect for a waterside home. And the porches! Ah, those porches! I would screen in the back side so I could sleep in one of them!

  5. Elaine says: 15 comments

    Oh My! Give me a glass of sweet tea and a porch swing any time. Would make a wonderful Bed and Breakfast!

  6. Elaine says: 15 comments

    Honestly! This place is beautiful! Love the antiques and all the wood work!

  7. Laurie says: 1685 comments

    A disconnect between outside & interior! The inside is not what you expect after seeing the exterior. I love the board walls so often found in southern houses but to look other than tatty, they do need to be kept painted & kind of pristine — although sometimes a little “living” on them adds charm, especially in the deep south. In 1875 all woodwork at least & probably walls too would have been painted. Bare woodwork in a house of this period makes me think of “shabby chic,” a modern style that doesn’t fit.

    I love the stairs in back connecting the piazzas — makes graceful lines. A lot to like in this house & its situation. It’s well worth some restoration.

  8. Jim says: 5769 comments

    This was an elegant resort hotel for 50 years and has been undergoing restoration since the 70’s. The walls were originally finely finished and have been stripped and sanded, most of the woodwork was painted also. It looks rustic only because the owner likes it that way. Great project but a high price for the amount of work needed to restore it right. Some history and photos here:

  9. Laurie says: 1685 comments

    Wonderful historic photos in that article. Thanks, Jim, for linking them.

  10. This was once a magnificent home…………….the walls were covered with beautiful wallpaper and the had elegant furnishings when owned by my great great grandfather that were shipped to Texas from New York via ship.

  11. Cay Quoyeser says: 3 comments

    I believe the home was built out of long leaf pine from Florida brought in by boat – back then Copano Bay was deep.
    The walls were covered with canvas and wallpaper was hung on the canvas. That took place in a number of homes of that era and even later. It is in amazing condition. It was built in around 1875 replacing a house that John H. Wood has originally built. At that time the area was called Black point – later St. Mary’s and now Bayside, TX. He was descended from whalers – therefore the widows walk on top. Several years ago my son and grandsons visited the home and the owner let us all go up to the widows’ walk. A great adventure.

    • Robert Stoner says: 1 comments

      To the best of my knowledge, the long leaf pine was brought in by ship and then lightered to the property, where it was milled to specs on-site.

  12. Paula Berthelot says: 3 comments

    My sister, Cay Quoyeser gave a good description of how the walls were covered. It once was a very elegant home. I owned an historic home in Refugio a number of years ago with the same long leaf pine walls that were covered with canvas and then wall paper.

  13. Howard Swayne says: 1 comments

    this place was restored by an old friend of mine, the late Mike Selzer. He used to joke that he had touched every pice of wood in the place, and it may well be true. He did 90% of the work himself or with friends.

  14. Brandi Gibson says: 1 comments

    When I was a kid we rented the downstairs of this house. I have many fond memories and always enjoyed going up to the widow’s walk. We had some good times there and it was really fun to play in as a kid.

    • Shelly says: 1 comments

      Hi Brandi, not sure when you lived in this house, but I have pictures of the brochure of when it was Copano Inn. My dad and his family lived there for about 4 years until they had a house built. Let me know if you would like pictures. I was born and raised in Bayside and a lot of my family still lives there.

      • Gilbert Torres says: 1 comments

        I lived in bayside about 1957. I remember the house. It went down hill during the 70s. It was split up for rent at one time

  15. Mary Carr says: 4 comments

    My grandparents owned a home a few blocks away. It was built in the 1950s and it is 1/10 the size. They still have a kind of widow’s walk but the majority of it was redone during a roof replacement… I remember going up to the roof and enjoying the breeze up there as a kid… but you had to wait for shade in the evening to do so. I have passed this home numerous times… never went inside but read the historical marker. Bayside has been run down since before I was a kid, so any owner here should know it is in a remotish town with virtually no development. I am wondering how it fares durng Hurricane Harvey, which is pounding it as I type with a direct hit. It may be the most severe test since maybe Hurricane Allen in 1980.

  16. Mary Carr says: 4 comments

    A news report says: “About 20 miles away, across the bay from Rockport, the tiny town of Bayside, Texas, looked like a ghost town Saturday. Corrugated metal roofs swung from trees and homes lacked entire walls. An old Victorian house sat slightly off its foundation, leaning to one side.” This may be bad.

  17. Rob O'Neill says: 1 comments

    I often visited this house when Mike and his father brought it in the early 70s. I feel for those that own it now.

  18. jim says: 1 comments

    A fellow worker/friend of mine, Nel aparently had a marraige problem and divorced her husband and received their house in settlement. Sold the house. Made a down payment on this hotel in bayside. I remember that it was made out of solid cypress wood and this explained how it survived all these years. In the first year, she and her freinds that were staying there to help her renovate the hotel, thru a party for the township and had a barbecued goat etc., on the block of property that the hotel sits on. It was obvious that the neighbors wanted her to suceed in her effort to resurrect this monument/hotel. I remember sitting in Nel’s front room listening to the laping of the wave from Copano Bay, mellowing me out. The ceilings appeared to be near 15 ft. tall. The combination of thick wall paper and paint , etc. were being taken on by her friend with an assault of sandpaper and water.
    I made an extremely strong suggestion to sand blast the place,naval varnish the cypress and apply for a Texas Monument Status. Then turn this hotel into a Bread and Breakfast, using the upstair/downstairs kitchens and huge bedrooms(perhaps subdivided). But this was the 70’s and the country was on the move and slightly after this I left South Texas and I never saw Nel again. The best Nel Forever.

  19. Mary Carr says: 4 comments

    The roof on this home was devastated, and the widow’s walk was turned into a hole. Windows were broken. Drone video is on YouTube. It’s sad. The NW side of home was stripped to original? roof decking.

  20. Mary Carr says: 4 comments

    I think this is the dramatic aftermath of the Bayside Mansion after Hurricane Harvey in 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyPlOB8R7ew

    Also note that Google Earth updated their maps to show destruction of a large part of this town.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      How sad. I just noticed the whole back portion looks tilted now. I wonder what the owners will do now?

      • Blake Wilson says: 23 comments

        It would be interesting to find out how the back part became tilted like that. Obviously in the storm but did a tree fall onto that part? Result of flooding? High wind?

  21. Paula Berthelot says: 3 comments

    Breaks my heart to see the terrible damage to the home my great, great grandfather built for his family. It certainly survived many storms in the past since the home’s construction in 1875

  22. Missy Campbell says: 1 comments

    We are staying down the road and we were told by locals there is only about 30 homes that are livable, it is really sad to see all the destruction. The house in the back is really leaning and all the windows are broken out and the Widows walk is also damaged. It is so sad to see this house like this.

  23. Melissa says: 2 comments

    My heart is breaking. John/Nancy Wood were my great (3xs) grandparents and I have such amazing memories of touring this house with my small children a few years back. Getting to go up to the widows walk was breathtaking and I simply loved taking in every inch of the house. I often daydreamed about retiring down there, buying this house and redoing it. Does anyone know of any plans for repairs? If it is livable?

    • Cay Quoyeser says: 3 comments

      John H. Wood was my great-great grandfather. One of his sons, T.D. Wood was my grandmother’s father. She was Mary Catherine Wood Pickering. I know there are a lot of cousins out there, but have no way of knowing or finding them. Some years ago I took 2 of my young grandsons (now 22 & 24) to the house we climbed great stairs up to the widow’s walk. The house has several historical markers. Not sure if there is any insurance on it.

      • Melissa says: 2 comments

        Cay… I just found you on FaceBook. 🙂 I grew up in Victoria and went to NA as well (then St. Joe.). We are definitely related.

  24. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I’ll update the photos later today but…listing photos were updated on the listing sites to show the damage of the exterior:


  25. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Posted 2014, moved to front page. This was posted before a hurricane went through and seriously damaged the home so the “nicer” photos were before the damage. I’m crossing my fingers someone amazing will buy this and save it.

  26. John Shiflet says: 5917 comments

    A bit steep, IMO, on the pricing (for a storm damaged home) but perhaps the outstanding beach side location completely makes up for the difference. I too can envision what a grand home this must have been back in the day. As for (Southern) Long-leaf Yellow Pine, it was logged from the vast deep southern forests that remained largely untapped until after the Civil War when businessmen (often from the North) bought up vast tracts of Pine forests and set up industrial scale sawmills and lumber operations. The Southern Yellow pine species was a coveted wood because of its hardness and in the case of ancient virgin growth specimens-which contained heavy turpentine laden sap- the species was also fairly rot resistant and was often used for porch decking. By 1910, the aforementioned vast virgin forests had been logged away leaving only younger secondary growth forests to supply the needs thereafter. A characteristic of this wood is a prominent woodgrain pattern between winter and summer growth. Clear stained, such pine wood often has an orangish-red color. It was even durable enough for flooring in many places. Our 1889 Victorian in Texas has almost exclusively Southern Yellow Pine wood throughout except for the exterior cypress clapboards. The now old pine is brittle and splinters easily, so best to pre-drill nail homes when using old or salvage pine wood.

  27. RosewaterRosewater says: 7677 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    Jeez – that’s a shame. Looks like it’s the back ell that’s listing pretty significantly. Still – I’ve seen worse. The “Charnley – Norwood” house in coastal MS. which went through Katrina was a RIGHT mess, but has been put back proper. True, it is one of two remaining FLLW commissions in MS., so it sure had a leg up on the funds and initiative front; but – if there’s a will -.

    The befores are shocking: http://goo.gl/1rYPgg http://goo.gl/Wq9rs6




  28. JRichard says: 173 comments

    The storms that part of the world endures are alarming to this crusty New Englander. What is to prevent the same thing happening again? It’s an impressive house, to be sure, and I love the stories that commenters have shared about it, in particular the wallpaper-on-canvas part. Best of luck to the brave soul who takes this on.

  29. Brad says: 3 comments

    Anyone know whether that back part is repairable?

    • says: 186 comments

      Anything can be achieved by throwing enough money at it. In this case, I was thinking possibly disassembling the whole rear section and rebuilding it identically, using as much original material as possible, may be the most cost effective and possibly THE only solution. If the water got up there, the foundation may be be collapsing in places. From what I can tell from the pics and drone vids, the front section fared well, compared to the rest. I bet this place would look “right, fine, and dandy” with a red Metal roof!

    • JimHJimH says: 5769 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Brad, a structural inspection would look first at the foundation, which dates to the original 1849 house. That’s going to determine a lot about the course of construction, how to proceed with leveling the house and straightening out the walls. If necessary, the entire structure can be lifted and the foundation repaired. Most likely, any damaged structural members can be replaced without taking the whole thing down. Jacks, turnbuckles and braces can be used to get it back to plumb, a new roof put on and normal restoration can go from there. Yes, it’s going to cost more than a little money, but it can be done.
      Beyond the storm damage, it’s troubling to me to see that the house hasn’t been secured to keep the rain out and prevent further damage. Perhaps there was no insurance to cover costs, but a house open to the elements will deteriorate very quickly. Hopefully more has been done since the photos were taken. I feel for the descendants of the original family who have to see the house like this.

      If this were just another old house, it might be hard to find an angel to take on the restoration, and the funding to make it happen. This is a local landmark and the most notable home in the region, one of only 2 buildings in Refugio County listed on the National Register; the other is the county courthouse. The house history parallels that of the town from its founding. The original owner, John Howland Wood, was a truly famous and influential man in his day and noted as a Hero of the Texas Revolution. Houses rarely come with historical credentials like that and the community should do everything possible to help rebuild this house.

      Coincidentally, a lady born nearby here named Clara Driscoll was a philanthropist and an early proponent of historic preservation. She is credited for “saving the Alamo” by buying most of the site with her own funds in 1903 and turning it over to the State of Texas for permanent preservation. She’d probably help with the house if she was still around.

      • says: 186 comments

        JimH hit the nail on the head. I also was wondering yesterday if anything had been done to secure the house from the elements. As said previously, if not closed up, the indoor materials used during construction are more prone to damage with every passing day. I bought a house built in 1900 that had been victim of a fire 5 years previous, then basically abandoned. Seemed like a good deal, getting it for the price of back taxes alone, but the more I tore into it, the more I dreaded what I knew was ahead. The front portion that didn’t burn had irreparable damage to the ceiling, hardwood floors, and even the trim, from the holes cut in the roof by the Volunteer Firefighters. The mold was a whole other issue, developing on the plaster, and everything. It turned into a full gut of the plaster walls and ceilings.

  30. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 12809 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Back on the market: https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2018/10/23/1875-bayside-tx-2/

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