Bullock House

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: July 15, 2016

Bullock House, the first hotel in Austin, was built in 1839, at the time that the city was being hastily constructed to become the capital of Texas. Hewn logs, probably oak, were used for construction; the second floor of the main building was of cottonwood planks. The hotel, located at the northwest corner of streets that are now Sixth Street and Congress Avenue, occupied half of the block, with a series of smaller log buildings serving as rooms for guests, the family of Richard Bullock, and servants. An upstairs room in the main building served as a dormitory for occasional troops and other visiting groups and as a meeting place when the first Presbyterian church services were held in Austin. China and furnishings from the Bullock home in Tennessee contrasted strangely with handmade hide-bottomed chairs. The Bullock Hotel was the social center of Austin for a number of years, as well as the official entertainment site for government officials; it accommodated early visitors including Alphonse Dubois de Saligny, whose quarrel with Bullock became an incident in Texas financial history known as the Pig War. In 1841 the main building was weatherboarded with pine. The hostel was known as Swisher's Hotel after 1852 and as Smith's Hotel after 1858.

William R. Hogan, The Texas Republic: A Social and Economic History (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1946; rpt. 1969). Alexander W. Terrell, "The City of Austin from 1839 to 1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 14 (October 1910).

  • Architecture
  • Houses, Mansions, and Plantations

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Bullock House,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 28, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/bullock-house.

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July 15, 2016