LANDMARK INN STATE HISTORIC SITE
LANDMARK INN STATE HISTORIC SITE. Landmark Inn State Historic Site is on the west bank of the Medina River in Castroville, Medina County. In 1849 Frenchman César Monod, who became mayor of Castroville in 1852, purchased a town lot from Henri Castro; he bought an adjoining lot from Michel Simon the next year. There he built a large one-story structure with a rear detached kitchen. Monod used the main structure as a home and a dry-goods store. Irish merchant John Vance purchased the property on February 23, 1853, and built a 1½-story family residence between the original main structure and the Medina River. He also added a second story and first and second floor galleries to the main structure to make the Vance Hotel. A two-story bathhouse built in the courtyard during the Civil War provided the only man-made bath between San Antonio and Eagle Pass. Vance sold frontage along the Medina River to George L. Haass and Laurent Quintle in 1854. The partners built a dam to divert water through an underground mill race to power a two-story stone gristmill. In 1990 the well-preserved mill and arched stone waterway offered visitors an instructional view of the pioneer agricultural industry.
Joseph Courand purchased the mill property in 1876. That year the first issue of the Castroville Era was published in the Vance Hotel. Courand's mill prospered for several decades and around 1900 was expanded to include lumber milling. In 1925 Jordan T. Lawler acquired the mill, inn, residence, and outbuildings. He converted the mill to an electrical generating plant that provided Castroville's first electrical power. Around the time of World War II the hotel was renamed Landmark Inn; it was donated to the state of Texas in 1974. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department conducted an extensive archeological survey of the site and discovered numerous artifacts, primarily under flooring where the general store stood. At the same time the inn, gristmill, bathhouse, kitchen, and grounds were renovated, and a museum and other exhibits were installed. The area was opened as a historic site in 1981. The inn accommodates overnight guests in rooms featuring furnishings reminiscent of the 1940s. Effective January 1, 2008, operational control of Landmark Inn State Historic Site was transferred to the Texas Historical Commission.
Castro Colonies Heritage Association, The History of Medina County, Texas (Dallas: National Share Graphics, 1983). Mark Parsons and R. E. Burnett, Landmark Inn State Historic Site: Archeology Investigations, Medina County, Texas, 1975–1980 (Austin: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 1985). Visitor Guide to Castroville, Texas (map, Castroville Chamber of Commerce, 1988–89).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Ruben E. Ochoa, "Landmark Inn State Historic Site," accessed January 19, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ghl01.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 9, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.