The Giddings Stone Mansion
This magnificent example of 19th century Greek Revival architecture has eleven rooms and two broad galleries that run the full length of the house, both upstairs and downstairs. A separate building houses the kitchen, laundry and servants’ wing.
The home’s exterior is defined by massive Doric columns and wide verandas. The interior centerpiece of the house is the elegant carved cantilevered staircase, ascending from the lower hallway to the upstairs gallery.
The spacious rooms feature Victorian bay windows, intricate wainscoting and paneled woodwork, 13-foot ceilings, triple-hung windows and original fireplaces. Transoms over the interior doors bring cooling breezes in the spring and fall.
It is believed that this was the first home west of the Mississippi to have electricity and central heat.
Although it was built before public water systems and indoor plumbing, the house has four original bathrooms that first used water from the home’s two cisterns.
Of note is the home’s original needlepoint shower which was recently returned and installed as part of the master bath.
A brief history…
After a yellow fever epidemic in 1868, J.D. Giddings decided to remove his family from low-lying areas where mosquitoes live and breed. He bought a 320 acre tract one mile south of Brenham, on the highest hill in Washington County.
Construction of his new palatial home began in 1869. The mansion was completed in 1870 when the family moved in. J.D. died on the grounds in 1878. His wife, Ann, lived in the house until her death.
Ann and J.D. had eight children, but only three survived to become adults. Their only surviving daughter, Mary Louise Giddings, married Heber Stone in 1879.
The couple lived in the Giddings family home their entire married lives, as did some of their descendants for the next three generations. The large home has since been known as the Giddings Stone Mansion, and remained in the family until the 1970’s.
Learn More of This History…
“The J.D. Giddings Legacy and Homes” (PDF) – feature article by Sharon Brass, September 2014.
Photos: Kathlyn Dragna Photography (dragnaphoto.com)
Unless otherwise indicated.