Historic Home of the Month
THE WILBARGER HOUSE
The Wilbarger House, built before 1851, of heart pine frame clapboard, is a good example of simple Greek Revival architecture with tis central hallway, hipped roofs, cornices emphasized by bands of trim, and a two-story entry portico fronted by eight prominent square cypress columns. The fascia molding is cut from a pattern of the Greek Revival period.
Built by Colonel and Mrs. A.M. Brooks, the house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. James Harvey Wilbarger in 1865 and remained in the Wilbarger family for 113 years.
A one-story extension was added to the back in 1889, connecting the originally separate kitchen to the main house and adding bedrooms. The original stone chimneys were later replaced with brick. Nearly all of the sixteen pairs of cypress shutters are original to the house. The cook’s house and a carriage house, used by the Wilbargers in their lumber business, were moved closer to the main house as the original lot of twelve acres was subdivided.
Located on the old highway to Austin, the Wilbarger House was no doubt familiar to and perhaps rested in, by many travelers to the capitol who shaped early Texas history. Much of the lore surrounding the home is associated with James’ father, Josiah, whose survival of a scalping is the best known encounter between Native Americans and Anglo settlers in Bastrop County. Josiah died in 1844, before the house was built. James’ uncle, John Wesley Wilbarger, wrote Indian Depredations in Texas, an oft-printed regional classic.
The current owners purchased the house in 2012, after their home was consumed in the Bastrop County Complex Fire of 2011.