Mom does so much for everyone, so do something great for her. Spend the day in gardens she doesn’t have to tend, admiring flowers she doesn’t have to plant, enjoying beautiful historic homes that she does not have to tend to on her special day.
Tour the Gardens of Gonzales 2022 event, sponsored by Gonzales Historic Homes Association of Gonzales, will be held May 7-8 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The beautiful homes and gardens on this tour offer many memorable spots for beautiful moments this Mother’s Day.
• Belle Oaks at 222 St Peter St, built 1912 by successful banker C.E. Dilworth, for his wife Leonora Kockernot, was a family home for many years. In the 1950s it was used as dorm rooms for local professional staff members from Warm Springs Rehabilitation hospital, a specialized hospital for polio patients. In 1961 the home was purchased by the Boothe family who then converted the home back to a private residence until their deaths in the 1980s.
At that time their son, John Ross Boothe Jr had the house boarded up and it set vacant for many years. The home has since been completely restored to its original grandeur, with fine antiques and period décor opening as Belle Oaks Inn to guest in 2002. These gardens offer a rare example formal garden “rooms” with water features, highlighting a koi pond amid the luscious lawns.
• The T.R. Skinner House, built in 1914 and located at 205 St. Andrew St., owned by Greg and Dee Dee Singlemann, is a cottage Victorian with beautiful cottage style gardens. The homeowner is a master gardener and the yards certainly reflect this.
• The W.M. Atkinson House, built in 1851 and located at 825 St. Louis St., formerly the Old Gonzales College is a monumental structure, with rough-cut stone Doric columns across its facade, notable for sheer physical scale, as well as being the first institution of higher education in Texas to offer four-year degrees to women, securing its place in Texas history.
It was converted into a residence by attorney W.M. Atkinson and is a notable and familiar Gonzales home. You can almost envision the young women playing games of croquet in the long green behind this historic home.
• The Charles T. Rather House, built in 1892 and located at 828 St Louis St. is a lovely Victorian home offering gardens suitable for tea under the gazebo, a place to sit and admire the beautiful roses! This home was built by contractor William H. Kishbaugh for Charles T. Rather (1855-1931), a leader in the Gonzales cotton industry.
When the Rather family relocated to Austin in 1910 the property was purchased by local farmer T.B. Fussell. His heirs lived on the property until 1961 when this home was purchased and subsequently restored by John Hornbuckle, who died in 1964, who came from Houston with his wife Margaret Shearn Hornbuckle. Ms. Hornbuckle continued to reside in this historic home after her marriage in 1970 to James M. Scott. Currently owned by Richard and Barbara Crozier this home offers beautiful fountains as well as the historic home and lovely gardens.
• The Hugh Lewis House, built in 1889 and located at 1606 St Matthew St. is an original farmhouse with gardens not only meant to enjoy but from which to gather sustenance, a typical country farmhouse. Enjoy a beautiful country day in a lovely county.
• The Volentine Home, built 1957 and located at 215 Jahnke St. is a beautiful mid century modern with
Japanese influence. This tranquil home offers multiple glass views of the lovely zen gardens around the property. Take a moment to, literally, smell the flowers and reflect on the beauty of the gardens and the amazing gift of mothers.