Cave Dwellings: Homes with a history
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homes with a history

When I was on my photo session/bicycle ride around Sandwich, I took note of how many old and lovely homes we have here.  First of all is the home down the street from us that we use to call “The Mansion”.  It is now home to Center Street Clay, where a couple have converted the 1885 “Second Empire” style home into a learning facility for those who want to learn to make pottery.  The first floor is a dormitory for students, the middle floor is a gallery, also a living room and dining room. 



This home was once owned by the Von Kleinschmidt family, then, after it was sold, it became apartments.  There was even a murder committed there back in the early 1980’s….I won’t ever forget that! Police running around, warning all of us who lived along Center Street to stay inside our homes until the bad guy was caught, and he finally was….Exciting times and tragic times for a small town.


This home on the left is also located on our street. It belonged to two sisters, the Hotte sisters.  I once asked if I could pick some cherries from their tree . I wanted to make my family a pie and told them I would make them a pie too.  They let me pick the cherries, but I only had enough for one pie, and guess who got it…Yup, it sure wasn’t our family! It is really a nice house and right now it is “For Sale”.

  We have a street here in town, Elmwood Place,. It is just off the Main Street and is known around here for it’s lovely, big old homes…Here are a few..

100_6648 100_6647 100_6649


And here are a few more great, well kept homes in our little town…..

100_6633 100_6635 100_6636

100_6644  100_6646 100_6651


Below are the first two homes we lived in after we were married.  We had an apartment for 4 months immediately after we “tied the knot”…then we suddenly needed a bigger place, I was expecting our first child, so we rented this little house on the left.  We stayed there for about 1 1/2 years and decided we needed to join the ranks of the “indebted”, so we purchased our first home for the sum of $14,000..putting $2000 down and borrowing the rest.This is our first home, on the right.  Trust me, it looked nothing like this when we went into hock for it!!

100_6655  100_6637

..When we bought that little house, it had a partial dirt basement, and only  one heat register, in the middle of the linoleum floor downstairs..Dennis tore out the old furnace and put in a new one. We put a big rug on the linoleum floor, wall papered the crooked walls, poured a cement patio in the back.…God, how much fun we had in that little house….It wasn’t long and suddenly we had 2 little“Cave women” to add to our only son….and that was when we  bit off a bigger chunk of debt and bought the home we are in now.  When we bought this house it had been owned by an older German couple who owned the meat market in town. They had since both passed away, and we bought  it from the estate in 1974.  We thought we were getting robbed when we paid $30,000 for it…. There wasn’t a drain that would work, every wall was painted pink or blue ( including all the woodwork), and there was a back porch that was falling off the house…..However….it was structurally VERY sound, good foundation, good wood frame and great neighborhood…right across the street from where Den’s Grandma and Grandpa lived….(and subsequently where his mom and dad lived.) So you see, we have always worked on our houses and tried to make them better.  Hence the nickname “McGuyver” was earned by Dennis. We have been in this house 35 years, raised our 3 kids here…lots of memories here, yes there are.

  We still have a few brick sidewalks left in town…and a granary that is no longer in use… When I say “in town”, I mean the granary is actually in a business/residential area on the West end of Sandwich…right next to the railroad tracks, like most businesses here.

  100_6653 100_6601

OK….so now you get an idea of just how lucky we are to have raised our children in this small town atmosphere..  Dennis is having his 50th class reunion this year, Sandwich High School class of 1960.  He is a “born and raised” Sandwich-ite…I, on the other hand, moved here when I was 12. My dad had a job as a milkman for Modern Dairy in Elgin…(I AM the milkman’s daughter!! ) We moved to Sandwich so my parents could run the Sandwich Roller Rink (yes, that would be “roller” as in skating).  After we lost our money there, my dad got another job… Caretaker of the local cemetery, which meant we had to live there. I almost had a stroke when all 4 of us, ( I had a little brother), moved into the house at the Oak Ridge Cemetery .  I spent age 13-18 growing up there.  Let me just say that I had the MOST AWESOME Junior Class Halloween party there….but that is worth at least another 2-3 blogs….

This blog has been waaaay longer than I intended it to be. If you hung on to read far, you are a history buff of some sort. Thanks for hanging out with us in our hometown… Hope you enjoyed the tour.   I was proud to show it off to all of you, and may find some more stuff about Sandwich to share..Did I mention that amid all of this old stuff, we have a real 7 screen movie theater and a Best Western Hotel??? Lots left to blog about….


  1. What a great place to live and grow up in.
    I would be proud of your town to.

  2. What great homes,yes you really were blessed to be able to raise kids in that atmosphere, We always loved country living , but now the subdivisions have moved out to the country. We will be happy to hit the road as soon as the house goes. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. With all those big homes your little Sandwich town looks more like a big Mansionville:))