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Lewis House

904 South Main Street

 

The Queen Anne Victorian style house was built in 1899 as a residence by John R. Lewis, his wife, George Ann and 10 children.  John Lewis, born in 1853, in Utica, New York, first came to Texas as a cowboy driving cattle north.  He liked the climate so much he came back to Texas, moving to Weatherford in 1884 where he opened a tinner’s business.  Mr. Lewis was a prosperous merchant, a city councilman, member of the school board and elder in the Grace Presbyterian Church.  He closed the J.R. Lewis Foundry and Machine Shop on Front and N. Elm Street in 1919 because of ill health.  At the turn of the century, South Main was a residential neighborhood with large homes on lots that often included stables, carriage houses and barns.  The Lewis house was originally surrounded with ornamental iron fencing with a well and a two-story red barn out back.

 

In 1978 the house was purchased by Robert Preston Henry.  After finding an original photograph of the house made soon after it was built, he began to restore the building to its original architecture splendor.  Porches were restored, 15 decorative capitals for the porch columns were copied form the two existing originals, woodwork was cleaned and refinished, hardwood floors were re-stained and decorative moldings patched, replaced and in some cases, reproduced.  Some of the more interesting architectural features of the house include six sets of 10 foot tall pocket doors, embossed tin ceilings, carved woodwork and elaborate over mantels.  The woodwork on the north side of the house is painted, while the south side is in a natural wood finish.  According to one of Mr. Lewis’ daughters, that is the way the house was done originally.

 

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