Monday, June 05, 2006

The Rock House

Our travels this weekend took us up HWY 36 from Brenham to Temple, Texas. Between Caldwell and Milano, in Milam County, there is an old house at the top of a hill on the east side of the highway.

The locals call this The Rock House, and I am told it was also known as the Beard House.

The Rock House has always fascinated me. It is built of rough-hewn rock, which was carted to the site in the 1890’s by G. W. Beard. On the other side of the hill, behind the house, there was an artesian spring that flowed with cold, clear water.

This house was used as a carriage relay station at one point. I don’t know how old the twin cedar trees are in front of the house, but it is easy to imagine a circle drive arcing off the main trail and up into the yard to the wide front porch.

I would like to research this grand old house further.
If you are aware of any history about The Rock House or Beard House in Milam County, Texas, please post a reply to this blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The famed Rock House in Milam County once blonged to James Beard noted writer and barber. In the late 1890's as the expansion westward resumed after the cvil war and the start of the Spanish American conflict,there was a need to spread information about facial hygene. Long beards were traditional on most males and handlebar moustaches became the acceptable style of American males. The problem was the hot humid climates of the southeast and along the gulf coast,provided males with facial hair a problem with skin rash. The alternative was to shave,but shaving soap always dried out the skin too much,leaving it chaped and inviting mosquitoes. James Beard set out to solve this problem and traveled along the gulf coast states to study he situation. He came across an idea,that proved to be not only a solution,but a comercially successful endeavor. He recalled one of his trips to Asia on how natives used a salve from the kakapupe tree of northern Siam and Burma that seemed to eliminate the rash on male faces. He immediately imported Kakapupe leaves and set up a shop selling this valuable salve at the Beard House. He added by products of Santa Gertrudis cattle so it would form a a cream. His innovation was so successful,it lead to an other innovation;advertising. He again traveled along the gulfcoast states placing small signs every 100 feet along major roads leading to his house. It was a 3 year effort, but it paid off. Hundreds descended on the Beard House where men lined up for the very popular close shave. He named the soothing cream after its point of origin;"Burma Shave".
Now you know the rest of the story

Not Really