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TPWD News Release — Oct. 30, 2006
SEGUIN, Texas — Sebastopol House State Historic Site will celebrate 150 years since its construction with a public open house and event featuring the “Remember Me” exhibit that debuts with a free celebration Nov. 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit continues through May 15, 2007.
The exhibit will be photo-intensive and feature objects that tie in with the lives of those who inhabited the house along with their place in history.
One object is a Civil War-era flag made by a group of Seguin women in the late 1850s, now housed at the Center for American History. The flag was flown by Hood’s Brigade, Fourth Infantry in several Civil War battles including Bull Run, Sharpsburg and Gettysburg, to name a few. Joshua Young, Sebastopol house’s builder, lost a son who fought under this flag, along with several other young men from the Seguin area.
“[The flag is] the showpiece of this exhibit, one of the items we’re most excited about,” said Georgia Ruiz Davis, Sebastopol House superintendent. “We hope the flag in particular will draw people in to see the house and exhibit.”
The focus at the Nov. 4 event is a celebration of the house itself and also of the people who passed through there, from the man who built the house to the families who rented it in the 1950s, Davis said.
The event will begin with brief talks and stories by Sebastopol House family representatives, followed by live period music and refreshments.
“The house itself is really the artifact,” Davis said.
The 3,000-square foot house, built in the mid-1850s, sits in the middle of 2.2 acres of land comprising Sebastopol House State Historic Site. The house resembles a Greek temple and its limecrete construction, an early form of concrete, makes it architecturally unique in Texas.
After the house was built, Young sold it to his sister, who then sold it to Joseph and Nettie Zorn. Joe Zorn later served as mayor of Seguin for 20 years. After their deaths, their granddaughter rented the house out to families, including the family of Robert and Mary Ybarra, a large local family who lived in the house for several years in the 1950s. The Ybarras are still around and have memories of when they lived in the house.
The house’s grounds have certainly changed since its early years. Several pink rose bushes surround the perimeter of the house along with a white picket fence. In the 1980s, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department restored the house to its 1880s appearance and it remains in good condition.
On the first weekend in December, Sebastopol House will be featured on the Seguin Conservation Society's 2006 Tour of Homes, a tour of several historic homes in Seguin decorated for the holidays. The tour provides a good opportunity to visit Sebastopol House.
Tickets for the tour of homes can be purchased through the Chamber of Commerce in Seguin.
“It will be a very special day,” Davis said of the celebration. “It’s going to be a tribute to the house, its families, and their times.”
Although the Nov. 4 celebration is free to the public, Sebastopol House charges $2 per adult, with free entry for children under 6 years old. For more information, including driving directions, maps, hours and fees see the Sebastopol House Web page.
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