Round Top must have been born from the simple idea of someone's thinking that "this beautiful spot on earth" would be a wonderful place to live and share with others. It was first called Townsend Settlement after the family that lived here, then Jones Post Office Settlement. No one declared . . . "this will be the town of Round Top." The idea just grew. The Round Top Area Historical Society Inc., began exactly that same way. A group of ladies was cleaning the city hall one day in 1989 when the conversation got around to how great it would be if some of the memorabilia reflecting the history of Round Top could be displayed in the city hall. That conversation sparked an idea, why not have an historical center for Round Top?
Samuel K. Lewis - Stagecoach Station Inn Built by William S. Townsend about 1834. Of cedar timbers-- one large room, fireplace and loft for sleeping quarters. Purchased in 1848 by Samuel k. Lewis; enlarged to present form. Became known as "Sam Lewis' stopping place" for many years. Restored by Miss Ima Hogg, 1964. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967.
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Mrs. Hazel Ledbetter (1902-1992), a Houston socialite, in 1961 purchased the property that is now known as the Winedale Historical Center. The center included the original (Sam Lewis) stagecoach station inn. She also purchased several buildings in Round Top.
She offered the stagecoach inn structure to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. When it could not be moved to Bayou Bend she sold the entire property to Miss. Ima Hogg who gave it to the University of Texas at Austin. In the late 1960s Mrs. Ledbetter sold all her remaining Round Top properties to Charles and Faith Bybee.
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Traugott Wandke, Texas' first known pipe organ builder, built seven organs before he died in 1870. His largest organ was donated to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Round Top, Texas. Built of native cedar, this remarkable instrument, yet today, serves the congregation with its melodious strains.
# 13. How long did it take to build the pipe organ in the Round Top, Bethlehem Lutheran Church?