It isn’t often that you can find a place in your community that has stood the test of time. However, Oak Hill Place is the street that is a glimpse into the past. Many of the homes are creeping on 80 years old and are part of the history of Texarkana. At 9 Oak Hill, the current homeowners have endearingly transformed the house into a clean but warm and modern home.
The 3,200 square foot English Tudor style home has 3 beds, 2 ½ baths, and a 1 bed, 1 bath fully equipped carriage house, and features diamond style windows, brick, stucco, and timber facade with a stone wall enclosing the perimeter, and was built in 1935.
Only 3 families have owned the home, with the original family, H. T. Wiegel, residing there for nearly sixty years. Weigel was a bank president and built the home during the Great Depression. Rumor has it that the owner’s daughter, JoAnn Wiegel Little, would sneak out of the window to meet her suitor, whom was later proposed to and wed in the home by the white fireplace.
The original architect was Lambert DeKoning, with updates in the 1990’s by Richard Grounds. Recently, Karyn White consulted on interior design for the current owners, Cory and Summer Floyd, focusing on traditional, reflective styles with accents in symbol of maritime and Texas history.
Elegant crown molding can be found throughout the estate, along with 10 ft. tall ceilings that are illuminated with natural light from original double-hung counter-weighted sash windows.
The dining room chandelier is unique because it has hung on both sides of Oak Hill street, moving to 9 Oak Hill house when the previous owners swapped it with the chandelier at 6 Oak Hill Place. The chandelier and diamond windows warm the cool, deep blue wallpaper, leaving a vibrant tone to the elements. The house originally only had wallpaper in the bedrooms, breakfast room, halls, closets on the walls and ceilings, with wall paper costing $0.35 per double roll.
Adjoining the kitchen to the dining room is the breakfast room, where the family spends a majority of their time either cooking, eating, doing homework with kids, or building forts with bean bags on occasion. Warm light beams off the China Cabinet of the butlers pantry, providing a clear view of the large ½ acre yard, complete with a large magnolia tree.
Outside, the “Summer House” provides a resting place for the family to dine and enjoy the beautiful Texas weather during the warmer seasons. Originally, much of the cooking was done outside in the Summer House prior to the use of central air conditioning. Coincidentally, the current owner’s name is Summer and the family continues to call it the Summer House as an ode to the origins and to her.
The family enjoys preserving the history of their home and the community of Texarkana, encouraging the same to their children. The homeowner works at a law office downtown and the family frequently rides their bikes to St. James Episcopal Church or to dinner downtown.
In addition to the summer house is the carriage house, where horse drawn carriages in the early 1900’s were used before automotives. Now, it is fully renovated into guest living quarters.
There are also photos on display from 1996 when the homeowner, Cory Floyd, sailed for a year as a deckhand on a traditional rigged ship as a Public Relations tour for a beer distributor, passing out Samuel Adams beer in Europe.
“The ship was a replica of HMS Rose, the warship which suppressed smuggling by colonists in Rhode Island, and caused the original Americans to form the Continental Navy for defense from the British,” explained Floyd. “As paid deckhand, Floyd climbed the rigging, helmed the ship, and performed all the shipboard duties necessary to cross the Atlantic.”
Their appreciation of history enables them to preserve the character and essence of the home, despite renovations and upgrades. The house had a screened porch on the end of the house that was enclosed and became the original owner’s “smoking room.” Recently, the Floyds stained the original concrete floors, adding a modern element to an original feature.O
Also proudly on display is the original blueprints. The Floyds wanted to preserve them and display for guests to see. The documents now sit in a shadow box display, along with the architect’s intricate instructions and guidelines to contractor.
Common to many older homes in the area is the large Crane cast iron and porcelain double drainboard kitchen sink that is still in use today. The sink was a specification requested by the architect, DeKoning, and is a timeless element of the home. The Floyd family compliments and accentuates the clean white theme throughout the kitchen with white back splash and black and white floor tile.
Down the linear hall with gallery style lighting lies the arrangement of bedrooms. The master bedroom reflects oceanic tones that are juxtaposed with deep mahogany and leather. In contrast, the children’s rooms are bright and colorful, full of patterns and textures to stimulate the mind. Regardless of which room, you can sense the love and pride of this family and what they have together.
There are so many great features to 9 Oak Hill Place, but what makes any house a home, is the people who live inside it. The Floyds, like the families before them, share many laughs, tears, joys, and memories within those walls. They’ve worked tirelessly to provide a sanctuary for their children, a place of nostalgia and history.