The Baptist Church in Montgomery was organized 28 December 1850 with 11 charter members. This building at 301 Pond Street served as their place of worship for 77 years from its completion in March 1902 to 1979. It was given to the Montgomery Historical Society in March 1984, and now serves as the Montgomery Wedding Chapel. It is one of seven buildings belonging to the society.
The informational plaque out front has a picture of the Temperance March of 1918. The parade protesting the sale of alcohol traveled north on Pond Street where they paused in front of the church for photographs. At the time there were as many as 6 saloons in town. During prohibition, even the sale of sugar was restricted because it could be used to make 'moonshine'. Montgomery was one of the few places in Texas where sugar could be purchased without difficulty.
At 309 Pond, right next to the Old Baptist Church is/are "The Bells of Montgomery" The Bells were actually prominent citizens in Montgomery back in the early days. In 1838 the original congregation of Methodists were organized by Littleton Fowler and administered by circuit riders. There is a monument to the circuit riders in the cemetery next to the church. The present building was completed in 1908, and stands on the site of the first protestant parsonage in Texas (1842). A marker commemorating the parsonage is in photo #3.
It is now owned by Glenn & Shirley Schneider whose main business appears to be weddings.
The luminous stained-glass windows throughout the chapel and an elegant etched mirror in the foyer create the mood for your wonderous journey into marriage. If you are looking for a chapel-to-candelight dinner reception, we can customize an event to fit your needs.
2 hour event (Includes the use of the Chapel & changing areas)
Weekdays 10:00 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Saturdays after 5:00 p.m. with reception at our location
Sundays from 12:00 noon - 8 p.m.
Prices are subject to change
Brides changing room
Elegant silk arrangement on all pews
Two silk arrangements on pedestals
Silk arrangement on altar table
Traditional ceremony music on CD
Rehearsal for 1 hour
Chapel for 2 hours
Accommodates up to 150 guests
There is a Historic Homes, Buildings and Sites brochure which is available from the Historical Society. The first building on the list is the N. H. Davis Museum which is also a "Thing To Do"
The second building listed in the brochure is the Law Office at 306 Liberty Street - right next door to the museum. It was built while Texas was still a Republic, and Mr. Davis lived here until 1851 when he got married and built the house next door. Many prominent lawyers read law here under Judge Davis' supervision.
According to the historic marker, from 1848 to 1854, this was the meeting place for the Mayor and Montgomery City Council. The building and the Davis House also served as Texanna Snow's day school from 1881to1891. From 1923 to 1936 it was the Post Office.
This building was also given to the Historical Society in 1984.
This little building at 308 Liberty is behind the Davis Law Office on 306 Liberty, but actually is on McCowan Street and has the number 303 on the building.
It was built in Willis by Screven A. McCall (1861-1942), who was a lawyer, District Attorney, County and District Judge in Montgomery County. It was moved from Willis to Conroe to Georgetown. Then it was given to the Montgomery Historical Society by McCall heirs and moved to Montgomery. It was restored and furnished with some of the judge's furniture and books. I'm not sure if it is part of the Davis Museum or not.
This pre-Civil War house which is now at 705 College Street in Montgomery was constructed in Willis. When the first (1842) parsonage was destroyed in 1886, the church bought this house to use as their second parsonage. The west wing was moved from Willis and added to the main house by the Niven family who purchased the parsonage in 1977 and restored it. In 1992, Bob and Shirley Peel bought it. The historic marker is behind the porch post, but you can see the chairs hanging on the wall of the porch.
This house at 411 Pond street was built in 1890 adjacent to the Santa Fe depot. The original owners were Solon and Susie Gary Campbell. Because of its location near the depot, corpses shipped to Montgomery were often put in the hallway while awaiting burial. It is about half a block from the Old Montgomery Cemetery. The house looks a little as if it might be haunted.
We did not see or take a picture of #24 the Conner-Gibbs House which originally was part of the Brantly Settlement 8 miles south-east of Montgomery on Old Montgomery Road (FM 2854). It was purchased, moved to Montgomery to the northwest corner of Prairie and Caroline and restored by Joe Shockley in 1994. He owns and has restored several other buildings in Montgomery.
This house at 202 Prairie was built in 1876 for Nathaniel Hart Davis by John Bishop from plans drawn by Thomas Godden. It was purchased and remodeled in 1950 by J. S. Griffith. Extensive restoration has been done by the new owners, Don and Mary Sue Timmerman.
About a block south of this house is #25 Melrose House at 202 Eva (which is also TX highway 105). It was built in 1854 for Richard S. Willis. It was named for his home back East. For some reason we did not get to this house, perhaps because it is so close to the highway. It has been occupied by leading citizens of Montgomery, including Dr. Phil H. Berley family and Dr. John L. Irion. It was the birthplace of Gray I. Morriss, grandson of Dr. Irion who was one of the founders of the American Legion. It is now the home of the Cecil family.
The last stop on the Historic Buildings Tour was the First State Bank of Montgomery which was on 211 Liberty in the middle of the Historic Business District at 211 Liberty Street. The Historic Business District runs along Liberty Street from Eva Street (TX 105) to College Street, and then east to Prairie Street. The Museum and the Law Offices (Davis and McCall) are also in this district as is the #24 Conner-Gibbs House (which we didn't see) and the Rabon-Fuller House - both owned by Joe Stockley.
The Bank was chartered on December 11, 1906, and served until voluntarily liquidated in 1934. It is the oldest commercial building in the Historic Business District and is owned by Gerald and Susan Fauss and is operated as the Bank Boutique and Coffee Bar. They sell expresso coffee. In the picture, Pecan Shadows (#3) is visible on the left side.
This house at 504 Caroline was built in the 1850s for Dr. Bell, brother of Judge Bell, owner of Bells Grove. The walls are hand-hewn and joined with square nails and rest on long cypress logs. It has been owned by the mayor of the city, and used as a boarding house (at different times) and also served as the telephone office at one time. The brochure says it is now owned by James and Mary Moody. If I have the right house, it appeared to be vacant and abandoned when we saw it.
According to the Historic Homes brochure, the building at 702 Caroline was built in 1908 by W. C. Whitehead. The location on the map is the corner of Caroline and Pond, right opposite the Old Baptist Church. Whitehead came to the Montgomery area of Texas to develop a town called Social Circle after Whitehead's home town of Social Circle Georgia. The structure is post-Victorian featuring a porch cupola and remains virtually unchanged in outward appearance from when it was built in 1908.
We drove down College Street taking photos of those houses from the car as the last street of the day. This home at 709 College Street was the home of the first full time pastor of the Montgomery Baptist Church. Prior to getting a full time pastor, the church was ministered by circuit riders. The pastor, Rev. Thomas Chilton lived here until his death in 1854. The picket fence was constructed in the 1890s by David Dean from heart pine cut in his mill.
In 1984, the house was bought by Gregory Hudson who restored it and lived here while he was mayor of Montgomery. Then in 1996 it became a bed and breakfast for four years until is was purchased by Fred and Betty Harvey for their home.
On the other side of College at 708 is this cottage built for Ida Morris Davis and Ilia C. Davis of native pine from Mr. Davis's lumber mill. From 1905 to 1916 it was the home of J.W. and Lockett Dean Simonton. From then until the 70s it was the home of J. R. and Mildren Rabon Jackson.
The next day after I took the first two pictures, I found a photo in the Heritage Museum in Conroe of this house. The caption said that it was one of the many restored homes built to reflect the wealth of Montgomery. It is certainly one of the grander houses.
This house is at 801 College street. Although the Heritage Museum caption says the house was built in the 1840s, the brochure says that the house was built in 1854 by John E. Sheldon for the P. J. Willis family. Ilia C Davis purchased it in 1868 complete with furnishings, and it has been occupied ever since by Davis descendants.
The brochure says that this site at 811 Caroline was purchased by John E. Shelton in 1855. He built the main portion of the house in 1858 for Capt. Thomas W. Smith, whose family owned it until 1924. It was later owned by Thomas Gay, Ken Whisenants, and is now owned by Richard and Mary Eckhart who have restored it beautifully.
The historic marker out front says:
The SHELTON-SMITH House
A part of this house may have existed as early as 1855, when site and improvements were sold to John E. Shelton. He was a master craftsman who built other fine houses prior to 1860. Shelton built the main portion about 1858 for his friend and business partner, Thomas Westly Smith (1829-1902), who later was a leading cigar manufacturer in the county. Smith and his heirs owned the house until 1924. A granddaughter added the dormers in a 1922 remodeling. The 1924-1970 owners were the Thomas A. Gay family. Mr. and Mrs. K. M. Whisenant now (1976) preserve it.
The little added sign says:
This property was purchased in October 2000 by Richard and Mary Eckhart, who have restored the home and slave quarters.
This Victorian gingerbread cottage at 415 Houston was built in 1893 for Dr. Henry and Cherrie Dean Waters. It was inherited by their daughter (the brochure says it was 'heired') Lockett (Mrs. W. B.) Wood. The Wood family lived here until the 1970s, when it was sold to the Welborns, Stewarts and is now home of Dan and Sharon Miller.