The McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum in Beaumont

Contributor: Cindy May

The McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum in Beaumont, Texas is the oldest surviving example of Victorian-era home in Southeast Texas. In 1859, Joseph McFaddin and his wife Mary Ann Ward (widowed after her first husband died) built this house on land inherited from Mr. Ward's father George Washington Ward. The estate was called "Sunny Dell" because it was a beautiful place with abundant trees, flowers and shrubs that provided cool shade during summer months when temperatures could climb to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The neoclassical architecture is typical of Southern plantation homes of the era but what makes this one unique are its many windows - at least six different sizes were used as well as four shapes including round arches tucked under gables and more standard rectangular frames set into flat facades or rounded doorways.

The McFaddin-Ward house and the adjoining property, which includes mature live oaks draped in Spanish moss, is now a historic site operated by the City of Beaumont as The McFaddin Ward House Museum. It’s open for tours every Saturday from noon to four p.m., excluding holidays.

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