Monday, February 11, 2008

Checking Out, Not Checking In to LaBorde House

“Yes, sir, this is a functioning hotel. All 21 of our rooms were restored twenty years ago from original photographs showing LaBorde House as it existed when it opened in 1899.” Then, the desk clerk extended an invitation, “You can take a look in any of the rooms that aren’t locked. If they’re locked, the rooms are occupied by guests.”

At the top of the emerald green carpeted stairs, Ed and I found that few of the rooms were locked. The first room screamed red – red carpet, red in the wall paper, red bedspread and a red rosette of fabric knotted on the canopy over the bed. The bed seemed made for short people and narrow by today’s standards. The bed appeared fragile, but I gave it a good bounce in a test for comfort. “This is definitely not a dream bed,” I told Ed as he snapped my picture.

Across the hall another door opened a crack allowed us a peak. This room featured two – again short -twin beds with their headboards pushed against burgundy patterned wall. A dressing screen hid the claw-footed porcelain bathtub, perfect for a bubble bath on a dusty Texas day.

As we explored, we found more antique furniture, wall coverings, and decorative fabrics of the Victorian period. Wooden window blinds gave each room privacy and shade for coolness in the pre-air conditioning era. And, we discovered that many of the rooms had doors that open on to a porch balcony encircling the perimeter of the Creole-style hotel designed by Parisian architects.

LaBorde House served early Texas travelers passing through the area on the Rio Grande riverboats or in wagons. They were politicians, cattle barons, military officers and Indian fighters. Today, Winter Texans visit the hotel for a glimpse of the past glory, long faded from Rio Grande City.

LaBorde House is located at 601E. Main Street, Rio Grande City, Texas.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

1 comment:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is some lovely pics! i am friends with Bec in PA. That is how I found you!