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.
Sunday, February 10, 2008