Captain Ignacio Perez and his decedents used this home until the mid-1800's, when it was used for commercial purposes, then renovated in 1929 as a museum. The exterior was plain white stucco, one level and unassuming.
The interior had many Spanish Colonial period pieces and other treasures to explore. The wood doors (I love to photograph doors) had a story all their own. Here is an old-timer's story of the symbols on the Spanish doors:
Top right, and down:
The seashells represent the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria as they voyaged from the mother country across the sea.
Dragons represent the dangers the first settlers encountered, and baby's face stood for the new country of America. They brought their arms for protection, and found flowers and plenty in this great land (resources, gold and silver), including the Indian.
Left, from bottom up:
Medallion shows the head of a conquistador, which represented the Spaniards who came to this land of flowers and plenty (flower symbol), and with their arms (the shields) conquered the dangers (dragons) including the Indian (head of medicine man). In this way, the settlers won this land for the mother country across the seas.
I had a lovely treat this afternoon. We were able to meet up with two former HS students of mine who married after graduation, raised a family, and are living in San Antonio. Our family spent an hour or two with them, chatting about the past and present. It was a blessing to see my students going on for the Lord...and meet their growing children, who are also "walking down the right path."
Saturday morning dawned bright again, and we took our last breakfast on the river walk. It was bitter-sweet for me...I have thoroughly enjoyed the aviary circus each morning, as the paths along the river come to life. Our servers have been excellent. We were treated as royalty, and our meals, fit for a king!
People always comment about the hot weather in Texas. It's been in the 90's all week, and is typical of summers here. I did not find it oppressive whatsoever...maybe hotter than I'd like at high noon, but the mornings and evenings were perfect. In fact, it was too cold in the air conditioned buildings for me. As I would walk out of a frigid building, I'd feel the warm Texas air surrounding me like a cosy blanket...a good feeling!
King William neighborhood at night on Thursday, the kids and I spent our last morning taking the walking tour of the most expensive real estate in Texas. Only one home, the Steves Homestead was available for an interior tour. We arrived just as the docent opened the door. This area was settled by prosperous German businessmen, and the Steves family with their three sons, were no exception. Edward began a lumber business, which is still in existence today, run by the descendants of the family. Their home, built in the mid-1800's is of Victorian French Second Empire style, and sported the first indoor swimming pool in the city. Many of the latest conveniences and amenities where seen and purchased at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. Much of the furniture has been donated by the family throughout the years.
After a long and steamy walk back to our hotel, we cooled off in the lobby, and waited for the time we would head to the airport. San Antonio has been everything I had hoped for, and more. The people are friendly and laid back, the weather, although hot, is tolerable (the Spring is superb, I hear), the history is fascinating, and the "Texas Spirit" infectious. I hope we will be back soon...you gotta love this "Great State of Texas"!