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Victorian Diversions in Calvert

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The postcard-perfect Parish House B&B captures Calvert
Dissected by Texas 6, Calvert is 90 miles northeast of Austin, in Robertson Co., midway between Waco and College Station. More than 46 blocks make up a National Historic District, making Calvert one of the state's larger of such designations. The Calvert Chamber of Commerce conducts special group tours by appt. A self-guided driving-tour brochure, with illustrations and descriptions of each stop, leads visitors up and down tree-lined streets. The tour notes 5 historic churches, including Calvert's oldest church, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, a Victorian structure at 700 E. Gregg St. The brochure is available from many downtown merchants for a donation of $3. Write to the Calvert Chamber of Commerce, Box 132, Calvert 77837; 979/364-2559; www.calverttx.com. The area code is 979.

Events

Calvert's Spring Pilgrimage (May 7-8, 2005) showcases 4 historic homes and numerous other historic buildings and points of interest within the National Historic District. Ticket price of $10 allows entry to all homes on tour. The day begins with a 5-K run/walk on a route meandering through the historic district. Call 979/364-2935; www.calverttx.com. Calvert's Antique Saleabration, another Main Street event held yearly the second weekend in Aug., is a special shopping opportunity presented by downtown merchants. The town's Victorian Gala is held annually the first Sat. in Nov. at the Pin Oak Bed & Breakfast, 503 Pin Oak St. Participants don Victorian costume, lilt to chamber music, waltz on the inn's lamplit lawn, and enjoy carriage rides. Proceeds go toward the preservation of Calvert's National Historic District. The Christmas Tour of Homes recurs yearly the first weekend of Dec. (Dec. 3-4, 2005, 1-5 p.m.). For ticket information and details on any event, contact the chamber, or check its online events calendar at www.calverttx.com.

Attractions

The Katy Hamman Stricker Library, 404 E. Mitchell, is a 1909 Prairie style design and the first American Woman's League chapter house in Texas. It's the only one remaining in the state. The Calvert Woman's League qualified for a free chapter house and furniture by selling magazine subscriptions. The library still houses the original Arts and Crafts furniture. Hours: Thu. and Sat., 1-3.

For a brief history and virtual tour of several historic homes and buildings in Calvert, visit www.calverttx.com.

Shopping

Boll Weevil Antiques, 508 S. Main, specializes in 18th- and 19th-Century furniture, porcelains, and period jewelry (364-2835). Cotton Merchants Mall Antiques, 309 S. Main, offers fine furniture, antiques, and collectibles (364-3858; www.cottonmerchantsmall.com). Grandma Oscar's Attic, 507 S. Main, features Terry Baker's hand-carved cookie molds and other "interesting stuff" (364-3690). The Farmer's Wife Antiques, 515 S. Main, sells antiques and collectible books. (364-2489). Antiques abound at Front Porch Antiques, 505 S. Main (364-2933) and Red Geranium, 611 S. Main (364-2132). The Silk Purse, 518 S. Main, offers antiques, art, and decorative accessories (364-2628).

The Art of Texas Gallery, which shares space with Mud Creek Pottery in a 120-year-old building at 407 S. Main, features an eclectic collection of handcrafted art, including Mud Creek Pottery by native Texas artisan Sonny Moss. Other offerings found here include ceramic sculpture, jewelry; watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings; and textile art. Hours: Mon–Sat 10-6. Call 364-3730 or 800-670-8183; www.calverttx.com/mudcreek.html and www.artoftexas.com.

Cardinal Craft Mall, 404 S. Main, is a 10,000-sq.-ft. maze of handmade crafts, gifts, and a tearoom. Find Texas-style furniture and home accents in adjacent Cowboy Up. Call 364-3744; www.cardinalcraftmall.com. We Design Woods, 602 N. Main, specializes in antique restorations and custom woodworking. Call 364-3757. Browsers in Sir Billy Bob's, 515 S. Main, find fresh and silk flowers, potted plants, antiques, gifts, and Calvert souvenirs (364-3651).

Follow the aroma to Common Scents, a candle shop at 605 S. Main. Hours: Thu-Mon 10-5. Call 364-2710; www.calverttx.com/commonscents.html. Pick up herbal soaps, pastries, and Seattle's Best Coffee at Farm Fresh Soaps and The Daley Grind, 512 S. Main. Call 364-8897 or 888/746-7519; www.farmfreshsoaps.com.

Lodging

The Calvert Inn–A Gourmet Bed & Breakfast, 406 E. Texas, offers Victorian elegance and outside amenities–a gazebo, rose gardens, a brick pool with water features, and mammoth shade trees–perfect for photos or weddings. Rooms start at $105. Call 364-2868 (reservations: 800/290-1213); www.calvertinn.com.

The Pin Oak Bed & Breakfast, 503 Pin Oak, a grand 2-story inn built by the daughter of a Confederate general, offers rooms with private balconies, century-old oak trees, and a view of Virginia Field Park. Rates begin at $80. Call 364-2935 or 888/367-8096; www.pinoakbb.com.

Three spacious guest rooms are available at The Calvert Rose, 808 Pin Oak. This lovely Victorian B&B is graced by many of its original fixtures, including 5 coal-burning fireplaces, each with its own carved oak double-mantel. Rooms start at $95. Call 364-3696 or 800/290-1213; www.thecalvertrose.com.

Calvert Hotel, 408 Railroad, is a faithfully restored, 1872 Victorian bed-and-breakfast hotel in the center of Calvert's Historic District. Fine-dining restaurant, salon, antiques room, and conference facility. Rooms start at $85. Call 364-2430 or 866/230-1266; www.calverthotel.com.

Parish House Bed & Breakfast is a new offering, at 609 E. Gregg. Call 364-3748; www.parishbb.com. Accommodations are also available at Miss Dixie's Lodge B&B, 201 E. Gregg. Call 364-3884.

Dining

The Calvert Hotel Restaurant, 408 Railroad, features the creations of Chef Ron Baribeau. Hours: Wed-Sat 6-9 p.m. For reservations, call 364-2430 or 866/230-1266; www.calverthotel.com.

Casual diners have a number of choices: Cerrito's, 521 N. Main (364-2100) serves Mexican food. For sandwiches, try Cardinal Craft Mall Tearoom, 404 S. Main (364-3744). Pizza, calzone, burgers, and other American food are on the menu at Someplace Else, 735 N. Main (364-2007); Zamykal Kolaches is at 709 S. Main (364-2386); and the local Dairy Queen is at 203 N. Main (364-2121).

Read 273 times Last modified on Friday, 13 July 2012 13:06

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