1859 The Bell House

Built about 1859 on the rolling prairie east of Round Rock, this Green Revival style plantation house was the home of James Hall Bell, an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court. Originally called “Brushy” for its proximity to Brushy Creek, it served as the centerpiece of Bell’s 600 acres of agricultural interests in Travis and Williamson counties for more than 35 years. Bell and his wife, Catherine, reared two sons and three daughters in this house. Its deep front porch, central hallway and large rooms reflect the conservative popular tastes of the day. At its rear are dependencies: a kitchen, built separately to guard against an accidental fire, and a washhouse. After years of neglect, the house was moved here and restored in the 1990s — down to its colors from the 1880s. The house today forms the centerpiece of our 1880 Cotton Planter's Farm, representing the lives of well-to-do Texans during the last half of the nineteenth century.