Thursday, November 20, 2014

Aleswana (Haven River Inn)

This lovely home just outside of Comfort, Texas, was built in 1910 as a summer home by Albert Steves. Mr. Steves was a successful businessman in San Antonio who had followed his father, Edward Steves, in owning the very successful Steves Lumber Company.   Today this house is known as the Haven River Inn and is a wonderful Bed and Breakfast!

I snapped this picture that is in a photo album in the Inn, but it also appears on their website.  An attic fan and the cupola helped to cool the large house which Albert Steves loved to fill up with friends and family. The original house had 8 bedrooms and one "facility". 
This picture appears to have been made during the most recent remodeling, but it shows how the original home was modified to enclose the screen porches and the cupola was removed. The third floor and wrap around porch seen in the first picture were part of the last remodeling done after the current owners bought the house in 1996.
Another photo in the album shows the large attic fan that was part of the original structure. 
Under the stairs in the original house

Under the stairs, now


The large house was built for entertaining.  These storage cabinets are located in the main hall convenient to the kitchen.  When the Steves came for the summer they brought a full staff with them. In addition, a full-time caretaker was employed to maintain the house and property. Mr. Steves guests occupied themselves with games, sewing, and reading. When the house was sold for the first time in 1984 some of those original diversions were still stored in the house.
This wrought iron sign by the pool announces the original name of the house
Mr. Steves named his summer residence "Aleswana" through the combination of two letters from each of his children's names:  Albert, Estelle, Walter, and Edna.

The living room and dining rooms face each other and both have large fireplaces.  The pictures don't show the size of the rooms, but they are large.  The dining room table seats 10 and until our group arrived it was nicely set and arranged as if to serve a meal.  The B&B serves meals on the glassed in porch where there are beautiful views of the property.

This one of two identical doors that lead from the dining room to the porch.  The transom lights over every door reminded me of my (un air-conditioned) elementary school.  The ones on the second floor had been painted over for privacy in the rooms, but still they were there to remind guests of the days before central air when these provided much needed air circulation.

I love this porch!  It was cold and damp on this trip, but both mornings I enjoyed a cup of coffee while sitting in a rocking chair enjoying the view of the Texas Hill Country on a fall morning.

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