Monday, January 5, 2015

Aleswana Grounds

The previous post featured the lovely home originally known as Aleswana located in Comfort, Texas. I feel it would be remiss if I move on without mentioning the amazing grounds of the former summer home of the Steves family.
Even on a misty fall day the views of the Texas Hill Country are phenomenal!
In 1911 Albert Steves built the first of seven dams on the Guadalupe River.  These dams generated electricity to pump water up to the house. 
In 1922 a pond and storage tank were constructed close to the house.  Water was pumped into the tank and then used to irrigate the entire 22 acres. (The pond is contained in the rock wall behind the tree in this photograph)
The banks of the Guadalupe River were (and still are!) a great place to picnic, relax, and swim on a summer afternoon.  In the quiet I could hear the laughter of the girls and the delightful shrieks of the boys diving into the cold water! I wondered how many romances blossomed along these banks!
This gazebo was designed and built by Dionicio Rodriguez, a Mexican born artist who specialized in Faux Bois (false wood) sculptures constructed using a special formula of concrete.  His works are in various states and many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Looks like real wood, doesn't it? I'm not sure when this was built, but it has withstood the elements very well. Apparently the formula to mix the special concrete was known only to Mr. Rodriguez.
A swimming pool is between the house and the gazebo.  The original pool is said to have been hand dug by the resident caretaker over the period of one winter!

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