by John Troesser
Photos courtesy Roy
Saffel & the Cranz Family
Gus Cranz Mansion in 1917|
courtesy the Cranz Family
house dates back to 1874 and is a prime example of the fine old-world craftsmanship
that went into many 19th Century Central Texas homes. The newly-arrived "old world"
carpenters, hadn't yet adapted the "new world" custom of cutting corners. They
modeled this residence after the elaborate detail-rich homes they had built for
the upper-classes back in Austria. |
Central Texas Architectural Gem|
out at Western Schulenburg|
on high ground just a stone's throw from downtown Schulenburg,
the elaborate gingerbread and beveled glass windows are just a few of the details
that justify its title of mansion. Inside, details are more pronounced. The house
has retained its original lighting fixtures, which includes the exquisite cut-glass
chandelier in the dramatic 50-foot entrance hall. Stained woodwork reflects the
light; bathing everything in a soft 19th-Century glow. A chandelier from the former
Shamrock Hotel ballroom lights one room while the kitchen remains casual and comfortable
- like a Fayette County farmhouse with stained glass details.|
Cranz, the man who contracted the building eventually moved from Schulenburg but
the house has had few owners throughout its long history, including Doctor Schultz,
the town's GP who was famous for having delivered nearly every baby in Schulenburg.
Dr. Schultz, who had worked with Schweitzer in Africa and who went to Vietnam
long before the war - used to see his patients right there in his downstairs office.
Cranz boys on a front-yard ride circa 1917|
Photo courtesy the Cranz Family
| || |
photo above shows the two sons of Gus Cranz, riding their ponies on the sidewalks
of Schulenburg. Other than the removal of the old fence and the modernization
of plumbing and wiring, the house today is virtually identical to the one in this
personal note from the Editor|
In Texas, the concept of a B & B has
gotten a little distorted over the years. Owners have been known to take every
possible measure to cut costs and horror stories are all too common. At the Gus
Cranz Mansion, host Roy Saffel, who has extensive firsthand knowledge of many
of Texas' best hostelries, has taken extra steps to insure that guests get an
authentic taste of this unique Texas region. This includes the selection of fresh-baked
Kolaches from the bakery downtown. Juices, waters and other beverages are well-stocked.
A voracious reader, Roy has even stocked a library. Pick up a book to read - get
involved. If you're a slow reader, Roy might give you a break on weekly rates.
a farmhouse and calling it a B & B doesn't make it so. If one is merely "passing
through" a town, then a highway hotel will provide basic lodging. If, however,
the traveler is looking to capture the history and the charm of a region, or a
group is looking to have a celebration or business meeting in a calm and serene
environment, then one shouldn't settle for one of those instant "Johnny-come-lately"
B & Bs. The Gus Cranz Mansion is suitable for anything from a Honeymoon to a romantic
spot for a marriage proposal. Roy has, however, drawn the line at divorces.
period phone is still in working condition.||