The Ladies’ Clubhouse at Little Sandy Hunting and Fishing Club in East Texas is one of those hidden time warps. To walk through its rooms and recognize that time has stopped is like some eerie dream. And it’s very important that I tread quietly so not to wake it, because the last thing I want is for it to follow me into my century.
Several years ago, I worked with John Crow Miller on a 400 page historical book for Little Sandy written to celebrate a century of seasons at the club (it had just celebrated its 100 year anniversary). And at that time, there was talk that the clubhouse would have to be demolished. But now, John has written to me to say that there has been a change of heart. He also included a bit of its history.
“The Ladies’ Clubhouse was constructed in 1927, as a facility to house families visiting the club, including women. Juxtaposed against the Men’s Clubhouse, which was constructed in 1910, the Ladies’ Clubhouse contained modern conveniences like hot water and later, gas heat and air conditioning. When the Men’s Clubhouse was demolished in 1967, the Ladies’ Clubhouse was maintained as general quarters for families who did not own a cottage and for members’ overflow of guests. Time and the annual southern melodrama of oppressive summers caused white paint and green trim to fade, floors to buckle and stairs to creak, but through a series of construction band-aides that began in the 1950s, the old building continued to survive. In 2009, the club confirmed the historical importance of the building by applying significant capital funds to restore the foundation, windows, roof and interiors. While the building was never intended to be a showcase of Little Sandy’s charms, it continues to provide functional lodging that reflects the club’s pioneer spirit.”
It’s rare for me to experience an older building in Texas that hasn’t been overly restored and/or altered. I guess it would be safe to say that this house has been preserved not restored.