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When the Walls Talk

Updated: Oct 27, 2022

If the walls at Oaklea Mansion could talk, oh the stories they would tell.

Sometimes what we see as an end to an adventurous journey is the first glimpse into a new chapter being born. Before what is now known as Oaklea Mansion Bed and Breakfast was ever considered a priority in the lives of the Carlock family as their home, the area was inhabited by the Caddo Indians until 1835 when Gary B King surveyed the area and applied for a 4,605 acre land grant from the domain of Coahuila and Texas, then a part of Mexico.

We can only imagine what it was like to walk through these thick piney woods and envision the beginning of what we now call Winnsboro. Men and women who came to this territory had clay, sand, and sweat running through their dreams as they built a life here, timber by timber and brick by brick, just as MD Carlock (#thecarlockhouse) did in 1903 when he completed his home on 407 South Main Street.

Winnsboro was freshly incorporated on April 17, 1901 and facing all kinds of challenges as loggers from 1890 until 1910 filled up what we now know as Market Street looking for saloons and gambling houses. Mr. Carlock himself co-owned one of the thirty sawmills that came into the territory starting in the late 1800s.

Carlock House, 1903

The 12 room home was a sight to see in 1903, one of the few large homes of the time and built on a 20 acre parcel of land off a dirt road that would later become Main Street. It was a sight to see when you entered Winnsboro, Texas.

One thing is for sure, the town of Winnsboro has brought stories of passion and the pioneering spirit as sawmills, bath houses, saloons, trains, first automobiles, produce farmers, feed stores, banking establishments, post office, all filled the first buildings on the wooden sidewalk and muddy street town.

The walls of Winnsoro and Oaklea Mansion have years of history to tell and every time someone comes in the front door of each building, they too become a part of the story. Traveling to Winnsboro, Texas and staying at Oaklea Mansion is a chance to become part of the story, a chance to be one of the tales told only by the walls of this historic home.


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