Venue Rental Catering to Families...
Stagecoach Station Venues is a 20 acre property available for all types of events. Currently, there are no indoor facilities, but refurbishing of an 1870's rock livery once used as a stagecoach stop to be converted into both an open-air and enclosed venue, and a late 1800's farmhouse is hoped to be used as a dressing area or even overnight accommodations. These properties and the 100 plus year old oak trees accentuate the nostalgic atmosphere.
At this time, the park-like setting houses a moveable stage complete with cover to be used for concerts and wide-open areas for gatherings of all types. Electrical service, portable restrooms and gaming areas are now present along with a firepit/fountain area. Although it is currently just beginning to take shape, it's a unique, nostalgic and serene location worthy of consideration for your next gathering.
A bit of the history of 400 Old Comanche Rd.
This 20 acres was once a part of a 640 acre parcel of land granted to Henry Kraber in 1836 for his service in the Texas Republic Army. As it appears he chose not to settle in such a wild country at the time, it then fell into the hands of Robert Peebles, the Texas Land Commissioner appointed to this post by Stephen F. Austin.
As is often the case, history can be somewhat sketchy in the early years of Texas. But, land owners included members of the Charles L. Cleveland family (relatives of President Grover Cleveland). Charles was a judge in Liberty County/Galveston as well as a state legislator and businessman who owned more than 50,000 unimproved acres of land in several central and west Texas counties. His sons Sydney and Lander held title to the land as well during the 1870’s.
Additional land holders were: Major John Y. Rankin, a colorful character of varied experiences whom some have referred to as “the Father of Brownwood” because of his real estate business and his hand in promoting the early development of Brownwood; Silas C. Royalty, a businessman, whose occupation was a “hotel keeper” while living in the county and who later owned one of the first hotels in Ballinger and E.W. Fitzgerald who also owned and operated hotels in Brownwood.
A third Cleveland son, John Stewart Cleveland, was perhaps the one that put the biggest footprint on this site. John Stewart was considered a well-liked and respected person who was a lawyer and the county judge for several years. Upon his early death in 1890 at 36, the land ultimately remained with his surviving wife, Marie Louise and daughter, Yrma. The two remaining members of Judge Cleveland’s family moved into Brownwood and over time began selling parts of the original parcel. Ultimately, Yrma sold the remaining 20 acres to Trewis Pelt in 1963.
Like many young men in the 1930’s, Trewis Pelt felt the call to duty during World War II. At sixteen he begged his parents to allow him to join, but they insisted he continue his schooling and forbid him to do so. Thus, he concocted a scheme to flunk himself out of school, and when he succeeded at the age of seventeen he chose to enlist in the Navy. Trewis was serving on the USS England during the Battle of Okinawa when the destroyer escort was hit by a kamikaze attack. While the destroyer suffered inoperable damage, Trewis was badly burned and injured. As a result, he spent nearly four years in the hospital and recovering from his severe injuries before finally being able to return to Brownwood for good. It was then that he began farming and ultimately leased this land from Mrs. Yrma Cleveland-Jones. Trewis was a voracious reader of all things technical, agricultural and mechanical. He was a man of few words, loved classical music or any music as long as there were no words! If he needed a method or a machine to do something more efficiently, then he would just invent or build it. He loved experimenting with seeds and different varieties of crops. He farmed it all – from cabbages, cantaloupes, corn, okra, tomatoes to grapes, peaches, apricots and berries to sugarcane. Perhaps the summer of 1975 when he sold 48,000 ears of sweet corn in one day is a testament to the popularity of his farm. Trewis continued to farm into the early 1990’s, and then left his treasured earthly home in 2008.
The footprints upon this tract of land of these various people and their lives provide some wonderful stories, but the old rock livery stands as the signature symbol of this time gone by. This twenty by forty structure was built probably in the late 1870’s – though research is still ongoing. At this point, we are not sure who built it although we do know that Judge Cleveland had envisioned a thoroughbred horse farm but never totally saw that to fruition because of his untimely death. We do know that it was used as a stagecoach stop for the Chidester mail route when the bayou flooded and the stage could not cross further into Brownwood. We do not know the reason or origin of the name Live Oak Farm on the stone above the archway. This may have been something added later by Judge Cleveland’s daughter Yrma and perhaps was the name he had dreamed of naming his horse farm. During World War II when storage facilities were needed to store vegetables, the rock livery with its natural climate control elements served this purpose. Then its usefulness was maximized further by Trewis Pelt who painstakingly cared for it with what was most assuredly a reverence to its history and perhaps an eye to its future.
William E. Fitzgerald
Take nothing but pictures,
Leave nothing but footprints,
Kill nothing but time.