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The oldest mansion in Texas, The Reynolds-Seaquist House, is a feast for the eyes.

That figures, after all, everything in Texas has to be extra. Extra big, extra fancy, and EXTRA extra!

The mansion was bought precisely over 129 years ago, way back in 1891. It was originally a humble house that belonged to a preacher, Reverend Thomas Broad. Rev. Broad sold the property to a rich dude named E.M. Reynolds. I am sure Reynolds considered the place a "gold mine" back then. He made a few renovations to make it bigger and better, but then had a change of heart and sold the home to a bootmaker, Oscar Edward Johnson Sjokvist. Oscar later changed his name to Seaquist (he probably got sick of twangy Texans mispronouncing his Swedish last name). Anyway, Oscar had some money of his own and used it to add a little razzle-dazzle to the place, turning it into the magnificent mansion it is today, complete with a third-floor ballroom.

The home is now known as simply, The Seaquist House. In 1974, this mansion was put on the list of historical Texas landmarks, so it likely will never be renovated again, save a few pertinent upgrades to maintain the electrical and plumbing needs of the times, and to restore some of the original architecture. (You can help restore the mansion by donating here.)

No public tours are in the works for The Seaquist House, at least until we can get this COVID-19 thing squared away. They do, however, offer private tours if you have a party of at least 5 people but no more than 8, and the fee is 20 bucks a person. You might even catch a ghostly whiff of Swedish smoked salmon and Aquavit from Seaquist House house parties of centuries past!


To me, the Seaquist Mansion looks like somebody took an English countryside castle and mixed it with a Southern plantation house plus Michael Myers' house from the movie Halloween, then added a heaping helping of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. If House Slytherin had its own abode, this might be it!

It is unique, unusual, and kinda creepy if you see it up close at night time. The only thing missing from this mansion is a dragon sleeping in a hidden dungeon, a moat, and an Acromantula Aragog!

Notable East Texas Legends

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