If you've ever daydreamed of trading the hustle and bustle of the city for the chance to operate a quiet bed-and-breakfast in an old home in a bucolic place, now's a chance to wake up and do it.
A B&B-ready historical property near Toledo Bend Lake in the East Texas town of Shelbyville has just come on the market. For $350,000 and some elbow grease, it could be purchased, refreshed, and ready to house guests by the time you can say, "bacon and eggs."
“This property would make a perfect bed-and-breakfast,” listing agent Perry Bice, with West Bank Realtors, confirmed.
Here's the backstory: The Bickham House, now on the state registry of historic homes, was built around 1885 after the original home (built in 1850) was razed by fire. The builder, Frederick Lee Bickham, was the stepson of longtime Shelbyville resident J.M. Crawford.
By 1972, the land and the homes on it had passed to N.O. Thomas Jr., who restored the main home and renamed the historical shelter “Welcome Hall.”
The town of Shelbyville was settled about 30 years before the original home was built, by people who came from Tennessee. Originally named Nashville, the Congress of the Republic of Texas changed the name to Shelbyville, after American Revolution hero Isaac Shelby.
By 1843, the town had a Republic of Texas post office. And by 1866, Shelbyville found itself unceremoniously divested of its county seat status as the county records were moved to the center of the county (and hidden) in the middle of the night.
By the time Bickham built his house, Shelbyville was a bustling town of 150 with a church, school, two gins, and a mill. Today, it has a population that hovers around 2,200.
The Bickham House is located at 794 FM 2694 and is a 4,232-square-foot farmhouse with five cottages, a prayer room, and an old drugstore — all sitting on 42 acres of East Texas land. Situated between the town proper and Toledo Bend Lake (and less than 10 minutes from the lake), it would make a great spot for folks who enjoy lake life and fishing.
The three-story farmhouse has four fireplaces, a huge entrance, and a 27-foot-long formal dining room. Combined with the five cottages, the property has a total of 13 bedrooms and 13 baths.
Shelbyville is about 45 minutes from Nacogdoches, a popular East Texas college town and off-the-beaten-path tourist stop.
A version of this story originally was published on SecondShelters.com, a division of CandysDirt.com.