Earle-Harrison House & Pape Gardens$5 per person for guided tours of the house and gardens. Open by appointment Monday-Thursday 8am-8pm and on the first Sunday of each month, 8am-8pm. First floor and Gardens are accessible to the physically challenged.
Built at the edge of an unsettled frontier, this Greek Revival-style mansion stands as the only restored antebellum home open to the public in Waco. Dr. Baylis Wood Earle and his wife, Ann Eliza Harrison Earle, moved from their plantation in Aberdeen, Mississippi, to the fertile cotton land of the Brazos Valley in 1857. Here, they constructed the first half of the Earle-Harrison house and its sweeping verandas.
Dr. Earle’s plan was to complete the second half of the Earle-Harrison house after moving in. Unfortunately, he passed away several months after living in the house and it was never completed. It stands today as only half a house.
After Dr. Earle’s death, his wife lived in the Earle-Harrison house until 1872, when she sold it to her brother, General Thomas Harrison. General Harrison was one of Waco’s six Confederate generals and a highly respected lawyer and judge. He lived in the house with his family until his death in 1891, when the house left family hands.
The decades following were unkind to the grand old Earle-Harrison House. Eventually becoming subdivided into apartments and falling into disrepair, it was standing in the way of “progress” and slated for demolition. Restoration began with the impassioned vision of two local residents, Mrs. Nell Pape and Mrs. Lavonia Jenkins Barnes. Fully restored in 1970, and moved to its present location, the Earle-Harrison house now stands as a vestige of days gone by, a celebration of those who have gone before.
The current embodiment of Earle-Harrison House is prized for the beauty of its botanical garden and grounds, as much as for the house itself. Stretching over five acres, the groundskeepers tend to the blooming flowers, lily pond, towering live oaks, manicured lawns, fragrant herbs, and fresh vegetables. Not to mention a breathtaking, 75-foot rose arbor!
Built in 1858, the Earle-Harrison House is now surrounded by a spacious 5.82 acre enclosed garden that includes a 60×90 tent and double gazebo. The Greek Revival antebellum structure is quite imposing with its walk-through windows, verandas and spacious rooms. Its collection of Victorian furnishings and artifacts were gifts from Waco citizens, and descendants of the Earle and Harrison families. This property was the site of Chip & Joanna Gaines’ wedding. Tours by appointment only.
1900 N. 5th St.