Monday, May 7, 2012

The Weston Building

The Weston Building, on the corner of Water and Earl Garrett, was erected in 1890 by Charles Barlemann.  This Italianate style stone building, designed by Alfred Giles, was home to the Ranch Saloon. The saloon had a rough reputation.  It was the site of fights and at least one murder--that of Texas Ranger Tom Carson.
In 1897 it changed hands. An advertisement in The Kerrville Paper, September 18, 1897, read “Old Jeff’s Corner ... Formerly the popular Ranch Saloon in the Barlemann Building.
Choice Wines, Liquors, Beer, and Cigars.  Billiard and Pool Tables in Connection. ...  Frank Jeffries, proprietor."  

In 1900 Charles and Mac Weston purchased the building and business. It is known today as the Weston Building today because of the "Weston" name that appears in tile at the corner.

An odd item appeared in the Kerrville Mountain Sun on Apr 4, 1902.  "Jack Rees has moved his stock of furniture into the Barleman Store.
The Co-operative Association have now the whole lower story of the rock building on the corner.  They are filling it up with a very large stock of goods."

It doesn't appear to have been a furniture store very long because by May 17, 1902, the Ranch Saloon was again advertising its wares.
In 1912 M. F. Weston and E. Schwethelm sold the Ranch saloon to J. C. "Jack" Rees.  Weston and Schwethelm still owned the Favorite saloon and continued in business there.

It remained a saloon, and very popular gathering place until Prohibition arrived in 1920 and the saloon was forced to close.  It seems to have vacant for two years until it was leased in 1922 to Richard Chaney who opened his combination confectionery and taxidermy in the lower floor, shown here.  You can see why this was such a popular spot for kids!

After Chaney’s closed, there was a sport shop, then a shoe shop called the Booterie.  After the Booterie closed the building sat empty for years.  Finally, in 1995 the building wasrestored and now houses the popular restaurant Francisco's.

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