ABOUT TEXANA Trails & Lodge
History — Our Story!
The location of TEXANA Trails & Lodge is part of the original historic estate of the William Brookfield family who settled here in the 1830’s. The Brookfield homestead was aquired by Olivia Dancy and Jos. C. Brown in 1893. The William Alley Brown family, their descendent, is the current owner of the property, which now serves as a residence, and a lodging and event facility. At one time the place was known as Dancy Farms, when it encompassed 500 acres of rolling pastures, woodeded creeks, and the scenic hilltop site of the Brookfield-Evans-Cremer House built by the original settlers.
Acquired during Mexico’s colonization of what later became the Republic of Texas, the property was transversed by La Bahia Road, which crossed Cremer Creek leading travelers to and from Goliad and Nacogdoches. William Brookfield, surveyor, educator and financier of the Texas Army, acquired this property with his partner Musgrove Evans and built a home for his family on the hilltop. At that time, he constructed a two story Georgian style home made of native fieldstone from the property and surrounding area.
Prominent in setting and scale, the structure housed travelers and those seeking shelter from Indian raids and the Mexican Army in 1835 during the The Runaway Scrape. Mary Maverick and her children lived at this house for a month with the Brookfield family, while unbeknownst to them, her husband, Samuel Maverick, Secretary of the Republic of Texas, was marched to Monterey and held captive as a prisoner of war. While serving in the Texas Spy Company and Republic of Texas Senate, Col. Jon Winfield Dancy, ancestor to the present owners, befriended the Mavericks and arranged for shelter for the Maverick family with the Brookfield’s during those tenuous times.
Later, in the 1840’s after the period of Texas Independence and evolution into statehood in the United States, Col. Jon W. Dancy proposed this site as a permanent location for the capitol of Texas. It passed the Texas Senate and House of Representatives but was vetoed by Governor Sam Houston.
In 1911 an electrical storm wrecked havoc on the stately house, causing a fire that gutted the entire stone structure. At this point, the Historic Stonehouse was altered into a one story residence. Leon Dancy Brown, the only surviving adult child of Olivia Dancy and Jos. C. Brown, inherited the property and undertook renovations to the structure.
Later William Alley “Bill” Brown, one of the four children of Mary Alley and Leon Dancy Brown, and his wife, Ann Shafer Brown, spent much of their life maintaining and improving the property. In the 1970’s they acquired the property from Bill Sr’s brother and sisters, and established a 250 head Charlois cattle ranch. The stone stable was converted to liveable space so Bill Brown could have a ranch office for his law practice in order to spend more time there. In 1976, the Texas Historical Commission proclaimed the site as historically significant to Texas History by marking it with a Texas Historical Marker. Over the years, the family has continued to add improvements respecful of the historical significance of the property, to make it a comfortable, rugged but elegant home.
Bill and Ann have one grandchild, Dancy Ann Lukeman, and two grown children, Ann Lenora, “Lennie”, and Wm. A. Brown, Jr., “Bill Jr.”, a fifth generation Texas attorney. Currently, Lennie leases the land to Havelka Cattle Co. for cattle grazing while using the property for a lodging and event facility, open to the public as a private business, TEXANA Trails & Lodge, LLC. The Historic Stone Stable now serves as a guesthouse, and is also offered for use as an office, having at one time been an office for Lennie's father, Attorney Bill Brown.
In 2006, Lennie designed The Grand Lodge. The new structure is historically sensitive to the site, conjuring imagery of a rustic, stately stagecoach stop, clad in Eastern Redcedar, native juniper wood siding that was logged and milled locally. Porch column bases are constructed with native stone as was used in construction of the original historic house.
At TEXANA Trails & Lodge, hopefully, the best is yet to come !
You ! . . . Come share in Our Story,
and be a part of Texas HISTORY ! — still in the making !