Saturday, May 12, 2012

Magoffin Home Reopens Today!

The front door of the Magoffin Home
Washing the dust off the windows and shutters, getting ready for the grand reopening today
Inside the courtyard of the Magoffin Home yesterday
One of the grand jewels of historic sites in our region is scheduled to reopen to the public after being closed for more than a year for an extensive renovation.  We stopped by El Paso's Magoffin Home yesterday to get a peek (it looks FANTASTIC) and to see if we could help with the finishing touches before this morning's opening festivities.  Turns out we could help, and we wiped down the windows and doors whose frames had received historically accurate paint treatments.  And as we washed and wiped, we thought about the original workmen who built the 1877 adobe structure, and felt a kinship with those who'd built the home and loved it generation after generation.

Want to learn more about the Magoffin Home?  Here's a quote from the Texas Historical Commission's historic sites website:

"Born in Chihuahua, Mexico and educated in Kentucky and Missouri, Joseph Magoffin (1837–1923) first came to the El Paso area in 1856 to work in his father’s mercantile shop at Magoffinsville. After service in the U.S. Civil War, he returned with his family and became an advocate for the development of El Paso and the region. Using his extensive landholdings, he helped bring railroads, utilities and new businesses to town, increasing his personal fortune. He was a co-founder of the State National Bank, where he served as vice president for 40 years. He also served as county judge, four terms as mayor, collector of customs and in numerous other public offices. His wife Octavia (1845–1906) was a social leader in the community and active in Catholic charities. They had two children, Jim (J.W.) Magoffin (1864–1913) and Josephine (Josie) Magoffin Glasgow (1873–1968).

When Joseph and Octavia Magoffin moved into their new home in 1877, El Paso was a small frontier town. Joseph built the home on property he had obtained from his late father. The adobe construction reflects typical Spanish and Territorial architecture found in the Southwest borderlands and the influence of the Greek Revival style popular in other parts of the United States. In 1887, the El Paso Times described the homestead, “The grounds surrounding it comprise twenty acres, embraced in lawns, flower gardens, fruit orchards, vegetable beds, grass plats and small grain divisions.” The couple was well known for their hospitality and entertained guests frequently in the home."

The Texas Historical Commission acquired the Magoffin Home a few years ago, and has been administering and caring for the site since then.  Come on out today and take a look for yourself!

1 comment:

iSavortheWeekend said...

I hope someday to return to El Paso just to visit this home. I'm so homesick for El Paso, especially when I visit your blog which is becoming more often. Thanks for this awesome blog!!