Take a step back in time with a stay at the Milton Parker Home in Bryan, Texas. The Milton Parker Home offers a luxury stay in a vintage setting filled with comfortable family antiques and modern conveniences.
The Milton Parker Home
In 1885 Milton and Mollie Parker built their home in the Brazos Bottom. Mollie Parker drew up the plans for her new home. The cost of the home was $6,000. The Parkers raised their ten children in the house. The Parker family owned the house until 1991.
Spanning 5,000 square feet, boasting seven fireplaces, a large formal dining room, and a study/office area. There are also two parlors: the front parlor to receive guests and a second parlor for the ladies to gather after meals.
The design of the house is simple and plain compared to many of the ornate homes of the Victorian era. The exterior is covered in wooden clapboard siding. A two-tiered veranda with ample room for chairs is on the front.
Mollie Parker was ahead of her time in designing the house. She included an enclosed space in each bedroom. The enclosed space was used as a closet – a most unusual feature for homes of this era.
When the Great Depression hit, the second generation of Parkers, Milt and Maggie, owned the home. After the market crash of 1929, housing values dropped by 35%.
Many people owed more money on their mortgage than their home was worth. So Milt and Maggie Parker opened the home as a boarding house.
The home was also rented out for special occasions. During this time, “Miss Maggie” renamed the house “The Oaks.”
The third generation of Parkers, Katie and Robert Bernath, lived in the house from 1958 to 1991. In 1987 the home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1991 the home was given to Texas A&M and used as student housing.
The Milton Parker Home Renovation
After purchasing the home from Dr. Van Walker, the Barbiers created a plan to renovate the property. On June 1, 2016, the renovations began.
Renovation Stage 1
The first stage of the renovation included new plumbing, electrical, flooring, and fixtures in the grand entry, both parlors, the formal dining room, and all the bedrooms, including the addition of two bathrooms.
The addition of two bathrooms gave each bedroom a private ensuite bath. The gorgeous original flooring in the home is longleaf yellow pine, which was sanded and refinished.
Denise and Bob Barbier wanted a comfortable, nostalgic vibe for the home. They worked with Lindsey Herod Interiors in Houston to bring their dream to reality. The Milton Parker Home was ready to welcome its first guests in just three short months, reopening on September 2, 2016.
Of course, as with any historic home, the work is never complete, and this is definitely the case with the Milton Parker Home.
Renovation Stages 2 and 3
These renovation stages included rebuilding the two tiered verandas on the historic home's exterior.
Denise & Bob also wanted to create an outside dining space. This space offers guests an opportunity to dine under the trees al fresco. Along with the dining space, hardscaping the walkways around the main house was also planned.
Mixing The Old With The New
Alt: an antique fireplace, mirror, and chandelier in the parlor room at the Milton Parker Home in Bryan, Texas
When Jim and I entered the Milton Parker home, we immediately noticed the mixture of antiques with contemporary furnishings. We love how the Barbiers have kept the history of the Parker family evident through the use of the family's antiques throughout the home. Mixing styles creates a comfortable home atmosphere. Guests feel more like treasured friends.
Let's talk about the bedrooms. They are, in a word, elevated luxury. I have a very discerning taste when it comes to bedding. The mattresses are dreamy. You will drift to sleep in comfort and wake up refreshed and ready to face the day after a restful night's sleep.
The linens are fabulous! They are spa-quality (as a matter of fact, they are used in my local spa). I was never too hot under the sheets, which is a bonus win. I commented to Denise how much I loved the linens, and she ordered a set for me.
The bathroom is spacious, the water pressure in the shower is perfect, and the deluxe amenities are thoughtful and just right.
Special Touches At The Milton Parker Home
Jim and I often stay at Bed and Breakfasts, Inns, and historic hotels. We love the uniqueness of these types of properties. The history of the property, the people who run them, and the ability to see beyond the public spaces are what we love about them.
The Milton Parker Home is exceptional because of its history spanning 137 years. But the love and care that Denise and Bob have for this home and its guests are also noteworthy. Small touches, like the linens, have an enormous impact on guests.
When we arrived, Denise greeted us at the door with a dose of Texas hospitality. She showed us around the house and then to our room, where we had time to just settle in.
Heading downstairs, we made our way to the heart of any home – the kitchen. We were greeted by Booker and Echo, the Barbiers' two Labradoodles, as we entered the kitchen. We felt so at home – we were missing our fur baby Zach.
Denise prepared a small meat and cheese tray for us. Taking the tray outside, she was going to leave us to ourselves. But Jim and I wanted to get to know our hosts. So out came the wine, Bob joined us, and the conversation just flowed like honey out of a jar.
The setting is gorgeous, with large towering trees shading the backyard, birds chirping, and a gentle breeze wafting through the air. A brick pathway leads to the fire pit and dining area. The deck is made for entertaining or dining al fresco.
We noshed on the charcuterie platter, sipping on a glass of delicious Texas wine from Messina Hof Winery. The conversation flowed as we chatted with Denise and Bob. It was an ideal introduction to Bryan, Texas!
Things To Do In & Around Bryan, Texas
Plan a visit to Messina Hof Winery to tour the property and taste their unique wines. The grounds are fantastic, with all the flowers blooming.
Go shopping in downtown Bryan and indulge in some retail therapy! Our favorite stops are the Old Bryan Marketplace for home decor and upscale bath and spa products.
Catalena Hatters seriously have the largest western hat selection I have ever seen!
For the unique and unusual, stop into Brazos Glassworks. This working glass studio has some fabulous pieces!
After a day of exploring, pop into Vino Boheme for some wine and charcuterie. The wine selection is extensive, and the food is fantastic!
For a hearty meal, head over to Caffé Capri. Be sure to search for the murals on the side of the building – they make great selfies! I love the fact that they offer gluten-free options. Don't miss the “A Bowtie Affair,” “Cajun Tortellini,” and the “Keywest Pasta.” Fantastic dinner choice!
No matter how you spend your time in Bryan, you'll look forward to returning to the Milton Parker Home. There is nothing like falling asleep in a comfortable bed after a full day of exploring and pulling the soft as silk sheets up to your chin as you drift away into dreamland.