Nestled amid the rolling hills of Grimes County in Anderson, Texas, about 20 miles northwest
of Washington-on-the-Brazos, Fanthorp Inn stands as a wonderfully preserved example of a 19th century stagecoach inn.
The 18-room inn had humble beginnings in 1834 as the simple dogtrot home of English immigrant, Henry Fanthorp and his bride, Rachel Kennard. By 1835 Fanthorp had become postmaster for the area and over time, the Fanthorp home evolved into a well-known country inn. The original log structure acquired a clapboard exterior and an expansive addition in 1850. Aside from the large downstairs dining hall, upstairs sleeping accommodations for overnight travelers and long-term boarders were added. Notable guests included Sam Houston, Zachary Taylor and Kenneth Anderson. Local legend has Generals Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis as guests of the Inn. Fanthorp Inn functioned as a country hotel/tavern until shortly after Henry and Rachel died of yellow fever in 1867, at which time it was converted back into a family home for their daughter Mary and her family.
Purchased by Texas Parks and Wildlife in 1977, the Inn underwent extensive archeological, architectural, and historical investigations and was restored to her 1850’s glory. Once again, hospitality reigns supreme as Fanthorp Inn is opened to the public for guided tours, school programs, adult group tours and special events.
On the second Saturday of February through July and September, Fanthorp Inn comes alive with Stagecoach Days. Poets, cowboys and musicians entertain as visitors tour the Inn and have the unique opportunity to experience the rolling rhythm of 1850’s travel as they ride our bright red, replica stagecoach. Stagecoach rides start at 11:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. Stepping onto the Fanthorp front porch is a passage into yesteryear!
The second Saturday in October marks Fanthorp Inn’s celebration of Texian Days. Demonstrators of 1850’s skills and crafts exhibit methods of spinning, weaving, quilting, chuck wagon cooking, blacksmithing and more! The Inn is alive with music as sweet melodies from dulcimers drift on the breeze. Raucous cowboys cook and cajole as poets and storytellers spin yarns, bending your ears and oftentimes, bringing tears to your eyes. The horses stamp their hooves and shake their heads, rustling leather harnesses as they wait with anticipation the first of several journeys pulling the stagecoach full of cheerful passengers to the historic Grimes County courthouse and back. The Inn is wearing her party clothes for Texian Days!
November brings a change of mood to the Inn as the gaudy oranges, yellows and russets of autumn fade and give way to the deeper evergreens, cranberry reds, whites and golds of winter. The Saturday evening following Thanksgiving, Fanthorp Inn invites you to start the holiday season among friends and family by hosting Twilight*Firelight. The stagecoach is bedecked with lights; the horses’ harnesses jingle in the crisp night air. Luminarias and cresettes illuminate your path as you follow the sounds of laughter and music wafting throughout the Inn. Visit with “Henry and Rachel Fanthorp”, road weary travelers, boarders, poets and a host of colorful 19th Century characters. Join us at Fanthorp Inn as we usher in the holidays spreading Peace on Earth and Goodwill Towards All.
Springtime in Texas is a time of nature’s awakening, with the great beauty of blooming wildflowers and singing birds. It is also a time of spiritual re-awakening where man may renew himself and restore hope in his life. This is the time to join family and friends, hands, hearts and voices at the Easter Sunrise Service held at Fanthorp Inn State Historic Site in Anderson, Texas. This special spiritual event is organized by the Anderson Baptist Church, United Methodist Church of Anderson and the McKenzie Chapel. Prayers, hymns, scripture and meditation mark this event as a reverent celebration of the resurrection. Fellowship follows with refreshments provided by congregation members. Service begins at 7am.
Download the Fanthorp Inn 2013 program schedule.
For additional information please visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife website,
our Facebook page - Fanthorp-Inn-State-Historic-Site-Texas-Parks-and-Wildlife
or call us at 936-878-2214.
Tours: Saturday & Sunday 9am – 11:30am, 1pm – 3:30pm.
Group and School Programs: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday by appointment.
For details, scheduling group tours, event times and pricing
please call or write:
Fanthorp Inn State Historical Site
P.O. Box 296
Anderson, TX 77830