East Texans Remember the Angelina Hotel

Angelina Hotel, circa 1920s
Angelina Hotel, circa 1920s

The Angelina Hotel was built in 1922, but became a transitional living facility sometime in the late '80s. The inside of the building has changed quite a bit, but it is still the original structure. Many East Texans remember what the Angelina Hotel had to offer the community back it its heyday.

Woody Gann said, "It had an absolutely great restaurant, table cloths on the tables all the time, white napkins, white tablecloths, just a very elegant style. On the second floor, it had a big ballroom."

Odis Rhodes was only 16 when he took a job at the hotel as a custodian. He remembers how popular the place was and how he and his friends never got to be a part of the activities that went on there.

"I've heard about a lot of fun things that went on there, of course, that was just hearsay from the other side because it was in this totally segregated area and we didn't interchange ideas [and] didn't rub shoulders very often, but the word would always get around as to what transpired where, so I understand it was quite a lively place," Rhodes said.

Long time Lufkin residents are not sure of the new owners' plans for the building, but are glad it will finally get some attention.

Gann said, "It was the finest hotel when it was built - and for several years afterwards - between Beaumont or Houston and Tyler."

The Angelina Hotel is now Angelina House. It is home to people ages 60 and over that do not require nursing home care but still need day to day minimal assistance. The property is now valued at about $400,000.