NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The family of the man who founded a historic halfway inn in Chireno spent an afternoon visiting the home that can be considered part of their roots.
Constructed only a few years after Texas gained its independence from Mexico, the Old Halfway Inn, today more commonly known as the Halfway Inn or Flournoy-Granberry House, was home to early Texas settler Samuel Flournoy and his family in the 1840s, according to East Texas History.
“This would’ve been built by our great, great grandfather,” said Bob Flournoy, attorney in Lufkin. “We’re proud to be associated with it because it was such a historical and architecturally significant structure.”
Flournoy met several family members for a family reunion of sorts outside the Halfway Inn, where their great-great grandfather Samual Martin Flournoy once lived as a successful landholder.
“To see something preserved this long; I’m looking now probably 177-years-old, this house should be," Bob Flournoy said.
“Oh, I thought you were talking about yourself,” Bob’s brother Don laughed.
“Well, I’m close,” Bob replied.
The Halfway Inn remained in the Granberry family until the early 1980s. It was moved in 1984 but was returned to within one-quarter mile of its original location in 1988 when the Chireno Historical Society acquired it.
Although the brothers knew about the stagecoach stop since they were little boys, Tuesday’s visit was the first time they saw it for themselves.
“This will be the first time that I’ve been in this house and I suppose you as well," Bob Flournoy said, motioning to his brother.
Today, the Chireno Historical Society maintains and operates the Halfway Inn as a historic site, providing tours and hosting a heritage festival there each spring, according to East Texas History. Thanks to CHS, the descendants delayed interest in the historic site didn’t come too late.
“For those of us who moved away from Texas, when we come back it’s nice to see that there are some positions of memory for us, and this is a good example," said Don Flournoy. “We have several generations of Flournoys to catch up on that. That’s a good thing to do before you die.”
The Flournoy family traveled from Lufkin and Dumas, TX, and from as far away as Ohio. Many family members said they were enjoying the stop as a part of a tour of their roots in the East Texas area.
The Chireno Historical Society will give tours of the Flournoy-Granberry House upon request. Restoration is a continuous process, as well for the old Chireno Baptist Church that’s also on site.
Spring Heritage Day in Chireno is April 13. The event raises money for the restoration projects.