The Whistler Hotel was built in 1895, by Jacob and Sylvia Whistler.  It stood across from the train depot at the old Chenango Plantation, called the Chenango Junction.  Three trains went into the Chenango Junction.  The first train, The Columbia Tap
from Houston to East Columbia. Built in 1852, it carried slaves, Confederate soldiers, supplies, cotton, and sugar cane.  For
some two decades, the African slave trade in Texas went underground and dwindled, only to revive in the late 1850s as the plantation system in Texas expanded and demand for slaves mounted.  In 1893 and 1908, two other lines were added for
the influx of former Yankee soldiers and other Northerners; in addition, transportation was needed for foreign immigrants
and ex-Confederate soldiers from other parts of Texas and the Old South.


Building a hotel with a restaurant across from the train depot proved to be a wise investment for the Whistlers.   In 1884, Mr. & Mrs. Whistler came into Brazoria County  seeking land to build a business. 

According to Mary Beth Jones, author of "Tales from the Brazos", publicity touting the glories of external summer and land "richer than the Valley of the River Nile" led hundreds of Northeastern and Midwestern residents to the Texas Gulf Coast between 1890 and 1910.  They flocked into Brazoria County, stiff from the long journey by rail, but hopeful of finding new homes.  The Hotel provided a place for tired passengers to take a bath, get a good meal and a good night's sleep before going to their final destinations.  Ex-slaves were employed  as cooks, housekeepers and farmers, and even as carpenters to help build the hotel.  Ironically, the same train that brought slaves into Brazoria County hired ex-slaves to work at the train station. 


Many Angleton residents drove their buggies or rode their horses to The Whistler Hotel for a midday "family-style" meal on Saturday and after church on Sundays served by Mrs. Whistler.  Everyone boasted that the food "was to die for". The best cakes, pies, preserves and fresh vegetables they had tasted. The Smith's have continued the tradition of serving the meals family-style. 

It was at this time that Mr. Whistler changed the name of the Chenango Junction to Anchor, Texas which was the same of his hometown of Anchor, Illinois.  He became a prominent businessman in Angleton.    

Today, The Whistler Hotel is one of the few hotels on the Gulf Coast to survive the 1900 Galveston storm which was called the "worst recorded natural disaster ever to strike the North American continent."  It is also one of the oldest hotels in Southeast Texas that was originally built as a hotel.  Because of Mrs. Whistler's decline in health, they sold the Hotel in 1918, to the Walter Moore family.  Later, it was sold to the Joe Heim family where a daughter, Mary Holland Thornton lived until her death in 1993.  Robert and Mary Smith purchased the former hotel from the estate in 1997.  In 1998, they moved the hotel 5 miles away to their 18 acres which was once part of the Chenango Plantation.  The Smiths restored The Whistler Hotel to its original grandeur in 2001, and applied for a historical marker; ultimately, the marker was denied because they had moved the hotel within the last 50 years. 

Now, almost 100 years later, the Smiths have reopened The Whistler Hotel as a Bed & Breakfast in its original glory.  They kept the original hotel in all its splendor and stateliness, with expansions on three sides to give it the comforts of the 21st century.  Moreover, this sophisticated and majestic edifice showcases antiques that date from the early 1800s.  It is truly a historic site and provides a historic reminiscing journey into anyone's history.


1820 CR 36 - Angleton, Texas - Phone: 281.595.3308 - www.graphics2go.net
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