Our Smithville Texas Bed and Breakfast, built in 1909 by J.H. Chancellor, is a sentimental favorite of the people of Smithville and Bastrop County. The house is named for the old “Katy” railroad line (the Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad) which was built in the area on its way to Houston and the Port of Galveston.
Local folks still commonly refer to our landmark home as “Dr. Stephens’ House” after a well-known former owner, Dr. J.D. Stephens. A railroad division surgeon who moved to Smithville in 1937, the doctor modified the first floor to serve as his clinic and housed a laboratory in the half-bathroom under the stairway.
The Katy’s Italianate exterior is graced by an arched portico set over the bay-windowed living room. Elegant Georgian columns reflect the home’s early 1900’s origin. Long-leaf pine floors, pocket doors and a graceful staircase accent the handsome interior. Many good memories live here.
In 1994, Bruce and Sallie Blalock embarked on their journey to convert the house into a Smithville Texas Bed and Breakfast. The historic character was complemented by modern conveniences. The rooms inside the house are named for Katy passenger trains, the Bluebonnet, Katy Limited and of course the Texas Special. The outside building now known as the Katy Tower received a complete overhaul. An outside deck and gentle stairway were added. The Katy Tower name relates to the fact the building appears as a railroad interlocking tower. It continues to be our most popular room. The room above the garage was also completely updated and named The Conductor’s Quarters. The name comes from that fact a railroad conductor lived there for years. (The Conductor’s Quarters is currently not available for guests but is planned to reopen sometime in the first half of 2019.)
In October 2014, The Katy House was purchased by Stu and Linda Leibowitz, your current innkeepers. Stu and Linda moved from Austin, where they had been living since 1994. The Katy House never closed. On the same date of purchase, five new beds were delivered and guests arrived. Bruce and Sallie helped Stu and Linda through a smooth transition. They remain great friends and advisors.
Starting in 2014, through much of 2015, the house went through many updates. All rooms were painted and decorated in a “modern Texas” style. A new room, “The Thomas” was created and serves as an adjoining room to the Texas special. In 2016, the garage under the Conductor’s Quarters was converted into a new large guest room called The Garden Room, complete with kitchen and bathroom.
The Katy House is located one block from historic Main Street. Smithville is between the towns of LaGrange and Bastrop, in Central Texas.