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Bel Aire

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c. 1847. 716 Main St., East Columbia

The East Columbia Historic District consists of seven buildings and one site along Main Street, now an asphalt-topped country lane paralleling the Brazos River. At the south end of the road, the house built by Dr. Mason Locke Weems II, a merchant, planter, and Philadelphia-trained physician, son of the Virginia Episcopal priest best remembered for his imaginative biography of George Washington, was occupied by Weems's descendants until the late 1980s. It is a fine example of a central-hall-plan cottage, faced with a full-length front veranda inserted beneath a shed extension of the side-gabled roof. Bel Aire, as the Weems family called their house, is raised high to elevate it above the flood crest of the Brazos River. Research conducted for the National Register application suggests the house was moved to its present site after 1869 by Dr. M. L. Weems III to escape the eroding west bank of the Brazos, a persistent problem in East Columbia.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Bel Aire", [West Columbia, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-AS16.

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