You are here

Bel Aire

-A A +A
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

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Bel Aire", [West Columbia, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.