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1854, John E. Shelton. 801 College St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )

This two-story I-house with a pedimented, two-story portico supported on superimposed piers was built for merchant Peter J. Willis. It was the childhood home of Magnolia Willis Sealy, who built “The Open Gates” ( GV17) in Galveston. The Willis House sits atop the highest elevation in Montgomery, looking north across College Street to an idyllic lake valley that now contains the Lone Star Estates gated subdivision. Occupied since 1868 by the family of I. C. Davis, to whom Willis sold the house, it preserves, for the time being, the seamless transition between town and country that highway-related sprawl began to erode throughout Texas in the 1920s. A rear shed wing and a rear ell expand the house in size. The generous site also contains secondary buildings.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "”Magnolia”", [Montgomery, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 378-378.

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