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Published: January 13th 2020
I was at the Sterne-Hoya House & Library talking with their historians; and they showed me a large parchment from 1962 about the Old Stagecoach Inn (aka Halfway Inn, aka Flournoy-Grandberry House). I purchased one of the parchments for about $3 USD. Since the Old Stagecoach Inn was nearby in my neck of the woods (in Nacogdoches County) I wanted to check it out.
The next day had good winter weather and I fired up my truck Old Blue and headed out to see the inn. I drove Texas Hwy 21 East (aka El Camino Real, aka The Kings Highway, aka The Old San Antonio Road). I passed through the de-funked town of Melrose (city limits signs there long gone) about seven miles East of Nacogdoches. Then after a few miles I passed the community of Sand Hill.
The Old Stagecoach Inn was listed as one mile West of the Chireno City limits (on the North side of the highway), on the parchment, and on Wikipedia. So I was surprised to get to Chireno and failed to see the historic inn. I made a short stop at the little downtown Chireno. I spoke to friendly locals at the (natural)
gas company, the post office, and one nice man in his pickup truck. They all agreed that the historic inn was one mile West of the Chireno City limits.
I drove from Chireno to Sand Hill and back a number of times with no luck. Then I tried driving from the Chireno City limits to the turnoff for downtown a few times and I found the Old Stagecoach Inn with its twin fireplaces on each side of the structure. The inn was a ways from the road with a historic marker with no number on it. There was a fence to keep the public out so I did not cross the fence. I made my photo shoot from the fence then drove home. (Maybe the City of Chireno expanded its city limits and did not bother to tell anybody.)
According to Historic Nacogdoches County, this two story inn was constructed in about 1840 by Samuel Flournoy on his 300 acre homestead. (Another site said the inn was completed in 1841.) Samuel was active in the community and was appointed as the Republic of Texas postmaster in 1843. He continued to operate the post office at his inn including
with the State of Texas. In 1852 Samuel Flournoy sold the inn with his original 300 acres and the 500 acres he got later. With Samuel's efforts working well the Old Stagecoach Inn became a very popular halfway stop between Nacogdoches and San Augustine.
The inn property changed owners several times until 1917 when H R Granberry purchased the property that remained in his family until 1981. (I have no idea what year the Old Stagecoach Inn or its post office closed.) In 1984 the house was moved to 12 miles East of Nacogdoches. (Now Nacogdoches is about 20 miles West of San Augustine, with Chireno exactly half way in-between those small cities. The mileage does not sound correct, but the dirt stagecoach road could be different from the now paved State Hwy 21.)
According to the Daily Sentinel (the Nacogdoches newspaper) the Chireno Historical Society acquired the structure in 1988 and moved it back to the near its original location (and done a good renovation of the inn) on the old Samuel Flournoy homestead.
Also in the Daily Sentinel; under the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, T J Rusk, and J P Henderson stayed a number
of times in the Old Stagecoach Inn. (I know nothing about J P Henderson, but I recon that the Town of Henderson, Texas was named after him.
This site listed hosting the second annual Spring Heritage Weekend, April 25 & 26, at the Old Stagecoach Inn...from a 2009 posting. (936-552-7058)
So me and Old Blue motored back towards Nac. Approaching the de-funked town of Melrose I saw a sign in passing and I made a sweeping turn-a-round to get a better look of the sign. After another sweeping turn-a-round I stopped at the sign. Sure nuff, the sign said Melrose and I think that was the old city limits sign that Melrose forgot to remove when it was de-funked. After passing old Melrose, I turned South on State Hwy 226 to take the back route back to home by way of Woden. There was a large tractor with heavy duty disks going very slow on hwy 226; no problem cuz farmers have to use the roads also. At a good wide spot on the road I kicked up my large block V-8 supercharged motor and Old Blue hummed nicely back to home.
Tot: 1.39s; Tpl: 0.07s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0292s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb