Take the mansion for free ... sort of
by Tim Delaney
Mar 20, 2014 | 335 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Shelton house is currently at 809 S. Alamo St. in Refugio
The Shelton house is currently at 809 S. Alamo St. in Refugio
The staircase in the Shelton House is one of two in the mansion.
The staircase in the Shelton House is one of two in the mansion.
The Shelton house shown from its south side on March 13. The view is from Empresario Street in Refugio
The Shelton house shown from its south side on March 13. The view is from Empresario Street in Refugio
REFUGIO – Snappy Foods, a convenience store chain, has closed on a deal this week to buy the Shelton Home at 809 South Alamo St.

Moe Motaghi, president of Snappy Foods, said his company will tear down or give away the approximately 5,000-square-foot house to someone who will move it.

Motaghi said the cost of moving the house in one piece would be in the neighborhood of $170,000 for a distance of about 20 miles.

“By the middle of April, we have to make a decision,” Motaghi said.

He added that if someone takes the deal, they would have 30 days from the time of the agreement to move the house.

“We have two people we have talked to about it,” he said.

Motaghi said the fireplace was probably added on to the house, and it could not be moved with the house.

Motaghi said he has not looked into sectioning the house for moving.

“I’m not sure what the cost would be,” he said.

He said he thought it could be sectioned into four pieces, making it a lot easier and less costly to move.

Another possibility, Motaghi said, was to move the house to Bayside to land not on the waterfront, but where the house would have a water view. He said his company would move the house and keep it as an investment.

Motaghi said his company wants to open a convenience store/fueling station at the Shelton house’s current location on South Alamo Street.

Interested parties can contact Motaghi at 361-232-3614 for further information on how to claim the house, which has a long history.

Tom Shelton of San Antonio, is the grandson of Ben and Isabella “Izzie” Mitchell Shelton, who built the house. He said he lived in the house until the age of 4.

“That was my first home; I lived there until I was almost 4,” Shelton said.

“My parents had two rooms downstairs on the back near the kitchen. My grandmother’s rooms were above us. My aunt and uncle (Dr. Josephine Shelton and Dr. Jack Finn) lived upstairs near the front of the house,” he said

“We all ate our meals together. My parents bought a house on the north side of town and moved. My aunt and uncle (and daughter, born shortly after we moved) remained there with my grandmother,” he said.

Shelton said his aunt and uncle both died before his grandmother. But the big lunch every Sunday continued until his grandmother died.

“Originally it was a bungalow, built in 1912. The second floor was added in 1928,” Shelton said.

“I’m not sure who built the bungalow, but it was arts and crafts style; the craftsman porch columns were replaced with Greek ones during the remodeling,” he said.

Will Borgland, father of John Borgland, did the 1928 remodeling.

“The lower floor was added to and altered considerably, the plans were a collaboration between Mr. Borgland and Izzie Shelton,” Tom Shelton said.

At the time, Ben Shelton owned and operated the Ben Shelton General Store, which still stands on xxx st.

Ben Shelton died in 1940; Isabella died in 1973.

The family sold the house in 1977 to Robert and Louella Rose. Louella sold antiques from the house.

Mr. and Mrs. Rose made major changes, both inside and out.

“They added the siding and the jalousie blinds that significantly changed the exterior appearance. Originally, as a two-story house, it had canvas awnings on the windows – but those were gone before the Roses,” Shelton said.

“The Roses also changed the yard to create parking areas. It had a beautiful yard, designed by a landscape architect: large cottonwood and pecan trees, rose hedges and flower beds – and a spectacular orchid tree that people stopped to see, including Mrs. Bing Crosby. The Roses removed the trees because they were fearful that they would damage the house during hurricanes,” Shelton said.

The next occupant of the house was Donnie Lee Eskew, who also sold antiques from the house for a short time. They called it the “House of Eskew,” Shelton said.

Shelton said the last owners were Bill and Sal Rayburn.

Bill Rayburn was a friend of Robert Rose.
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