T. A. Bartlett Home in Malakoff, Texas


T.A. Bartlett Home

T. A. Bartlett House in Malakoff Texas - 1930

"This was one of the most outstanding homes built in Henderson County in its day. Finished after three years of construction in 1930, the home was pictured and featured in the Dallas News and local newspapers.

Rear view of house facing garageThe landscaping required two so-called "yard boys" under the supervision of Mrs. Bartlett six days per week.

The brick in the structure was fired by Mr. Bartlett in his own brickplant in a certain shade which was discontinued and never made again. All walls were solid brick set with cement mortar and were 18 inches thick. The roof was laid with brick on top of cement with railroad steel reinforcing. Ceilings were cast in molds out of white cement and set in steel. Floors were of poured cement on the ground level above a basement.

Mexicans who were digging gravel at the gravel pit near Trinidad for the construction of the house, dug up two stone images. They chipped one, but were careful with the next one. They brought both back with the load of gravel. The carved stone face turned out to be what is called "The Malakoff Man," dating from prehistoric times, more than 12,000 years old.



Rear elevation about 1930The builders were two Cubans, T. and I. Magardo, and the architecture was distinctly Cuban with a Spanish influence brought by a Spanish brick mason named Manuel.

The structure was built for permanence, being all brick, steel, and cement except for the doors and windows. At the same time, the house was entirely livable with the roof being utilized for parties and dancing, the first floor for living, and the basement was used in the winter for parties.

The home no longer belongs to the Bartletts, having been disposed of a number of years ago, but it still stands as a monument to Mr. Bartlett and his faith in better things to come during the depths of the depression."

From foyer looking to living room

Looking from the foyer into the living room

Original living room about 1930

Living room about 1930.
Painting over the mantle by Theretta Bartlett Pickel

Bartlett Home - January 1937

Location: Malakoff, Henderson County, Texas

Original Owners: Mr. and Mrs. T.A. Bartlett, Sr.

Date Built: Started in 1927, Completed in 1930

Source: Roy & Therma (Bartlett) Parnell, 1981, in Old Homes of Henderson County, Henderson County [Texas] Historical Commission, 1982, page 13


Club gets Bartlett House (10/24/2008)

Special to The News

The Greater Malakoff Area Garden Club (GMAGC) has acquired the T. A. Bartlett property, featuring the remains of one of the most outstanding homes built in Henderson County during the Depression, as well as two lots across the street from the Bartlett House and another lot that was the location of the old hotel (no longer in existence) on the southeast corner of the railroad and State Highway 198.

The old hotel lot, which is a "gateway property into Malakoff," according to Lyn Dunsavage Young, President of the GMAGC, was donated to the GMAGC by the Cedar Lake Nursing Home and the Cedar Lake Home Health and Hospice businesses.

Front Entry in March 2005
Front Entry - March 2005

Located next to the Acme Brick Plant on Bartlett Road, the Bartlett House is in ruin because of years of neglect and vandalism, but it is also located on grounds that were once known for its outstanding gardens and garden furniture, which the Garden Club plans to resurrect.

The GMAGC initially plans to undertake a clearing of the debris from the property and then a major planting and beautification project on all the properties. They have begun this week with the cutting of dead trees, overgrowth, downed limbs, and the removal of junk vehicles, car parts and trash.

The Greater Malakoff Area Garden Club plans to share details of their vision for these properties at a Christmas "Before Party" on the Bartlett House property on Dec. 13 from 5-8 p.m. (on the day of the Christmas parade that morning).

There will be a cost of $50 per person or per couple, with each $50 donor to receive a copy of the "Malakoff, Texas" book that the GMAGC has been compiling for the last two years and which is expected off the presses at that time.

"Our gift of the book to the Christmas "Before Party" makes the party basically free," explained Young. The entrance fee is tax-deductible because the club is a nonprofit 401-3-C.

The "Malakoff, Texas" book, which is approximately 400 pages with 300-plus pictures, covers the history of Malakoff from 30,000 years ago to today and is presently being sold at its prepublication price of $49.95. Like other history books in the area that have a one-time publication date, the book price is expected to rise over time, as it becomes more difficult to obtain. The Henderson County Homes book and the Family Histories of Henderson County, for example, are now selling online for $100 - $150.

Jo Ann Surls, who has worked on four history books about the area, said, "This book on Malakoff is truly the best one of all. Dozens of people have contributed personal stories that bring decades of history alive. I've been amazed by its intimacy. This is a collection of many people's stories, photos, and research, including, most notably, Edna Evans; the Henderson County Historical Society, Kay Pulley, Henry Norris, Nelda Reynolds, Theo Daniel, and Pat Isaacson's collection. It includes everything from Malakoff to Science Hill to Tool, Payne Springs, and Trinidad. It's truly amazing."

Anyone wishing to attend and obtain the book that night needs to send their check prior to the event to GMAGC, Box 897, Malakoff 75148 (and note that it is for the "Christmas Before Party"), so sufficient materials, books, and refreshments will be available.

"Presently, the property is dangerous because of the debris, but, once cleared for the Christmas 'Before Party,' we plan to resurrect the heritage plants that still exist, obtain donations of heritage plants indigenous to the area, and recreate the beauty begun by Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett eighty years ago," explained Young. "We plan to market the property to attract people interested in architecture, archeology, gardening, and the history of this house, the town, and Mr. Bartlett's industry (now Acme Brick) to again make Malakoff a 'place to come to.'"

The Garden Club also plans to obtain a historic designation for the property.

Young explained the garden club began negotiating to obtain the Bartlett House property eight years ago from the heirs of the Ernest Fletes family, who were the only other occupants of the property since it was built. "We recognized it could be one of the most incredible opportunities for tourism Malakoff has ever seen."

"Some people outside Malakoff know of its unique place in the world geologically, archeologically and architecturally, but we want all people to know about its place in history. The acquisition of these properties will give us the opportunity to share Malakoff's uniqueness," Young explained.

"We would appeal to the citizens to watch over these valuable resources these properties represent – as if they were their own property, because, in reality, that's how we view it – to stop the vandalism and destruction. Once we clear it, we hope to secure it but, in the meantime, it's to everyone's advantage that we can preserve as much of it as possible," said Young.

Source: The Malakoff News, October 24, 2008

Rear Elevation in March 2005
Rear Elevation - March 2005
Right Elevation - March 2005
Right Elevation - March 2005
Roof Terrace - March 2005
Roof Terrace - March 2005

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