historic home has only known 5 owners in its 108 years.
The main house, a Queen Anne Victorian,
(3300 square feet)
built in 1904
proudly displays the Texas Historical Marker
and is listed on
the National Register of Historic Places.
'environmentally safe' property is well suited for 'living naturally'
. The great canopy of fruit and nut trees, hardwoods and conifers
create a peaceful ambiance.
of the Queen Anne Victorian occurred before toxic materials came
into being. The cedar used to build this house was transported by
covered wagon from Louisiana.
restored with health in mind, great care was taken during restoration
in 1982 to use natural, nontoxic and poison-free materials.
features of this Queen Anne Victorian include:
~ large foyer
~ built-in seating areas
~ 3 coal-burning fireplaces
~ 3 sets of pocket doors
~ 3 bedrooms
~ 3 baths
~ 2 footed tubs
~ leaded and stained-glass cabinets in formal dining room
~ commissioned artist handpainted border on floors in kitchen and
~ marble countertops in kitchen and butler's pantry
~ 6 ceiling fans
~ all electric
porch looking east
Wallcoverings are fabric, not wallpaper.
All woodwork, beadboard and wainscoting
are original. They were restored
to their original beauty during the
complete restoration of the house in 1982.
original stained glass window
inside front door
with bay window
in dining room
with built-in cabinet,
looking into the butler's pantry
dining room cabinet
with leaded and stained glass
with 'summer front'
(one of three)
specially built bookcases
which flank the window
(only one shows in this photo)
with fabric wallcoverings
Artist handpainted border at ceiling
and on original wood floor
looking to backyard.
Tree on right is one of four
native persimmon trees on the property.
Tree behind table is apricot.
area in kitchen
looking into back porch.
Artist handpainted border
on original wood floor.
porch which in winter has solar gain.
Same Artist handpainted border as in the kitchen.
pantry off kitchen
with marble countertop
to second floor
bedroom with fabric wallcovering
bedroom with fabric wallcovering
bedroom with fabric wallcovering.
This room has an attached bathroom.
There is also another bathroom on the second floor
to serve the other two bedrooms.
insulated two car garage with basement and attached cottage (1040
square feet) were built in 2000.
features of the cottage include:
open floor plan
~ radiant floor (off the grid)
~ partially 'green'; nontoxic materials used
~ 300 gallon holding tank in attic, serviced by solar pump (off
~ plumbed for gray water
~ Vermont Castings Aspen wood-burner
~ Central heat and air (electric)
~ 16 windows - double glazed, double hung
~ many built-ins, including bamboo desk in office and a couch/sleeping
~ marble countertops in kitchen and bathrooms
~ 1-1/2 baths: copper sink in one and handpainted sink in the other
~ upstairs floor is 1-1/2" tongue-in-groove yellow pine
~ beautiful hardware throughout this colorful little house
living area of cottage.
Vermont Castings wood burner,
Artist painted walls and
stained concrete floor
with marble countertops.
Windows look out to
Mahon pecan trees planted in 1936.
on main floor ~
sink is hand-hammered copper
'tree house feel' living space
with built-in seating area
which is perfect for stargazing!
upstairs living area
shown in above photo.
Artist painted walls and
tongue-in-groove yellow pine floor.
office with built-in bamboo desk.
All 16 windows in the cottage
have custom-built moldings.
bathroom sink ~ upstairs
NO chemical cleaning agents, pesticides or herbicides have been
used inside the houses or anywhere on the property. All environmentally
safe products have been used.
Well water serves both homes.
The two homes and garage are situated on one 3/4 acre parcel.
Furnishings are available for purchase.
is one of the oldest thriving towns in the Texas Panhandle.
area of Texas is considered 'prime' by many as it is not as exceedingly
dry as farther west into the desert states, nor is it 'muggy' as
farther south can be. Average of 330 days of sunshine a year. Some
snow in the winter; however, because of the sun, it does not stay
on the ground for long. Some days in the winter you can lunch outside,
if sheltered from the breezes.
The S.W. Lowe House by
or by calling 806-874-3332
history of this property:
April 30, 1904, the Clarendon Chronicle carried an item in its Local
and Personal Column stating that "F.D. Martin will begin the
erection of a handsome residence in southwest Clarendon in the coming
On July 20,
1904, another news item appeared which stated that "the new
residence of F.D. Martin was well under way and would make quite
a showing when completed." The Martins, natives of Tennessee,
owned a very fine mercantile store which advertised tailor-made
suits, real Valencia lace handkerchiefs and linen and Battenberg
material. The Martins were most sympathetic to the arts. Clarendon
was proud to have an opera house during this era, and "it is
said that many times the female singers would dress at the Martin
house for the performance."
The Martin House
was acquired in 1910 by San Antonio rancher John M. Calhoun and
his wife Annie Moss, who used the structure as a summer residence.
Four years later, R.H. Muir, a rancher, cattle buyer and inspector
bought the house, continuing the tie with ranching, the key industry
of the region.
S.W. Lowe and
his wife Lilac bought the Martin-Lowe House in 1926 and lived there
for 56 years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lowe first lived in south Texas,
although after they finished college and were married they came
to the Clarendon area. Mr. Lowe was Dean of Goodnight Baptist College,
which was located about 20 miles northwest of Clarendon. Mrs. Lowe
served as matron in charge of the girls' dormitory. They then moved
to Clarendon where he became the high school principal. He served
three terms as judge of Donley County.
Little did Zell
SoRelle know when she left Clarendon in the early 1930's, that half
a century would pass (quite eventfully) and she would return to
the town of her birth.
teaching career at the age of 17 in a one-room schoolhouse on the
renown J. A. Ranch, she was written up in Ripley's 'Believe It or
Not' when one year she had only one student and there were only
5 taxpayers in the district. The glamour of the Wild West was apparent
then, as it is now: marriage proposals ensued but she was headed
for a career and continued on with her education.
Zell stole the
heart of Seth Augustus (Jack) SoRelle. They married and moved to
Borger, Texas. Zell got a yen to fly and became one of the first
women in the Panhandle of Texas to have a private pilot's license.
By then World
War II was on and all women in the United States who had a pilot's
license were called to serve by ferrying planes to various locations.
Not warlike by nature and the fact that she was pregnant, she declined.
moved to Amarillo in the mid 1940's and her role in civic work began.
However, eventually her career came to the forefront again and she
completed her Masters, and a PhD from the University of Denver.
She taught at what is now West Texas A & M University from 1962-1977.
Well respected by her peers and adored by her students, Zell taught
until mandatory retirement.
to spare, Zell decided to go into real estate. After
about a year, she felt the passion of restoring a home, and Clarendon
was calling to her. "I want to go back to Clarendon and help
make it more beautiful," she said to her husband and daughter.
she did in 1982 when she purchased the historic S.W. Lowe house.
She knew right away that she wanted to involve herself in something
lasting, something she could get the Texas Historical Marker for,
so she knew she needed to choose a house that had not been structurally
rearranged or damaged.
The house next
door to Zell's historic purchase was for lease and she thought,
"How convenient!" She could oversee her crew working on
the house and be present with all that was happening.
About 2 years
and 4 months later, she was ready to start 'teaching' again by opening
the home for tours, club meetings, candlelight Christmas walks,
soirees in the summertime, elder hostel and events for school children.
She rarely missed
a turn to help people learn to appreciate the value of historical
preservation by showing them and involving them in
this significant lesson of life.
wanted to be on Zell's bandwagon. She quietly did what she knew
she wanted to do and people caught the drift. Due to the renovation
of her own house, it was natural for her to be very responsible
for the energy behind the renovation of the Clarendon Courthouse,
called by the Texas Historical Commission, 'one of its poster children'.
The S. W. Lowe house
has been in the care of the SoRelle family from 1982 until present
time (2012). This historic property is now ready to receive its
next stewards to treasure, preserve, enjoy and share the beauty
of this well-loved historic landmark.