Mason County Courthouse

The Red Door Bed & Breakfast is owned and operated by Monica & Brent Hinckley and is currently located on the first and second floors of a commercial Rock Building on the Mason County Courthouse Square.
Originally built circa 1895, the building housed a succession of retail businesses including a grocery which used the 1,000 sq ft basement for a root cellar. In 1946 it was opened as "Grimsley's - Five to Five Dollar" store. Mr. Grimsley later covered the basement access with a new oak plank floor and the basement was "lost" for 50 years! The building went through several other retail establishments until our purchase from Winn's Corp. in 1995. We "found" the basement again during the renovation to the retail space, which became HINCKLEY'S Country Store and built a new stair to provide access for our additional storage. 
In Jan 2016, we closed the retail Variety store (after 21 years) and renovated the storefront to accommodate additional B&B rooms downstairs.The new rooms provide 
four additional private rooms with private baths. We
also included a handicap accessible room for our guests.

Previously the upstairs portion of the building was used as residences, a dentist office, a small darkroom and even a worm farm! Although it was abandoned and used for storage in recent years. We believe at one time the upstairs was used as a Community gathering room and during the renovations we found a notation etched into the plaster walls indicating that the Mason Concert Band had used the space in the mid 20's. Extensive renovations were required as the upstairs did not have any functional plumbing and no active electrical service! The ceilings were 14 ft high and both the East and West walls are rock. 
History of Mason
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Mason is located north of Fredericksburg and west of Llano at the intersection of US 87 and Texas 29, about a 2-hour drive from Austin or San Antonio. Mason shares the German heritage of Fredericksburg, but has an added Wild West element for a flavor all its own! German settlers spreading north from Fredericksburg were some of the first residents in the county. 

In 1851 the United States Army established Fort Mason on a hill overlooking the present town. Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnson and John Bell Hood are among the eighteen distinguished officers assigned to this pre-Civil War fort who later became generals. Fort Mason was abandoned in 1869 and local citizens used stones from the fort buildings to build businesses and homes throughout the town, including our building! Many of these early structures still stand today, giving Mason a wealth of handsome sandstone architecture.

The first courthouse was a two-story rock structure, however the building burned in 1877 after the HooDoo War - a local range war lasting two years where farmers and ranchers fought against gangs of thieves and gunmen. By the time the the feud was brought to a close by Major Jones and his Texas Rangers, at least twelve men had lost their lives! Casualties included; Daniel Hoerster (historical marker at N Art Road at the family cemetary) and John Worley, the county jailer, historical marker in town on RR1871.*

The second courthouse was built in 1878 and was also a two-story structure, with a small balcony, built in the center of the town square. The second floor was often used for church services, concerts and other entertainments.*

In 1909 the current courthouse was built at a cost of 39,721.00, with the tall columns and lovely cut sandstone facade, it was a beautiful imposing building!  County offices moved in to the building and a large picnic was held on the grounds to celebrate the completion.*

( * Excerpts taken from Mason County Historical Book, 1976 )

For further information, including a walking tour of the courthouse square with photos and history go to: 
 - Mason County Chamber of Commerce
 - Mason County Historical Commission
 - Mason Square Museum
 - City of Mason, Texas (site includes a map of the city)
 - Mason County News (local weekly newspaper)
Courthouse in 1878
Commemorative statue to the cowboys who settled our town. Located on the east side of the courthouse square.
Red Door B&B above Hinckley's Country Store (photo before renovations with additional rooms on first floor, 2015)
Veterans Memorial on courthouse square
History of Red Door B&B
North side of Mason's Square circa 1895