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23. Steele Store & Makemson Hotel

Commercial activities were taking place on this prominent corner as early as 1848, when a log cabin on the site served as the town’s first hotel, stage stop, and second post office. Construction on the limestone buildings in this complex began in the mid-1800’s and continued into the early 20th century. Previous uses included a dry goods store, a bank, and a hotel/boarding house. The extensive rehabilitation work begun in 1981 is credited with inspiring the revitalization of downtown Georgetown. In 1997, the building underwent yet another extensive renovation to provide professional and retail space.

Additional Information:

Frank Nash, who first owned the property, served as postmaster in 1848. He sold the property to John Ake in 1850, who ran the Ake Hotel here. The business declined after the Civil War and the property was sold in 1868. By 1871, Ake's daughter Penelope owned the property and her husband, Moses, has built the current building for his dry goods business.

In 1880, Steele and Captain John Sparks opened the Steele and Sparks bank here and in 1886 major changes were made to the building.

The Steele family sold the building in 1891 and the hotel business continued with City Hotel and Makemson Hotel. Emma Makemson operated her hotel until 1924.

Fun Facts:

1. John Sparks left Georgetown for Nevada where he became the Governor of the state in 1902 , serving two terms.

2. Emma Makemson witnessed some of the events surrounding the capture of Sam Bass after the 1878 shoot out as a child in Round Rock

1. The Ice Cream Bucket was a favorite of Georgetown’s residents.

2. The Tilden Cafe was located in the building next to The Palace in 1947, and it was sold to Noel Daniel in 1948. In 1951 it was purchased by Mrs. Cole and Mrs. King, who ran the L & M Cafe, and renamed The Lasso. They advertised all types of food at all hours of the day!

The rest of the building is vacant at this time.

today Steele_Store-Makemson_Hotel_Building_1890-1892-3_edited.jpg

2023 Photo

Makemson 1976_edited.jpg

Photo taken in 1976

makemson before restoration_edited.jpg
Steele_Store-Makemson_Hotel_Building_1890-1892-1.jpg

Photo taken in 1880s

Steele_Store-Makemson_Hotel_Building_sparks.jpg

Photo taken circa 1885

2023

Artisan’s Connect Gallery 800 S. Austin

www.artisansconnectgallery.com

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