1910 Campbell Drive
The interior finishes, outdoor living spaces, lush grounds, and lake view of this three-story, hewn-stone clad home belies the humble west Texas origin of this historic Abilene home. Erected as the main house of a dairy farm in 1905 on the recently impounded shores of Lytle Lake, this home combines the best of pioneer-era architecture and modern convenience.
The first floor has a marble-floored entry, 2 large living areas, dining room, glassed sunporch, study, half bath, kitchen and generously-sized mud room that serves as the informal entrance from the detached garage with a half bath. Placement of rooms & windows allow lake views from most 1st floor rooms & this is evident in the beamed, west-facing, cathedral-ceiling living room that is oriented to maximize lawn & lake views.
The second floor has 2 secondary bedrooms, each with their own bath. The primary suite has views of Lytle Lake & the white-tile ensuite bath has a walk-in closet, shower, and dual vanities.
The third floor is considered a fourth bedroom, complete with ensuite bath. With a built-in desk and open configuration, this space would be ideal as an office or secondary living space. An elevator provides access to all three floors of the home. A full, unfinished basement provides space for mechanical equipment and storage.
The guest house is convenient for overnight guests and extended stays. Multiple outdoor living areas provide opportunity to enjoy lake views and the manicured, 1.233 ac lot with mature trees and a thick St. Augustine lawn. The rock boat house and two-level dock make it easy to enjoy lake living on a lot with a 215 foot shoreline that gives the owner a front-row seat to spectacular west Texas sunsets each night.
This link to the MLS listing provides information about general information about this listing. Given the uniqueness of this house and because MLS caps the number of photos at 40, I've created a gallery of all images for this home along with a 3-D tour of the home.
DFW real estate blog Candy's Dirt gave this listing a nice write-up in their publication - it's always gratifying when when a metroplex publication recognizes the merits of a unique, historical home in Abilene.
3-D tour of interior
Exterior photos - primary home
Interior photos - unfurnished
Interior photos - furnished
Garage & basement
Boat house & dock
History - 1910 Campbell Drive
The Texas State Historical Society provides this entry regarding Lytle Lake:
Lytle Lake is a reservoir on Lytle Creek within the city limits of Abilene in Taylor County (at 32°26' N, 99°43' W). The lake was built in 1897 to secure a water supply for the city and to attract a proposed state hospital for epileptics. The reservoir was named for early settler John Lytle, who trapped mustangs in the area to sell to the Mexican government. The Lytle Water Company was formed to build the dam, with banker J. G. Lowden as chief stockholder and banker Otto W. Steffens as his business partner. The company began work on an earthen dam on April 1, 1897, and on June 14 of that year, with the dam almost complete, a downpour hit the area and filled the lake overnight. On November 23, 1913, the Lytle dam cracked and washed away when a deluge of rain hit the area. A thicker and higher concrete dam was built by the American Public Service Company, which had acquired all the local utilities on December 2, 1912. Lytle Lake was to prove inadequate as the city's primary water supply: during the drought of 1917–18, it dried up. The drought moved civic leaders to seek other solutions to the water shortage problem, and Lytle Lake became less important as a water source for Abilene. The West Texas Utilities Company evolved in 1923 as a member of the American Public Service Company, and Lytle Lake served its power plant. The lake changed ownership in the 1930s, when the American Public Service Company sold its holdings to Central and Southwest, Incorporated. In July 1952 Lytle Lake went dry again, and when its bed had dried (in September 1952), the lake was excavated and 700,000 cubic yards of silt were removed. The lake has an estimated capacity of 400,000,000 gallons of water, and its surface area is 163.6 acres. In October 1978 the lake was offered for sale to area residents, but they declined the offer. During the mid-1980s the West Texas Utilities Company still owned the lake, which was used by the company as a recreational facility. (Hassnik, Pamela, Texas State Historical Society)
Subsequent to this TSHS entry, Lytle Lake homeowners purchased the reservoir from West Texas Utilities and created the Lytle Lake Water Control Improvement District (LLWCID) to hold ownership of the lake. 1910 Campbell Dr is in this district.
This letter describes the origins of 1910 Campbell Dr. or the Rockledge Farm Dairy as it was known in its early days. Local history buff Jack North received this letter from a decendant of the owner who built the home. Ms. Greenblatt's narrative identifies some of the buildings shown in the photos that follow this letter and adds in a post-script the that stone exterior was shipped in from outside the area (Kansas?).
The photos below show the construction of the concrete dam, the early years of Lytle Lake and the original dairy farm that, today is known as 1910 Campbell. The letter also mentioned Price Campbell, West Texas Utilities president at the time the home was acquired by WTU. A photo of Mr. Campbell is included.