Saving the Oldest Town in Texas

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Stephen F. Austin State University Press, Oct 15, 2018 - HISTORY - 280 pages
When Col. Benjamin Wettermark emptied the bank and skipped town in 1903, he left his wife, his children and his mansion behind. Saving the Oldest Town in Texas looks at the banker, the house designed by the best architect in Nacogdoches and the impact Col. Wettermark's betrayal had on the woman who loved him and the town that trusted him. Over a hundred years later, Peggy Jensen wonders if she is brave enough to renovate a home that seems too far gone. She could almost say the same thing about herself. She is alone, stiffening up in all her joints, at loose ends after seven years watching her husband's brilliant mind deteriorate. Her daughter talked her into moving to the Oldest Town in Texas, and Peggy wants to renovate a historic home. It is just her luck to fall in love with a deteriorating scandal-ridden mansion. The chapters alternate between the current day struggle to renovate the mansion and the turn-of-the century story of Col. Wettermark, his wife Daisy and his children. Peggy's first friend is a born-in-Nacogdoches research librarian who discovers, literally, where the bodies are buried.

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Reviewed by Dawn Weaver for Readers' Favorite
What do you see in an old house that looks like it’s about to collapse? Do you see its history? Do you catch a glimpse of the grandeur that it once
held? Do you wonder about the people who called the house their home? That is what Peggy does in Saving the Oldest Town in Texas by Linda Thorsen Bond when she steps into the old Wettermark house while looking for a new home in Nacogdoches, Texas. She is gripped with an irresistible desire to restore this home to its original beauty. Along the way, this spunky 78-year-old attracts a wide assortment of co-restorers, helpers, and friends, and she discovers the amazing and disturbing story behind this incredible home in the oldest town in Texas.
I absolutely loved Saving the Oldest Town in Texas by Linda Thorsen Bond! This book is an incredible blend of two stories, separated by over a century, but joined at the heart. Bond flawlessly intertwines the tragedy of the Wettermark family with the restoration journey of Peggy and the town she now calls her home; Nacogdoches, Texas. I thoroughly enjoyed both aspects of the story. I couldn’t wait to return to the 19th century to find out how Daisy was doing, and then I couldn’t wait to come back to modern-day Nacogdoches to see how Peggy’s restoration efforts were faring. Both stories were captivating and filled with memorable and lovable characters! If ever there was a book to inspire historical renovators, this is it!

About the author (2018)

LINDA THORSEN BOND lived for several years in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she taught at Stephen F. Austin State University. She currently lives in Longmont, Colorado with her husband.

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