Ye Kendall Inn – History
Ye Kendall Inn is both a Texas and a National Landmark, and has given shelter to many famous people including Jefferson Davis, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Robert E. Lee, and most recently Miranda Lambert & Blake Shelton for their Texas Hill Country Wedding Week!
The History of Ye Kendall Inn begins April 23, 1859 when John James sold the land to Erastus and Sarah Reed for only $200. The Reeds built the center section of the Inn as their home bringing the Southern Colonial style of architecture to the Texas Hill Country. As there were no hotels for the travelers in these early days, the few homeowners of the town shared their spare rooms. The Reeds began the hotel tradition by renting out their spare rooms in the Old Reed House.
The grounds around the house served as a wagon yard for ranchers who penned their cattle in what is now the city’s main plaza, awaiting other cattle for a big drive. Col. Henry C. King and his wife, Jean Adams King, purchased the Inn on May 4, 1869. While Col. King served as state senator and covered his district on horseback, Mrs. King ran The King Place. In 1878, C.J. Roundtree and W.L. Wadsworth of Dallas purchased The King Place and renamed it the Boerne Hotel. These new owners added the two long wings on either side of the original house to accommodate the large number of health seekers attracted to Boerne’s climate.
The Boerne Hotel served as an authentic stagecoach Inn throughout the 1880′s. Dr. H.D. Barnitz purchased the Inn in 1909 and adopted the name Ye Kendall Inn after George W. Kendall, known as the first modern war correspondent for his accounts of the Mexican American War and the father of the Texas sheep industry. From 1922 to 1943, the Kendall Inn was owned by Robert L. and Maude Hickman. Mr. Hickman learned the business of hotel management while working with his father at the Old Southern Hotel in San Antonio. The Hickman’s began the many important steps of modernizing the hotel, including the installation of private baths.
Some little known, interesting facts about the Inn include evidence in the cellar of a tunnel which is said to connect the old hotel with another building a block away. The tunnel was used for protection from wandering bands of hostile Indians. The main building is constructed of native Limestone rock walls, which are 20″ thick. The front porch facing south has excellent exposure for staying cool in the hot Texas summers. The property extends down to the Cibolo Creek and consists of approximately 5.2 acres. Since 1982, this registered historical landmark has been carefully turned into a lodging paradise offering modern and even sophisticated amenities while maintaining the spirit of a region famous for frontier settlement and pioneering adventure.