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Texas in Review - Liendo (1958)
Texas Historical Commission
  • Map
  • Highlights
    Liendo Plantation
    1853, Leonard B. Gross
    Description of house, how it was built, materials used to build it
    Georgia Longleaf Yellow Pine
    Interior rooms, four poster bed
    Wood portrait of William Gross
    Elizabeth Ney, the important woman associated with Liendo
    Table where Sam Houston sat
  • Transcript
    Would you believe that you can go back over a century in time, to a Southern Colonial area, where an abundance of Spanish moss hangs from ancient oak trees? 
    Back to a peaceful place steeped in history and located just a short fifty miles west of the bustling metropolis of Houston? 
    We've found just such a place. 
    The strangely beautiful story of Liendo began over one hundred years ago.
    In 1853 Leonard B. Gross built an elaborate plantation house and moved his family there. 
    The new home, named "Liendo" for a former owner of the plantation, stood in a grove of live oaks, near a bend in a creek. 
    Here, Liendo has stood for over a century defying time and weather, preserving a portrait of an era that is gone.
    The home is a two story clap board structure set on a red brick foundation. 
    The roof is of heavy cedar shingles. 
    The double veranda across the front of the house is supported by four tall square columns. 
    The lumber used was cut from Georgia long leaf yellow pine, shipped to Houston, then taken 50 miles west by ox cart to the remote site. 
    At the rear, an outside staircase gives easy access to the house. 
    This was used in rainy weather to protect the main entrance.
     It must be remembered that Liendo's time was an era where the main entrance and parlor were off bounds until visitors arrived.
    The many windows, once shuttered against the South Texas sun, now light eleven large rooms, all of which have high ceilings.
    One such room is the elaborate master bedroom with its 4 poster bed.
    Even as one enters this room, he is taken back a hundred years to another Texas, an early Texas, where furnishings were built to last.
    Crude by modern standards, these furnishings were the best that money could buy in the middle of the 19 thcentury. 
    Many of these pieces were shipped to Liendo from eastern cities.
    Others, such as plain pine tables, stools, shelves, were handmade by a local carpenter.
    Burned into wood by an early artist, is a portrait of William Gross, member of the family that built Liendo and occupied the mansion until 1873. 
    While it was the Gross family that built and furnished much of Liendo, the plantation is associated more closely with another family and in particular with one woman. 
    To find out a little more about her, we went to the hall. 
    Here we saw a self sculpted portrait of Elizabet Ney. 
    Time doesn't permit the telling of the strange story of Liendo's most famous mistress.  
    Suffice it to say, Liendo's story would be incomplete without a mention of this remarkable woman.
    In the parlor of Liendo can be found many interesting items, such as a table at which Sam Houston and other notables sat.
    Here too, in the cornices above the draperies, can be seen artistic wood work, painstakingly executed.
    The plastered mantle in the parlor is of black and gold marble. 
    In Liendo's greatest days of splendor, this room was the focal point.
    Cotton kings and merchants stood under these chandeliers and toasted an era of great wealth. 
    As the war between the states ended, so ended the graciousness and opulence of Liendo. 
    The plantation with its fine furnishing became an economic liability for that time. 
    Today Liendo is owned by a descendent of the Gross family.
    She has restored the plantation house to its former beauty, a beauty enhanced by moss covered oaks.
    Historic, magnificent, Liendo.