Stephen F. Austin State University

Van Hook House

303 S. Washington, Marshall

Current Owner 2013: Smith Gillam LLP

Sanborn Maps:

TX Historical Marker

The Van Hook House became a TX Historical Marker in 1999.

Architectural Survey

Architectural Survey

• Description: The Van Hook home is a two-story, frame, Folk Victorian structure, with a double balcony porch decorated with falt jigsaw trim and spindlework railing. The front façade contains a single primary door entrance with a transom and headlights.

• Significance: Was built by Nathan S. Allen, an architect who designed many homes and business in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Historical Background

Major Nathan S. Allen of the Confederate Army drew plans and built this house for his daughter, Mrs. Albert Van Hook in 1880. Allen and his family were visiting his sister from Maryland when the Civil War broke out and trapped them in East Texas according to family files found in the Van Hook file in the Harrison County Archives. In 1870 he and his family moved to Shreveport, where he designed many prominent buildings and expansive late-Victorian houses until his death in 1922. Kate Allen, one of seven children, was born in 1855. Her husband, Albert Van Hook, who was two years older, was a merchant at the time of their marriage working with his father in a hardware store and sheet metal shop on the square. When Albert died in 1918, Kate continued to live in the home until her death in 1951, at which time the house was left to their two daughters, Katie Van Hook Carroll and Ethel Van Hook Blocker. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 44, P. 356 filed, December 12, 1951.)

In 1952, Ethel Van Hook sold the home Lonnie and Evelyn Sibley. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 433, Pg. 492, filed May 13, 1954.) Ten years later the house was sold once again to Ralph G. and Gail Beil, who later purchased the Weisman Home. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 1377, Pg. 130, filed December 16, 1994.) The Beils began restoring the house but it was Dr. James Prince and wife Denise who purchased the home in 1999 that were responsible for how the home looks today. (Harrison County Deed Records, Vol. 1912, Pg. 175, filed March 4, 1999.) The Princes extensively restored the Van Hook home in 2000. Dave Snow helped rebuild the house porch and restored the bay windows.

Originally the house had six mantled fireplaces but only one remains today. Old photographs were saved by the Van Hooks grandson, Douglass Blocker, which showed what the house originally looked like in 1880. Today the home resembles much of what it looked like in the 1880's thanks to the Prince family. In 2005 James and Denise sold the home to Yellow House Management, who now rents it out to the Gillam Smith Law Firm.

Van Hook Photos