The Prairie at Round Top is a sensory, magical, romantic experience with exceptional vintage details in every direction you look. From the second you drive down the long dirt driveway through the open prairie meadows to the main house, you feel a unique adventure unfolding. As you walk the property, you will be awed by the inspiring character of vintage textures, flowering gardens, trompe l'oeil features that fool the eye and delicate colorful patinas from days past, now thoughtfully preserved. Many guests tell us they leave feeling rested, with an emotional bond and sense of well-being. We are priveleged to have many guests who return again and again to enjoy a one-of-a kind stay that The Prairie is known to deliver.
The Prairie is the original homestead of German immigrants Hedwig and Otto Mayer. Most likely travelling in covered wagons from the coast, these early pioneers settled in the beautiful rolling hills of Texas. The Mayers built the main house (pictured above) around 1880 and added additional structures as the farm expanded, including an animal barn, smokehouse, and water barn with a cistern. For 70 years the homestead housed many generations of the Mayer family and eventually sat vacant for 20 years. The main house held many secrets covered by layers of dust, dirt and old linoleum hiding precious long leaf heart pine flooring and tin walls. Hidden wall cabinets added during the prohibition era likely housed a stash of homemade brew to increase income. The dilapidated property was a diamond in the rough waiting for a new owner to bring it back to life.
The homestead was purchased in 1995 by Lenore Prudhomme, a portrait artist out of Houston who was looking for a new creative project. Lenore sought out the expertise of a restoration specialist who confirmed the property had excellent bones and was worthy of full restoration. Lenore lovingly dismantled and rebuilt each structure reusing every item reclaimed on the property. She renamed the property The Outpost at Cedar Creek, which became a popular B&B with a rustic Texas style, look, and feel during her fifteen years of ownership.
In 2011 Lenore sold The Outpost to Rachel Ashwell, the founder of the Shabby Chic brand. She renamed the B&B The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell. Ms. Ashwell added her vision of white walls, delicate flower patterns, cozy overstuffed slipcovered sofas and chippy painted vintage furniture to reinvent the property to match her style and brand. In late 2014, Ms. Ashwell began looking for a new owner. Her love for all things Texas continues to inspire her creative spirit and The Prairie will forever be near and dear to her heart.
In 2016, Holly and Brian Kuhn, owners of Old Glory Antiques in Denver, built a new store located in the heart of Round Top. The Kuhns are not new to the Round Top area: they used their artsy talents to restore several older properties in Burton, including the old Burton Dance Hall. They grew to love The Prairie after being frequent guests at the B&B during their buying trips to the Round Top Antique Show. Like many guests, their love for The Prairie grew stronger with each stay, leading them to make the property their own in late 2017. Holly has added her own signature style to The Prairie while keeping design elements added by previous owners to honor their love of the property, all with the help of dedicated property manager Danny Riebeling. Danny was one of the original contractors hired by Lenore to help renovate the property. Danny’s love for this property is evident in every nail and board placed by his own hand, including many of the flowering plants. He is fun-loving, enjoys hosting guests, and cooks a tasty breakfast.
Few properties have attracted the level of artistic talent The Prairie has seen over the last 100 years. It has served as an inspirational artistic canvas for all who have served as owners or stewards, including the staff. As a testament to all who have made this property special, countless notable home decor or travel publications visited The Prairie to photograph the B&B for a feature story. The shortlist includes The New York Times, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, Travel & Leisure, Country Living, Town and Country, Texas Highway Magazine, Fodders, Martha Stewart Living and enRoute Canada.
Hedwig and Otto Mayer would be proud their legacy thrives through these wonderful, creative visionary artists and designers who love this old homestead as much as the Mayers did. Countless weddings, reunions, getaways, creative workshops, and parties have graced The Prairie with fun, laughter, and memory-making. We would love to welcome you to our family! Come stay with us and let us spoil you for the weekend or a special event.