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.