The Landmark Inn, built in the mid-1800s and located in the heart of Castroville, began serving travelers in 1853. However, the original structure was built as a home and dry goods store for owner and Swiss merchant Cesar Monod and featured a rear-detached kitchen.
The transformation to inn included constructing a second story and galleries to the original structure, added by second owner John Vance. The inn’s two-story bath house, built in the courtyard in the 1860s, provided the only man-made bath between San Antonio and Eagle Pass at the time. Vance called the inn the Vance Hotel and proceeded to build a 1.5-story family residence on the property, between the main structure and the Medina River, to replace their living quarters now occupied by guests.
Vance also sold the property fronting the Medina River to two businessmen who built a dam, diverting water through an underground mill race in order to power a two-story stone gristmill. The inn (later called the Landmark), gristmill, bathhouse, kitchen, and grounds were all renovated in the late 1970s and transferred, via a donation from owners and the state of Texas.
Today, the Landmark Inn State Historic Site, a Texas Historical Commission property, offers unique historic lodging in guest rooms, serving as an ideal launching point for exploring the Alsatian architecture and culture of Castroville. A continental breakfast is served each morning and the site offers guided tours, fishing, swimming, and picnicking for both guests and day users.
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