A historic getaway awaits at Oaklea Mansion

Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 4:04 PM EDT
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Going back over 100 years, the Carlock House has been a staple of Winnsboro, first as a family home and later on as a bed & breakfast. The location is recorded as a Texas Historical Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historical Places, and now under new ownership, the doors are open once again as Oaklea Mansion Bed & Breakfast where visitors can stay in this historic home and soak up what life in early 20th century Texas was like!

“Everywhere you go, everything looks like it was here since 1903,” said owner Casie Buck. “Some of the rooms you even stay in may have a piece of history in it from the Carlocks. I did try to take the rooms back to their roots. Everything kind of sticks to the theme of the house and the history of what’s here.”

The house was built in 1903 by Marcus Dewitt Carlock, Sr. As someone who loved to entertain, Mr. Carlock picked the best for everything he used during to construct the then 2-story house. Once Carlock Sr passed in the 1930s, his son inherited it and used it as a home until the 1990s when Norma Wilkinson bought the house and began to turn it into a bed & breakfast.

“From ‘96 until 2013, you could have possibly stayed at Oaklea and [Norma] put in the third floor. So, it became a three-story structure at that point with six bedrooms,” said Buck. While the bed & breakfast began to dwindle away after 2013, Norma Wilkinson continued to own the home until Casie Buck came into the story and fell in love with the home.

“[Norma] that owned it before me, I did not realize I was related to her. And one day my grandmother was like, ‘Do you want to go see the big White House?’” said Buck. “And so, when I got to come inside, I don’t know what it was like. I just opened the door, and it was just like, ‘This is amazing.’ This is not what I expected at all.”

After working the numbers and one day reaching a deal, Casie Buck took over and by January of 2022, visitors were able to start booking rooms once again. She is even creating a museum showcasing the history of the home and to help visitors learn about the Carlocks and their influence in Winnsboro.

It’s easy to see why people enjoy staying at this historic site, not only for what you can find indoors, but the grounds outside where you can meet the doves, sit by the koi pond, and really feel like you’ve escaped from city life and have the whole world to yourself.

Even if you’re not looking for a weekend trip or a stay overnight, Oaklea Mansion can also be used an a venue for events and weddings! Another perfect use of the grounds outside, and the main floor of the home that has multiple sitting rooms, a dining room, parlor space, and a patio for guests to enjoy no matter what event you may be having.

“We’ve actually had people stay in the house. They’ve booked the whole house, stayed for the weekend, had the wedding, had their reception and everything, and then the next morning come down, have breakfast all together and just enjoy the weekend,” said Buck. “And we are located just a little ways from downtown. So, people usually walk downtown, enjoy the shops, the different venues, and the different things happening downtown.”

To see a sneak peek of the rooms and learn more about Oaklea Mansion before you visit, you can check out their website or visit their Facebook page.

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