Historic Ott Hotel
|THE OTT HOTEL RECEIVES
TEXAS HISTORICAL MARKER
After 78 years the Ott Hotel
finally received a well deserved
accommodation from the State of
| A True Love Story of the Ott Hotel
1930 IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT SOMETIME
AROUND THE FALL OF THE YEAR, OCTOBER OR
NOVEMBER, A YOUNG WOMEN NAMED LUCY WAS
STAYING AT THE OTT HOTEL WITH HER LOVER. THEY
WERE HAVING AN AFFAIR. LUCY WAS MARRIED TO A
MAN NAMED JOSHUA. HE FOUND OUT ABOUT THE
AFFAIR AND CAME LOOKING FOR HER. HIS
APPEARANCE WAS THAT OF A TALL AND SLENDER
MAN, DRESSED IN A BLACK COWBOY HAT, BLACK
DUSTER COAT, AND BLACK BOOTS. JOSHUA KNOCKED
ON ALL THE DOORS OF THE HOTEL UNTIL HE FOUND
LUCY.LUCY OPENED THE DOOR TO HER ROOM. SHE
WAS DRESSED IN A WHITE NIGHTGOWN. A HEATED
ARGUMENT OCCURRED IN THE UP STAIRS HALLWAY
AND THEN OUT OF NO WHERE A LOUD GUN SHOT WAS
HEARD BY ALL IN THE HOTEL. LUCY LAY DEAD ON THE
FLOOR AS WELL AS HER HUSBAND JOSHUA . TO THIS
DAY IT IS UNCLEAR WHO SHOT AND KILLED THE
MARRIED COUPLE, BUT IT WAS VERY CLEAR THEY
WERE BOTH KILLED BY THE SAME BULLET.
A HORRIBLE LOVE GONE AWRY.
TODAY THEY BOTH STILL WALK THE HALLS OF THE
HISTORIC Ott HOTEL AND YOU CAN STILL HEAR THE
ARGUMENT IN THE UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. ONCE A YEAR
WHEN THE NOVEMBER WIND BLOWS FROM THE NORTH
YOU WILL STILL HEAR THE SINGLE GUNSHOT THAT
CLAIMED THE LIVES OF TWO LOVES WHO WERE BOTH
KILLED BY A SINGLE SHOT OF JEALOUSY.
IF YOU WANT
THE PAGE AND
SOME KIND OF
|The Ott Hotel being built
in the summer of 1928
|The Haunted Historic
Ott Hotel January 2007
visitor of The
that you bring a
and just photo all
the orbs you want.
|The Haunted Historic
For reservations call 936-336-3832
|Actual inscription on the Historical marker
Built to capitalize on oil boom prosperity, The OTT Hotel became a Liberty
landmark. The regional economy in the early 20th century focused on trade,
timber and agriculture. The discovery of large oil fields. Including Batson
(15miles NE) and south Liberty (4 miles S.) brought great activity to Liberty as
the nearest rail connection, and many new buildings went up, including
restaurants, general stores and this railroad hotel.
Louisiana native John Joshua Ott (1867-1939) and his wife Sallie Wiggins Ott
(1874-1963) of San Jacinto county hired contractor Elza Burch to build the
hotel. Completed in late 1928 adjacent to the Texas & New Orleans railroad
tracks and very near the depot. The Ott Hotel was well positioned to sever train
passengers and was known as a Drummer Hotel. Named for the traveling
salesmen of the day. Its location was also ideally suited for automobile tourists
on the Old Spanish Trail (later State Highway 3 and U.S. Highway 90). As well as
those with business in the nearby liberty county courthouse.
The hotel's original design included 50 rooms in an L-shaped building footprint,
with community baths in the middle of the long halls. Dining room and parlor
space were later converted into additional rooms. A sign painted on the bricks
on the side along the railroad attracted new arrivals. This two-story brick
building features paired windows and has a prominent four-bay front porch
with tapered wood columns, A low-pitch roof and brick detailing.
Craftsman-style exposed rafter tails outline the porch and the entire building.
Several managers operated the hotel, and the property remained in the Ott
family until 2002 when Mr. & Mrs. Mc Cain purchased the hotel.
Recorded Texas Historical Landmark - 2005
Wow !! Can you ever imagine being the person who is so old that they don't
know when their birthday is, but knows how old they are ?
Here at the Historic Ott Hotel we had that kind of dilemma of not knowing the
actual opening date just knowing we were born in 1928.
Due to this photo we have determined that the opening date was sometime
after August 9th, 1928. Looking at the stage of construction we have come
up with December 31st as our birthday. We are really excited about our past
and the future to come.
| WEDDING BELLS
HISTORIC OTT HOTEL
1945 MR. & MRS. DEMPSEY HENLEY HONEY MOON
2002 LINDA TARRANT
& JOE KENT DINNING ROOM
2005 DORTHY (PEANUT)
& WYNDAL NUGGENT LOBBY
2006 ALANNA McCAIN
& JACOB WILLIAMSON FRONT PORCH
2009 SHIELA DANURAND
& CHARLES MARLIN WILLIAMS LOBBY
2009 SEPTEMBER WEDDING PARTY
At a time when the trains where moving west and a weary traveler
wanted a good bed, a hot meal, and a warm bath, the OTT Hotel
The OTT Hotel is the oldest remaining building on Travis Street in
Liberty, Texas. Liberty is located in the southern part of Liberty
County at the gateway of the Big Thicket and Seven Pines area.
Liberty Texas the home of the OTT Hotel is the third oldest city in
Texas. Liberty, Texas was established on March 30, 1831 five years
before Texas declared it's independence from Mexico. Liberty's
original name under Mexican rule was "ATASCOSITO".
The land that the OTT Hotel sits on today was originally owned by
The OTT Hotel was built in 1928 by contractor Eliza Burch. Eliza
Burch died on November 11, 1957 in Liberty County. Mr. Burch built
the OTT Hotel for Mr. John Joshua Ott and his wife Mrs. Salie
John Joshua Ott was born February 13, 1867 in Louisiana to Mr.
Isxic Isaha Ott (father) and Mrs. Sara Mizelle Ott (mother). Salie
Wiggins Ott was born on May 22, 1874 in San Jacinto County, Texas.
Salie was six years old on the 1880 U.S.A. Census Report.
John and Salie where married in March 15, 1894.
John Joshua Ott was laid to rest on March 7, 1939 at Lourel Lynn
Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.
Salie Wiggins Ott was laid to rest on July 18, 1963. She was buried
next to her husband at the Lourel Lynn Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.
In 1831, Mr. James B. Woods purchased block # 31 lot # 3 in the
down town district of the City of Liberty, Liberty County, Texas.
In 1903 there was great excitement in Liberty over the Batson oil
boom. Tycoons ans oil speculators came from North,South, East,
and West. There was no train to Batson. It was located in the
southwestern Hardin County, and Liberty was one of the nearest
train stops and the quickest route to the new discovery of "liquid
gold". The travel to and through Liberty was a sizable increase in
local business for hotels, restaurants, hacks and other enterprises.
In 1914 B.M. O'Brien owned lot # 3 until 1919 when Mr. E.W. Pickett
also purchased part of block # 31 lot # 3. Both of these men held
ownership of this land until 1926. When Block # 31 lot # 3 was sold
to Mr. A.L. Kayser.
On January 27, 1928 the land was purchased by Mr. John Joshua Ott
and Mrs. Salie Ott. Then block # 31 lot # 3 was cleared for
construction of the Ott Hotel. An article was printed by The Houston
Press Newspaper out of Galveston, Texas along with a photo of the
new "Modern" 50 room Ott Hotel on August 8, 1928. Showing the
finishing touches to the front of the Ott Hotel.
The Ott Hotel was built in 1928 because of the "boom town" growth
Liberty and Liberty County where experiencing. The population of
Liberty was on the incline in 1920, with 1117 listed on the U.S.
Census Report. In 1925 oil in commercial quantities was discovered
in South Liberty, centered on a high sandy ridge atop a coastal salt
dome about four miles south of the courthouse on the league of
land granted by Mexican government to Matthew G. White in
1831.Only a few landowners, including the Allen Barretts and the
large Mitchell family, lived in the area at the time, but within a few
months at least fifty frame buildings lined the streets. On a small
scale, it was another overnight town like Spindle Top, Sour Lake,
and Batson. The field is still producing from the original sands and
through deeper development in more recent years. By 1973, it had
produced 74,087,103 barrels of oil, making it one of the most prolific
salt dome fields on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The first well was
drilled by Liberty Oil Company was sunk in the fall of 1903. Mr.
Pickett was president of the oil company.
On June 30, 1942 Price Daniel ( Governor of the State of Texas)
purchased part of block # 31 lot # 3 in the City of Liberty. Mr.
Dainiels held block # 31 lot # 3 until November 30, 1956.
The Houston Press Newspaper from Galveston Texas reported Mr.
And Mrs. Ott were from Conroe, Texas. This is only half true. The
Ott's had purchased a boarding house in Conroe, Texas some time
before the Ott Hotel was built. It was also said that Mr. Ott owned a
small hotel in Dallas, Texas as well. The Ott Hotel has a variety of
on site managers over the years.
The Ott estate was divided between their grandchildren, Patricia
Lee O' Dell , Walter B. Lee III of Harris County, Texas and Ann Hardy
Prince of Spring , Texas. Granddaughter Ann Prince purchased the
other grand children's shares of the Ott Hotel. Ann Prince of the
Woodlands became sole owner in 1997.
On January 11, 2002 Mr. Kelly David and Susan Elaine Mc Cain
purchased the Ott Hotel. The Ott Hotel went into major restoration.
The Ott Hotel Has been restored to the 1928 interior. The hotel is a
prime example of 1920's modern architecture, a favorite style used
during the development of South Texas. The hotel is a two story
ship lap structure with high 10 foot ceilings, and five column porch
that covers the main entrance. But one of the most distinctive
external features is the building's fifty eight rectangle windows
placed for air flow ( remember the Ott Hotel did not have air
condition until 1980). So travelers could enjoy the breeze and watch
the bustling train depot from the windows of the grand front porch.
The interior of the hotel reflects the past with airy ten foot ceilings,
original wall trim, wall color, and wooden floors. The upstairs
contains hotel rooms, and a bath at the middle of the long hall. One
bath for the men and one for the ladies. Most of the furniture from
the early years of the hotel is here, reflecting years of hard work.
The second floor is accessible by a staircase from the first floor
lobby. The downs stairs area featured a spacious lobby with the
original 1928 front counter along with original hotel registers, still in
existence, record for posterity the names of train crews, oil field
workers, salesman, and governors - a Microcosm of the history of
the area and mini museum of the history of the Ott Hotel along with
history, photos of Liberty, Texas from the past and artifacts left
from travelers from years ago. More rooms, a washroom, and office
space round out the first floor. The dining room was closed as the
oil boom brought many restaurants to the town. Family style meals
gave way to the newer style eatery. The need for rooms was great
so there fore, the dining room was portioned into a small apartment.
The parlor was turned into an office.
The Ott Hotel is distinguished for it's historical significance and
architectural design. Historically, it is a vivid reminder everyone
especially to many in the community of Liberty of the enterprising
spirit of the pioneers who came to South Texas. As for today, the
Ott Hotel still stands and operates as the original design it was built
for. Thee Ott Hotel is still a functioning train hotel. The Ott Hotel Still
stands only 14 feet from the railroad tracks and 150 feet from the
original train depot ( which is still standing today) the hotel radiates
a distinct aura of the past. You can almost hear the old steam
engine and smell the coal, and step back to a time when the
innocence was still innocent to that so special place that Norman
Rockwall took us with his art work.
Maybe not all innocence was lost, because today as well as in 1928
when the OTT Hotel opened it's doors, you can still stand on the
grand five column porch and watch the trains travel past 20 times a
day and know the past and the present are not all that different.
HOW THE OTT HOTEL CAME TO BE ?
|WHY SHOULD WE
If we wish to have
a future with
we must concern
ourselves with the
total heritage of
the Nation and all
that is worth
our past as a living
part of the present.
Preservation Act of
Reaffirmed in 1992
by the United States
" The spirit and
direction of the
Nation are founded
upon reflection in
its historic heritage.
The historical and
of the Nation should
be preserved as a
living part of our
community life and
order to give a
sense of orientation
to the AMERICAN
significant to the
are being lost or
The preservation of
heritage is in the
public interest so
that its vital legacy
energy benefits will
be maintained and
enriched for future
THANK YOU FOR
VISITING OUR SITE AT
THE HISTORIC OTT
TOURS CAN BE
BOOKED THUR THE
OFFICE PLEASE CALL
$15.00 PER PERSON
TOUR ABOUT THREE
OPEN TOURS ARE
HELD ONCE A MONTH
ON A FRIDAY OR
AT 7PM. CALL FOR
TO BOOK A HAUNTED
ROOM YOU MUST
TELL THE OFFICE
YOU WANT A
HAUNTED ROOM OR
YOU MAY BE PUT IN A
ROOM HAS 1 DOUBLE
BED. ONLY TWO
PEOPLE TO A ROOM.
CALL FOR PRICE AND
JUST LIKE 1928
NO BATHROOM IN
ECT. ECT. ECT....
YOU GET THE IDEA !!!
THE HISTORIC OTT HOTEL
WILL BE HOSTING THE
FOLLOWING GROUPS TO
Huffman Paranormal Ghost
WE HAVE HAD A GREAT
TIME WITH ALL OUR
GUEST AT THE HOTEL.
EVIDENCE PLACED ON
THE LOBBY COMPUTER IN
THE FOLLOWING WEEKS.
JUST A FEW NEW PHOTOS
MOVING ORB BY THE HOTEL DOOR IN UPSTAIRS HALL WAY.
GHOSTLY APPARITION IN HALLWAY,
MORE NEW PHOTOS AWAIT YOU AT THE HISTORIC OTT HOTEL