In August of 1995 I acquired the Hammond House from the Calvert Chamber of Commerce and the Robertson County Historical Society. The processes that brought the house to me were about as strange as the history of the house itself, and, indeed those two stories are intertwined. It all begins during the days of Reconstruction. In 1870, by an act of the State Legislature, the county seat of Robertson County was moved to Calvert, Texas. This was the fourth county seat, and, perhaps in hopes of making Calvert the last, the Commissioners began to build a beautiful and impressive jail and had plans for a courthouse nearby. Alas, in 1879 the county seat was again moved to Franklin, this time as the result of a vote in a local election. The courthouse in Calvert was never built, but the jail, now known as the Hammond House, stands today.
After the cells were removed and sent off to the new jail in Franklin, the
building was sold to a local man named Andy Faulkner who then turned it into a
hotel. We believe it was Faulkner who made the major changes to the part of the
building that was originally used as the cell room. In 1885 Faulkner sold the
house to Robert Brown who used it as his residence, and eventually sold it to
my great grandmother, Fannie Lee Hammond, in 1909. Fannie Lee, or Nannie as she
was better known, raised her family in the downstairs and rented the upstairs
to boarders. My father and his brothers and sisters were all raised in the
house. My grand father died in the house in 1963, and his heirs sold it to the
Calvert Chamber of Commerce, which in turn deeded it to the Robertson County
Historical Society. The RCHS valiantly tried to turn the building into a house
museum, but eventually felt it best to deed it back to the family, and the only
one interested in taking it was me (or "I" for you grammarians).
Bill H. Norton
Former Owner, The Hammond House