Steeped in local history and some lore, the house at 4011 Texoma Parkway is perched on top of a hill and is situated in an area sometimes referred to as the Gateway of Denison.
Built in 1947 by J.C. Jacques, an inventor and business owner, the house is currently owned by Terisa Washington Wilson. Wilson with her husband, Stephen Kiley Wilson, purchased the home in 2007 and started a lengthy process to renovate the house as well as the surrounding 10-acre property.
Though Stephen Wilson suddenly died in 2010, Terisa Wilson carried on with preserving the piece of Denison history and planning for the future of the property that Wilson hopes will one day become a destination. Wilson said the area near the estate is prospering with commercial endeavors, so Wilson and her fiance Thomas Nicholson have taken steps to one day make the property more accessible to the public.
The white house, characterized by imposing tall columns running along the facade, overlooks Texoma Parkway from behind a fence with two gates. Though the southern gate is nonfunctioning, Wilson noted they hope to reopen that gate and connect the driveway again as it once curved around the property. The current entrance is through the northern gate and the driveway winds around and up the hill to the back of the house.
The house forms an L with a pool and patio nestled into the shape. Walking up to the front door, a long covered porch is decorated with white rocking chairs — the ideal spot to enjoy an afternoon with a cool beverage. The location of the house, Wilson said, is named Breezy Hill, and the namesake is self-evident as the spot stays cool from the summer heat.
Walking inside, a grand staircase is located in the foyer and the space connects to the various sections of the house. With antiques and ornate furniture, the décor makes the house feel stately. The main parlor is off the entry area and highlights the charm of the house. An elegant chandelier, original to the house, hangs from the ceiling. At the southwest end of the house is a sunroom featuring numerous windows and built-in bookcases and display cabinets.
In 1957, the house was purchased by W.H. Brown, a well-known doctor who Wilson said delivered more than 2,000 babies. For a time, Brown was also on the board of directors for the Denison-based Yellow Jacket Boat Company. A co-owner of that company was western star Roy Rogers, whose picture was once taken on the porch of the Denison house.
After the Wilsons purchased the home, they began an extensive remodel including expanding the house. When Brown owned the house, the estate did not have a garage but a carport. A garage was added and a two-bedroom apartment was constructed above the space. The spacious apartment is equipped with a living space, a kitchen and a full bathroom. The apartment is accessible from a multipurpose space that contains the laundry room and connects the garage to a second living space. The two-car garage has doors on both the driveway and the pool side that open the space up to a breeze.
Going back to the main section of the house, the front foyer connects to a room that was previously used a formal dining space. The room was opened up to the kitchen, and it features built-in China cabinets. The kitchen has been modernized, and Wilson noted that during the remodeling, the linoleum floors were removed and the original wood floors were uncovered.
Off the kitchen is another living space that includes built-in wooden cabinets and shelves. This room has access to the full-sized basement. Wilson rescues cats so a portion of the basement was converted into an intricate palace for her seven cats. The section is divided into pens that have catwalks to enclosed patios on the ground level on the back of the house.
Going upstairs, the house once featured four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Two of the bedrooms make up the master suite that has access to balcony over the sunroom. Another bedroom has access to a second, larger balcony that also connects to the apartment.
Several yards away, behind the house is a large white barn that was original to the property. Last year, the barn was remodeled. Metal covers the exterior to help preserve the whitewashed wooden interior. The downstairs interior serves as a multipurpose space that can host events with large numbers of the people. At the back of the barn is an enclosed space that Wilson uses as her studio and office. The upstairs is a single massive room currently used as storage.
Wilson noted that her fiance Nicholson had championed most of the work done to the property in recent years.
“Thomas has really saved me up here because I couldn’t keep up with this place by myself,” Wilson said.
After taking a viticulture course at Grayson College, Nicholson planted a vineyard on a section of the property in May. The grapevines that are set to grow Tempranillo and Cabernet grapes are expected to mature in three years. Wilson envisions her property becoming a venue for wine-tasting and eventually convert the house to be a part of the community.