Preservation Texas recognizes rehabilitation of Fort Davis Masonic Lodge with honor award

Julie and Bruce Webb, Fort Davis residents who renovated the town’s old Masonic Lodge and turned it into a folk art gallery, recently received an award from Preservation Texas for the undertaking. Photo courtesy of Julie Webb.

SAN MARCOS — Preservation Texas, the statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to historic preservation, is proud to announce the rehabilitation of the Fort Davis Masonic Lodge and Scobee Adobe House in Fort Davis, Texas, as one of 12 projects being recognized with its 2023 Preservation Texas Honor Award. 

The buildings were previously included on Preservation Texas’ Most Endangered Places list in 2021. The award for the Fort Davis Masonic Lodge and Scobee Adobe House was presented to Julie Webb at Preservation Texas’s Northeast Texas Regional Preservation Summit in Tyler on September 7, 2023. 

“The saving of these endangered buildings will not only protect an important piece of West Texas history, but also contribute to the economic and cultural development of the region as home to a new art gallery,” said Evan Thompson, executive director of Preservation Texas.

Presented every other year, Preservation Texas Honor Awards recognize outstanding efforts to restore, preserve, rehabilitate or reconstruct historic places that have been individually included on Preservation Texas’ Most Endangered Places list or relate to a previous statewide thematic endangered listing. This year’s Honor Awards celebrate the remarkable efforts made by individuals, organizations, and communities to rehabilitate once imperiled historic places, breathing new life into cherished structures while honoring their historical significance and architectural integrity.

Located at 105 N. Front Street, the “Scobee Adobe” is an 1884 adobe house named for pulp fiction writer Barry Scobee, who lived there from 1945-1977. Situated along the Overland Trail stage route, the structure once served as a post office. In 1906, an abutting, one-story stone bank building was constructed. This building was later purchased by the Fort Davis Masons who, in 1928, added a second story which functioned as a lodge hall through the mid-1970s. The buildings were later donated to Jeff Davis County.

In 2022, the vacant and long-neglected buildings were purchased by Julie and Bruce Webb, owners of popular folk art gallery Webb Gallery in Waxahachie. To date, the Webbs have completed rehabilitation of the lodge hall building, which now serves an art gallery called Webb’s Fair and Square. The rehabilitation of the Scobee Adobe House is currently underway.