The W. D. Kincaid/James Lewis Wade Home
403 North Eighth Street
Built in 1887-1888 for the W. D. Kincaid family on land originally owned by the Murphys, founders of Murphyville (Alpine), Queen Ann Victorian red brick home with arched brick window and door headers, shingled gabled ends, and railed porch is an example of a simplified Queen Anne cottage, an architectural style popular in the early 20th century.
Except for the kitchen, the entire house has the original stained pine woodwork, high ceilings, and hardwood floors. The five fireplaces with original mantles create the feeling of traveling back in time.
The center of the house has a long hallway that spans from front to rear, which maximizes air circulation. Additionally, the home boasts 7-foot windows, original glass transoms, and connecting doors that also served as a natural air conditioner.
The Kinkaid-Wade home is updated to include a modern kitchen (there is still a portion of the chimney from the old wood-burning cooking area inside the cabinet over the current stove), central air and heat, and bathrooms. Most of the five fireplaces still have the original tile, mantles, and mirrors, although they were once coal-burning and now have electric heater inserts.
Kincaid and his partner owned and operated Kincaid and Altgelt, a general mercantile store specializing in building materials. In 1904 Kincaid sold the business, and a year later, he sold his home to the James Lewis Wade family.
Wade, a Kentucky native, moved to Alpine from Ozona, where he was a sheep rancher for several years. He purchased a ranch in the Glass Mountains where he raised cattle and horses, many of which he sold to the U.S. Cavalry. He also owned irrigated farms along the Rio Grande.
His wife, Mary Elizabeth, was the daughter of an early Texas pioneer, Capt. Sam Barnes, a famed frontiersman and Indian fighter. She became successful, establishing the first fully equipped, mechanically operated steam laundry in the area. She recruited experts in cleaning techniques to work the business until trained locals could run the laundry. She received a special merit award from the U.S. government for her invaluable service to Ft. D. A. Russell and its hospital facilities during the 1917 flu epidemic.
The Wades were parents of eight children, and all were active in civic, educational, and religious activities throughout the early years of Alpine. They promoted spiritual growth in the entire community. The spacious Wade home became the center for church services of various denominations until new churches were built. The Alpine Church of Christ was organized in this home and conducted all of its services here for several years.
The last of the original Wade family, Miss Electa Wade, lived in this home until the 1980’s. She died December 29, 1993, in Alpine.
Present owners are Sharon and Tom Kelner, who purchased the home in 2019 with the plan of creating a traditional bed and breakfast that focuses on comfort, innovative home-cooked food, and first-class accommodations for visitors to Alpine, Big Bend, and the surrounding area. Hoping to minimize the impact on the feel of the home, the only significant changes they made were to add two full bathrooms and remove the connecting door between two rooms.
For More information on the Kinkaid-Wade house or to make a reservation at the B&B, please visit https://www.alpinetxbnb.com