Completed in 1858 for Dr. Baylis Wood Earle, wife, Eliza Harrison Earle and family, this side-entry Greek Revival style home is Waco’s only restored antebellum building. With nine cypress columns and longleaf heart pine exterior sheathing, the 5,000 square foot structure has fourteen foot first-floor ceilings, walkthrough windows onto verandas, and spacious rooms. Its collection of fine Victorian furnishings and artifacts were gifts from Waco citizens, and Earle & Harrison descendants.
Earle-Harrison House served as the home of the Earle and the Harrison families until 1891, when its second owner, General Thomas Harrison (Eliza’s brother) died. The house was sold upon settlement of the Harrison estate, and it passed out of the family’s hands before the beginning of the 20th century.
Eventually becoming subdivided into apartments and falling into disrepair, the building was slated for demolition in order to build a motel (now the Clarion Inn). Relocation and restoration began in 1967, with the impassioned vision of local residents, Nell Jurney Pape and her friend Lavonia Jenkins Barnes. Columns and the roof were removed, and its oak timberframe structure was cut in half with a chainsaw in order to lift the upper and lower sections on to trailers for the 1.9 mile ride to its site. A three-year restoration of the building was completed with architect Rayford Stripling’s guidance. Public tours were first offered in 1970. A plaque was awarded to Earle-Harrison House in 1970 by the Texas Historical Commission.