History

Who Built the Bluebonnet House? See the Facts: Bluebonnet House Part 3

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(Read Part 1 of our series here.)

Because of a recent debate over who actually built the bluebonnet house, we’ll start with a few basic facts that will allow us to move forward learning about the house and the families that have lived in it, plus its future. As mentioned in Part 1 of the Vandeveer story, in the 1850’s the Republic of Texas issued grants to give free land to settlers in order to attract them to the state, and Logan Vandeveer qualified for several thousand acres based on the time he came to Texas, his participation in the Battle of San Jacinto, and the fact that he was a head of household.

A portion of available unimproved land that Logan picked included 1,300 acres which happened to be where the Bluebonnet House rests today. In order to attain ownership, he was required to get the land surveyed, which he did in 1853. The actual documentation and paperwork required for Logan to take ownership of the land is on record at the Texas General Land Office. So we believe proof that he owned the land where the house was built is strong evidence that Logan would have been the obvious builder.

But there are some who are maintaining the belief that the house was built by Christian Dorbandt, another early settler of Burnet County. Dorbandt and Logan obviously knew each other because of each one’s tie to Fort Croghan. Logan was selling beef to the fort; Dorbandt was a Sergeant Quartermaster there. There are 3 simple reasons that make the argument that Dorbandt built it very difficult to prove or to even make common sense. Fact 1: As stated above, Logan owned the land at the time that the house was believed to have been built in 1853. Who builds houses of any kind, and certainly not two-story, double-walled, rock houses on land someone else owns? That is highly unlikely. Some have even acknowledged that they know Logan owned the land but Dorbandt built it despite that, and he was leasing the land. That doesn’t happen either, or least not in the real world.

The Second Owners of the Bluebonnet House: Bluebonnet House Part 4
Fact 2: Christian Dorbandt did not appear to have the financial assets required to build such a structure. How do we know that? The 1854 Burnet County Tax Assessment lists him with no real or personal taxable property of any kind. It also shows that Logan had taxable property including buildings, 35 horses, 1,000 cattle. etc. totaling $11,250. That’s equal to almost $350,000 in today’s money.

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