Our buildings have a deep history in Bellville as well. On the site of the main building, James & Caroline Ervin from Georgia, married in San Felipe in 1840, became among the heaviest investors in Bellville town lots when it was first sprouting up.
In 1849 Ervin built Bellville’s first business house, including a hotel or tavern, grocery store, livery stable & residence at this location. The 150 foot long rambling structure named Ervin House had an old-fashioned southern gallery running it’s entire length. It was initial home to many of Bellville’s very first residents businessmen,…including lawyers, doctors, county officials, “drummers” (traveling salesmen), and even prisoners & their guards awaiting trial.
In 1882, Julius Haak built the 2-story brick building you see on the right, and in 1883 rented the bottom floor to Mrs. K. Morris to house a millinery shop,
advertised as having “most elegant stock of notions, fancy goods, corsets, gloves, mitts, etc.” and “drummers hotel, bathhouse and sample rooms attached. Table not excelled”.
In 1884-1885 Mary Haak, Julius’ wife, operated a millinery shop downstairs, evidently living upstairs. Advertised “hats, bonnets, tips, plumes, pompons, ribbons, flowers, gloves, neckwear, etc.”
In 1927, it was sold to E. Laas Sr. who presumably built part of the current single-story building where the Ervin hotel once stood, and was used as a Buick dealership & garage. They lived in the two-story building.
In 1939-1940, M.C. Albert, who owned and operated Bellville Motor Company, a Chrysler & International dealership on the square, purchased the buildings and moved his business here.