Mary Lou's tributary suite in the Nutt House Hotel, rests above the Historic intersection of Crockett and Bridge Street, and is located on the Southeast side of the hotel. In this large suite, guests can be where all of the action is happening in this highly recognized and beautiful historic square; and yet enjoy all of the privacy, seclusion, and comfort one could ask for.
There are scenic vistas from every window in this glorious suite, that display virtually the entire Downtown Historic District that Mary Lou was so instrumental in saving! Her commemorative statue is right below the southern window sill of this luxurious and one of a kind suite! This honorary room is decorated in soothing brown and green earth tones, with oversized Queen Anne chairs, and features the customary alcove leading into an oversized spa-like bath, stocked with scrumptious toiletries and generous linens. This room sits right off the Grand Sitting Room, and is off the Eastern Ancestors Hallway. A special touch in this room is the four-poster cherry bed and dresser that belonged to our owner's grandmother, Melle Gordon Bole. Interestingly, the furniture is almost identical to the furnishings owned and used by Mary Lou in her bedroom down the street in the Nutt family home. Guests in this lovely have only to step out their door to enjoy a breakfast or game or just friendly conversation in the Grand Sitting Room before going downstairs to explore the Nutt House Shoppes, or check out all that Granbury has to offer.
Mary Lou Watkins had a passion and a vision for Historic Preservation that is a true inspiration and exemplifies the heart and soul of Granbury. Her vision and hospitality helped make Granbury a wonderful place to call home, or to have a "home away from home!" Come experience the warmth and comfort of being at home with us at the Nutt House Hotel!
Mary Louise Faulkner-Watkins Historical Mini-Biography
Mary Louise Faulkner-Watkins (Mary Lou), was the great- grand daughter of David and Sudie Nutt. Mary Lou was the daughter of Mary Sue Nutt-Faulkner and Dr. David Garland Faulkner. Mary Lou left Granbury as a young woman to pursue a career in modeling. She was a hat maker, model, published author, active church-woman, and mother of three sons.
In 1967, Mary Lou returned to Granbury to care for her ailing mother Mary Sue. Mary Lou moved into the big, but ramshackle old family home on Bridge Street that was owned by her grandparents, David and Sudie Nutt. Shortly thereafter, she undertook the restoration of the house to its former grandeur. In the beginning, she probably never dreamed that her initial restoration would be the spark that would kindle a fire of historic preservation and restoration that would transform a whole community!
At about the time that Mary Lou returned to Granbury and began her project with the family home, another Nutt, Joe Louis Nutt, also moved back to town. Inspired by the success of Mary Lou's home restoration project; Joe and Mary Lou joined forces to purchase the Nutt Hotel property on the square which had been sold out of the family for the first time, only a few years prior.
In the 1960's the old hotel and the square around it were in sad shape. The years of wartime, economic depression, and the migration of many young people to the larger cities, had taken their toll. But there was an upside to the poverty and lack of development. Where others saw only empty storefronts, dilapidated buildings, and broken dreams, Mary Lou and Joe saw a diamond in the rough- and a preservationist's dream- historic buildings mostly unaltered from their original design and structure! The fact that none of the building owners had been able to update and modernize their buildings, made the Granbury square a prime location for future growth and development. It also just happened to be sitting on top of a sparkling, rapidly filling new lake as well: Lake Granbury. There was the opportunity to "do it right" – to develop and preserve an authentic Victorian downtown square! "I thought the town should remain in the mainstream of history…, a living, breathing community," is how Mary Lou described their vision.
Mary Lou and Joe began renovation on the Nutt Hotel building, but Joe also had another big project right across the square, which was the restoration of the Granbury Opera House. Joe had a long history in theatre, and his love and devotion to it and this grand building are indeed a testament!
On the Nutt Hotel, Mary Lou began renovation of the outside first, by restoring the stone work, and removing the unpleasant evaporative window-unit coolers and installing central heat and air conditioning. She converted the downstairs into a spacious lobby which opened into what soon became the famous Nutt House Dining Room featuring home-style cooking with a bakery in the other front room downstairs.
With the upstairs of this enduring structure, Mary Lou took the project room by room, as the then long term tenants move on. She first housed some small gift shops, and once ready, she opened up the whole floor into a small but quaint, bed and breakfast inn. And the irrepressible Nutt Hotel was once again serving up heaping helpings of warmth and hospitality to tourists and friends alike!!!
Mary Lou succeeded in her quest as did Joe, as well as some other prominent citizens who had started their own projects on this revived town square. By 1974, Granbury's quintessential square became the very first historic district in Texas, to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places! Beginning in 1986 with the publication of the Texas Historical Commission's Main Street Handbook, Granbury's historic preservation achievements and heritage tourism programs have been used as models throughout the state. "Brought back to life by a group of concerned and dedicated local citizens, Granbury is often referred to as Texas' original 'Main Street' city," says the commission's handbook.
Mary Lou continued to oversee the operation of the Hotel and Dining room well past the normal age of retirement. Always an advocate for both small town business and hospitality, she left an imprint on this small Texas town that will never be forgotten! After her death in 2001, the town honored her memory with a bronze statue in her honor placed appropriately right across the street from the Hotel! It evokes, even now, warm memories of the days not so long ago when Mary Lou would stand outside of the hotel donned in an apron, and ring her signature bell- letting everyone know that dinner was on the table with her tantalizing chicken and dumplings, hot-water cornbread, black-eyed pea salad, and buttermilk pie! All were welcome to come and enjoy, and that is still our tradition to this day! You're only a stranger, until you walk into our welcoming doors; where only friends and family reside!
Weekdays Sun-Wed: $99
Weekends Thurs-Sat: $129
- Historic Downtown location "On the Square"
- Over twenty in-house retail shoppes
- Access to grand sitting room and scenic historic vistas
- Spa-like baths with luxury Garden Tubs, separate showers*, and wall unit heaters
- Individual climate control
- Free Cable TV and WiFi High-speed Internet Access
- Coffee and tea makers
- Ceiling fan
- Custom made toiletry items available
- Professionally decorated with designer fabrics
- Quality linens