Hitchcock, Galveston County
Pioneer horticulturalist Henry Martyn Stringfellow established Stringfellow Orchards in 1883, and completed his home the following year. The one-and-a-half-story house is an excellent example of vernacular Victorian residential architecture with Queen Anne form and spindlework detailing. Stringfellow began his career in Galveston in the late 1860s and established a reputation as a pioneering authority on pears. His productivity in Hitchcock coincided with and influenced the emergence of a thriving agricultural economy in the area. Stringfellow is credited with paying dozens of African American orchard workers one dollar a day, which was significantly higher than wages offered by other employers in the area. The additional income had an economic impact on the local African-American population, who had the resources to purchase land, build houses, schools, and churches in their own communities, such as the 1867 Settlement (now part of Texas City) where Stringfellow employee Frank Bell, Sr. lived. Stringfellow sold his orchard after just ten years, but beginning in 1920 the Kipfer family once again used the property to sustain an agricultural enterprise, operating a truck farm and flower shop until 1989.
Stringfellow Orchards was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 27, 2013, under Criteria A (agriculture), and C (architecture).
Download the Stringfellow Orchards nomination