History of the Hotel

In the late 1860's members of the Nutt Family arrived in what is now the Granbury area. They first set up several farmsteads, and in 1874 on this site, blind brothers Jacob and Jesse Nutt started a mercantile business. In the earliest days, they used a tent to house their wares, but quickly erected a log building which served as the store headquarters for many years. They were assisted by their younger, sighted brother, David Lee Nutt. In 1879, David and his wife, Sudie, built a new house just two blocks down the street. Soon they were using part of the house as a hotel to accomodate business associates. This continued for many years, and the Nutt's even added a wing on to the house to give more rooms. The town-folk began to refer to their home as the NUTT HOUSE HOTEL! (The home is still there today, and houses the Bridge Street History Museum.)


By1893, the Nutt brothers' business greatly expanded to the current two story hand-hewn Texas limestone structure, depicted in photo to the left. In the beginning, the mercantile was downstairs and the upstairs was unfinished-just open storage. Shortly after the turn of the century, the brothers conceived of moving the hotel business to the downtown location. The upstairs of the mercantile building was finished out and divided up into ten rooms and two bathrooms!! The hotel opened in 1910, and has been run as a lodging establishment ever since!

Hard times and changing travel patterns made some of the years in the mid-1900's very lean. By 1964, Euna Nutt, David Nutt's daughter-in-law: the widow of son Henry Nutt, was glad to sell the old hotel/boarding house to a local friend, Norman Strain. Norman and his wife Jewel continued to run the old boarding house on the square for a few years.

Then in the late1960's change blew into Granbury in the person of Mary Lou Watkins, great granddaughter of David Lee Nutt. Model and Hat Designer, Mary Lou Watkins returned home to her roots, and moved into her great grandfather's home. She also forged a preservation and renewal of Granbury plan, with the help of a few other like-minded citizens. She also bought back, renovated, and reopened the original ten room Nutt House Hotel in all it's glory, and added a restaurant appropriately named, "Nutt House Restaurant." She successfully ran this business on the square for almost thirty years, and even today patrons still stop by to see if her renowned restaurant is still open for business! Guests frequented Mary Lou's restaurant, for heaping home-style helpings of her now famous chicken and dumplings, hot water cornbread, black-eyed pea salad, and buttermilk pie, to name only a few of Mary Lou's trademark dishes. A bronze statue is erected in her honor on the town square, directly in front of the hotel.

The hotel and gift store now houses seven luxury suites and over twenty retail shoppes. The Nutt House has been owned by Melinda Ray, and her beloved friend and companion, doggie Lillibet, since 2006.

In 1968 the Texas State Historical Society awarded the Nutt House its medallion, naming it a historical and cultural landmark.