The Winedale Story - Miss Ima and The Gift
The Wagner House was showing much wear and damage from Hurricane Carla when Hazel Ledbetter purchased it from the Wagner family in 1961. Mrs. Ledbetter removed some outbuildings but left the house largely untouched until she showed it to her friend Ima Hogg in 1963. Captivated by the decorative paintings of Rudolph Melchior on the walls and ceiling of the upper room of the house, Miss Hogg decided to buy and restore the building with the initial thought of relocating the house to Bayou Bend. When that proved impossible, she set out to restore the old house on the site as a showplace for the 19th-century Texas and Pennsylvania German crafts she had been collecting. The restoration project was directed first by Houston architect John Young, then by University of Texas restoration architect Wayne Bell, who served as Winedale’s director for thirty years.