TYLER (KYTX) - The historical Chilton-Taylor house in Tyler has served as a home for a U.S. Senator, but has also been the Caldwell Play School, a church and now an oil business. The new tenants have made a fascinating discovery.
Tonight in the Emmy award winning J.B.'s Journal, J.B.Smith shows us what they found.
"Senator Chilton built the house. Their family lived here from 1888… Located in the Tyler Azalea district on Chilton Street is a large Greek revival style home surrounded by a unique iron fence and listed on the national register of historic places.
"It was just like a treasure hunt, every evening, we came over here we started uncovering things."
The Musselmans began renovating the house and made an amazing discovery after investigating some chipped paint.
"We heard there was an Alamo on some wall here in the house."
"As I started scraping here, it looked like a building I was uncovering and we were so excited that here was the Alamo, we found the Alamo, it wasn't gone."
Buried under wallpaper and later paint, 125-year-old murals that stood the test of time.
"I think it was done in the style of a fresco, when plaster on wall was fresh, when the original paint was
put on it."
"For the Musselman family this is truly a labor love, for over one year, everyday, they were here
to reveal these beautiful artworks."
"We would probably spend 4 or 5 days on a section of the wall like this." The murals cover the entry way ceiling and the connecting room walls and transoms above the doorways. Most of the drawings reflect European scenes.
"The one over here looks like the face of the North wind in the border there." They even found roses on the walls…which Ellen found unusual.
"Because at that time when the house was built roses were not being grown inEast Texas."
The house also features the original stain glass in the entryway and the dining room.
"The scenes are slightly different, one is a fruit basket, the other is a flower basket." Not just a home, but an art piece still being revealed. "We keep finding little surprises." For CBS 19, I'm J. B. Smith and that's my story.
One interesting fact, many Typewrites believe the Caldwell Zoo started at this house but D.K. and Lottie Caldwell never lived here, it was the Caldwell Play School and actually the zoo first opened in their backyard at their home on Bonner Street.