PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Summer 2024

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Page 36 of 67

I t was a fortuitous Sunday when Peggy Strode discovered the listing for a circa-1880s farmhouse on 22 acres in Austin County, near the hamlet of New Ulm, about 20 miles from Round Top. She and her husband, Mike (a retired oil-and-gas executive who'd recently taken over the running of their century-old family equipment business in East Houston), were looking for a rural haven less than 90 minutes from Houston and close to her sister. That afternoon, a showing was arranged; soon thereafter an offer was made — and immediately accepted — and the couple had acquired a farmhouse that felt fated for them to own and caretake. Peggy has a passion for history and reverence for preservation, genealogy, art, and antiques. An engineer, she had a successful career in management consulting for 28 years that continued through living in England and Moscow for Mike's roles. Her second chapter began in 2011 when the couple returned to Houston. Peggy is now co-owner and co-founder of the charming Upper Kirby Consignment shop on Ferndale, beloved by Houston designers. She and her partner, Colleen Smith, feature choice antiques, fine art, and vintage accessories from prominent estates, which quickly find appreciative new homes. Peggy's acumen for research, paired with knowledge of fine and decorative art of the 18th and 19th centuries, ignited her interest in delving into the past of her historic farmhouse. Not the typical engineer, she is an authority on English country homes. BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON. PHOTOGRAPHY JACK THOMPSON. This story intersects two centuries of Texas history. A Houston couple, Peggy and Mike Strode, honor the original preservationists of a 140-year-old dogtrot-style house located on an 1830 Stephen F. Austin land grant in New Ulm. A FABLED FARMHOUSE WITH A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY 35

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