The Early Years
Sara’s Inn on the Boulevard (Sara’s Inn) was originally a one story Victorian home built in 1898. Earliest owners of the property includes Claude Taylor, and later, John Franklow, who were both railroad men. In 1910 Charles King, a streetcar motorman, purchased the house. His wife, Mrs. King, was a member of the South End Embroidery Club whose members were considered to be prominent women in the early development of the Heights.
In 1980, a second story with turret and widow’s walk were added. Within the main house, the first and second floor centered around a staircase positioned under the cupola, producing a magnificent 3-story open space, flooded with light from above. For some time after the addition of the second story, the structure stood vacant and suffered severe deterioration.
Transition to a B&B
In 1983, Donna and Tillman Arledge purchased the property and began its restoration and conversion to a bed and breakfast inn. On Mother’s Day weekend in May 1986, it was featured on the Heights Historical Home Tour, and the inn opened the following month as Sara’s Inn, “Sara” being the name of the owner’s youngest daughter. The original inn had a pink exterior with white trim and most of the interior was decorated with Victorian wallpaper and pink carpet. It remained this way (on the exterior at least) for almost two decades as John (the current owner) was in a wedding at Sara’s Inn in 2007 and the exterior at that time was still as it is shown in the photo above.
In 1998 Sara’s Inn was purchased by the Arledges’ daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Bob McCreight. They operated Sara’s Inn for 17 years from 1998 to August 2014. During this time they made changes to the Inn, both inside and out. The porch spandrels and corner brackets were removed and during the latter years of ownership the paint color was changed to a blue-grey. As to the interior, most all of the walls were painted brown, the stair handrails and front door were painted black and the carpet in all of the rooms had been replaced with a brown colored carpet.
In August 2014 Sara’s Inn was purchased by local Heights residents Jihye and John Deveau. When John was in a wedding at Sara’s Inn in 2007 he fell in love with the architectural uniqueness of the property. Under the new owners the property has undergone a transformation, painting over the once grey and white exterior with a selection of colors from the Benjamin Moore historical color collection, distinguishing it as a true Victorian painted lady of Houston. Both the carriage house and main house got a much-needed renovation, with many of the brown walls once again adorning Victorian styled wallpaper. In addition to room renovations, the owners also in 2018 updated the main hallway, choosing to go with a pink striped wallpaper and pink trim color in honor of its first two decades as a bed and breakfast when it was primarily pink inside and out.
Sara’s Inn is proud to be the longest running bed and breakfast in Houston, going on 32 years. It has continued to be the #1 ranked bed and breakfast per TripAdvisor every month since September 2014.