Supporters of Historic Waco Foundation turned to a 17th-century card game and other classic games Tuesday afternoon in their ongoing efforts to honor and preserve historic homes in the area.

Foundation members gathered at McLennan Community College for an afternoon of bridge, mahjong, bunco and dominoes during the annual East Terrace Luncheon & Games Day, which has been held for four decades. The East Terrace Historic Home Committee hosted lunch and table games and raised money to support upkeep and renovation efforts at East Terrace House.

“East Terrace is like going back in time,” Committee Chair Mary Aileen Edwards said. “It really is like going back in time when you step in the door with preserving what used to be in Waco.”

Brownfields honored

About 150 members of the Historic Waco Foundation and other supporters attended the luncheon to visit and take part in the fundraiser’s games.

Italianate architecture is detailed throughout the East Terrace House museum, settled near the Brazos River in East Waco, with tall, hooded windows and bracketed cornices giving the home a feeling of grandeur, Edwards said.

Billie Brownfield and her husband, Joe Brownfield, were honored during the luncheon for their years of work on the house. Joe Brownfield died in late March, and the Brownfields were recognized as providing a guiding force for East Terrace House since the 1970s.

“We just want to share our love of this property, and this is the way we can raise money to keep this going,” Billie Brownfield said. “My husband was the instigator that pushed me to get involved in the homes, but I couldn’t have done it without all these beautiful people.”

In the late 1850s, future industrialist John Wesley Mann moved to Waco, then moved into East Terrace House between 1872 and 1874. Over time, the property was converted to a sanatorium and later was left vacant before Young Brothers Contractors purchased the estate in the 1950s.

“My husband was F.M. Young and was one of the donors of the house and the land,” Gloria Young said as she spoke with Brownfield. “Mrs. Brownfield has devoted her life to making East Terrace wonderful and, with her sweet smile, working right alongside everyone as a true leader.”

Much time, effort

Brownfield said she and her husband have donated thousands of dollars in labor, materials and hours of dedication to preservation efforts with Historic Waco Foundation, primarily to ensure the longevity of East Terrace House.

“We want to give this to our children and to our grandchildren, because it is just a project of history,” Brownfield said. “This is how we keep history alive.”

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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