BLESSING, Texas – Every morning, before the rooster has chance to crow, Lee Hall Pierce is up and at’em. After opening the door to the café at the historic Hotel Blessing, Lee Hall gets the coffee started, works on the latest crossword in the local paper, and waits for the morning rush.
This routine is so regular, the entire town of Blessing practically runs on it.
“Just a habit I got into, because back in the old days we’d get up and feed the cows early,” Lee said. “And so I’d get up early and we’d come here and drink coffee and go feed the cows.”
Not long after Lee Hall’s arrival Helen Feldhousen makes her way to the kitchen to start breakfast. This too is her way of life, something she’s been a part of since 1969.
“This is like home to me,” Helen said. “I know all the ins and outs about it.”
These two have a special connection to the Blessing Hotel and make the building built in 1906 what it is today.
Ona Lea Pierce is Lee Hall’s other half, she helps maintain the history of the Blessing Hotel.
“It is the centerpiece of the town,” Ona Lee said.
The first building in Matagorda County ever listed on the National Register of Historic Places; something Ona Lee claimed to always brags about.
The 14 room inn was built to help settle the lands of southeast Texas by Jonathan Edwards Pierce. Lee Hall’s great grandfather.
“This is a wonderful old building and I’ve just been here all my life is all I can tell you,” Lee said.
The Hotel Blessing is a hot spot for two reasons. The fact you can stay at this antiquity of Texas and Mrs. Helen’s hotcakes.
“You ought to see this place at breakfast on duck hunting, because there’s all these trucks and boats and everything around here,” Ona Lea told us. “They want Helen’s good breakfast.”
Bountiful breakfasts and her famous $10 lunch buffet keep Helen busy 7 days a week and she’s only closed on Christmas. Helen said there’s no reason for her to take another day off because she wouldn’t know what to do.
“Well what would I do? Stay home? I’d miss all my friends because, this place is known far and wide,” Helen said. “Oh I love it, because I love the people. And you never know who’s gonna come.”
Local Pat Brown has been coming here for a long time for a young buck.
“Used to be a bunch of us back in the ‘80’s come up here and eat,” Pat said. “Farmer’d pay for lunch we were working for, so we’d all compact up through here and raid the place. Act like we owned it.”
But time is taking its toll on this old building and these familiar faces. The creaky wood and old fixtures can be fixed but the people that make the Hotel Blessing what it is won’t be able to grace us with their presence forever.
“I’m sure later on I’m not going to be getting here quite as early, ‘cause I am getting slower,” Lee said. “Until I can’t come down here I’ll be doing it.”
So get down to Blessing to count your blessings. We live in Texas, and at the Blessing Hotel you can hear the stories of some of the folks who have made and continue to make our state what it is.
“We feel like it’s a great place,” Ona Lee said. “And we wanted to it to keep it going like that, because we knew that my husband’s grandfather wanted this building to stay as it is. We feel like we’ve done a good job.”