history of Windemere Mansion is an interesting one. This attractive brick
home with its peaked roof and crenellations, situated on a crescent of Clear
Lake, was once the home of Harold W. Fletcher, Hughes Tool Company Chief Engineer
who eventually became Vice President and General Manager of the company. Built
in 1929, this house was the permanent residence of the Fletcher family for
Howard Hughes Jr.
was a demanding boss and he eventually convinced Harold that he and his wife
Audrey should move back to Houston in order to be closer to the business of
running Hughes Tool Company. Harold's parents stayed in the house after the
His father, W. H. Fletcher, made violins - he called
them fiddles - for fun. He had beautiful surroundings for his workshop. As
described in the Art Gravure section of a 1933 Houston Chronicle, the house
was situated "to the right of the point where the Webster road approaches
the lake." The same article captioned a picture saying, "One of the views
from the front lawn of his son's home, where Mr. Fletcher pursues violin making,
is the Clear Lake shore line, at about the point where interested citizens
are advocating the establishment of a marine park." A photograph looking toward
the main entrance of the Fletcher home was captioned, "When the violin maker
glances up from his work in his well-equipped shop, this beautiful view through
the front entrance greets him." One more caption reads, "The Harris County
Park, not far away, is frequented daily by scores of Houstonians who find
it a lovely breathing spot. Nearby is the palatial residence of J.M. West…"
Not much has changed. The land Windemere Mansion
sits on is still "a beautiful view."
In the 1970's the house and surrounding property
came to be part of the Bal Harbour Association.
Harbour Association, Inc.
123 Lakeside Lane, Nassau Bay, TX 77058
Office: 281-333-5168 (weekdays)
Monday-Thursday: 8 am-5 pm
Friday: 8 am-noon
Office closed weekends
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This page last updated on April 7, 2015