Longview's Historic Treasure
1400 West Marshall Avenue
Date of construction: 1854
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Tom Harriss built a large home in 1854 two miles west of the city. Using slave labor, brick and siding were hand-made on site. Inside the home, folding doors allowed for one large room with a fireplace on either end, providing a venue for â€œfiddling contestsâ€ and â€œsquare dancing.â€
Tom Harriss died young and suddenly, and did not inform anyone where his money was hidden. People would come up to the house and want to dig for Harrissâ€™ gold.
A lawyer, Joseph Mark Sparkman (1828-1911) arrived in Longview in 1861. He purchased the home and built a school on his land, importing a teacher from for Virginia for his only child and the neighbors. He became a justice of the peace and a commissioner.
The home was a busy overnight stop for a stagecoach line owned by William Thomas Brooks, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Jack Castleberry (Amelia Belding), who owned the home until it burned. The stage line ran through Monroe, Shreveport, Jefferson, Marshall, and Longview, and was dotted with a chain of hotels called â€œBrooks Houses.â€
The last owners of Rockwall Farm include Mr. and Mrs. Roy Sparkman, and later their daughters Mildred Thompson and Mrs. Jack (Amelia Northcutt) Castleberry, who helped preserve the home until it burned in 1952. Amelia was the mother of Mrs. Lou (Jane) Galosy.
Today a historical marker and the remains of one rock column mark the site of the Rockwall Farm.