This elegant three-story mansion, located in the King William Historic District on the east bank of the San Antonio River, was built in 1876 for Edward Steves, founder of the Steves Lumber Company. Alfred Giles, prominent San Antonio architect, is thought to be the designer of the ashlar limestone structure which features a concave mansard roof with decorative iron cresting and exhibits characteristic of the French Second Empire and the Italian Villa styles.
In 1952, the property was donated to the San Antonio Conservation Society by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Vaughan in memory of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Steves, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Steves. The Steves Homestead has been maintained since 1954 as a historic house museum.
The homestead complex is comprised of several buildings: The Homestead, The River House, The Carriage House and the servants quarters. The River House, a one-story brick structure, housed the first natatorium, or inside swimming pool, in San Antonio. The pool was brick-lined and filled by an artesian well located on the property. The Carriage House was built in 1875. This two-story frame and stone building was used for storage. The servants quarters was built around 1877. This building housed the gardener and the stable boy who worked for the Steves. It was restored in 1983-84 with the help of a grant from the Texas Historical Commission. The Servants Quarters is now being used as a Visitors Center, where tickets are sold and tours originate.
The Steve’s Homestead Museum is open to the public for tours. It is located at 509 King William, San Antonio, TX 78204.