Round Top Farms in Round Top
Jeannette and Tom Burger lived most of their business lives in Houston. Together they built and ran one of Houston’s largest restoration and remediation companies, but the couple longed for a country life.
The Burgers discovered Round Top in late 1978 about the time philanthropists Faith and Charles Bybee were working to preserve the local historic structures. The owners of the Schudemaggen House at the time wanted it preserved, but they also wanted it to be a family home. As a result, the Burgers found themselves as the proud owners of one of Round Top’s most significant homes.
In 2002, the Burgers could no longer resist being away from the farm and made plans to renovate the historic house and build a carriage house to use as a B&B with future plans to build their forever home up on the hill. Sadly, Tom died in 2003. The carriage house was completed in 2005 as a family home for Jeannette and her two children, ages 7 and 14, with the 1852 Schuddemagen House serving as guest lodging.
Since relocating to Round Top, Burger has immersed herself in the community as an innkeeper, real estate agent, newspaper columnist for Round Top, cattle breeder and active community volunteer.
“Round Top is the best place to be for a weekend or a lifetime,” Burger said. “It’s like no other place in Texas or the world. Where else can you find a town with a population of 90 that has a public library, a 1,000-seat concert hall and a Shakespeare Festival, to name a few things, and is located halfway between two major cities in a simply, breathtakingly beautiful setting?”
Speaking of Round Top hospitality:
“Hospitality is providing whatever it takes to meet my guests’ needs and to make them happy. During the past two weeks, I sourced local natural honey for one guest who needed it to treat a health condition and acquired a last-minute appointment with a local doctor for another guest who got an unbearable case of poison ivy. As the innkeeper, you have to know your area and its people, so you can deliver exactly what your guests need when they need it.”
“Inn” a word: “Unique.”
Living in history: “The 1852 House is the home Carl Siegismund Bauer, a skilled stone mason, built for his daughter Wilhemine and her husband Conrad Schuddemagen upon their marriage. The Bauers were a prominent family in Wiesa, Germany, and this house is a replica of their ancestral home.
The 1852 House is one of the first homes built in Round Top that used native sandstone in a stacked stone construction method that Bauer pioneered here with local materials. He used the same method to construct the Bethlehem Lutheran Church as well as the Wandke house that now serves as Prost!”
Insider knowledge: “When I first started renting out the Schuddemagen House as a B&B, I brought guests a full breakfast at 9 a.m. It proved to be too limiting to them and me. Next, I provided breakfast foods for guests to cook, but more times than not, I was left with a lot of uneaten food. Now, I run a guesthouse allowing people the freedom to cook what they like when they like. It works best for them and me. ”
Stay takeaway: “I want them to remember their mini vacation in Round Top as a fun getaway.”
Owner: Jeannette Burger
Founded: 1979, operated as a lodging venue since 2006
Guest Capacity: 4
Setting: 42 acres including rolling hills, historic 300-year-old live oaks and a historic 2 bedroom/2 bath home built in 1852 located just steps from Round Top’s square.
Round Top Farms Guest House
301 S. Washington St.
Round Top, Texas 78954
Special treatment: Photo opportunities abound with a herd of gentle Longhorns and Jack, Macy, Stacy and Eeyore, rescue donkeys who love to eat carrots from guests’ hands.
Jeannette’s top three homegrown hospitality tips: “Provide some type of homemade treat. Ask what their breakfast drink preferences are before they come, so you can have their preferred brand of coffee, tea and favorite juices. If they are arriving late, I make sure they have something yummy to eat available so they don’t have to immediately shop for groceries. Also, because I have the donkeys, I always provide carrots for my guests to feed them. The guests love the donkeys and the photo memories.”