The Inn at Craig Place (also known as the Hildebrand House) is third oldest home in Monte Vista, established long before the neighborhood was so named. Parts of the present-day historic district were then known as Laurel Heights. "Monte Vista" was the winning entry in a 1920 name-the-subdivision contest that has since been extended to cover the historic district north of downtown.
Built in 1891, Henry Elbert (H.E.) Hildebrand's house was the first on West Craig Place. Designed by the firm of Giles and Guindon, it originally was a two-story framed dwelling. "Evidence suggests a later addition in the rear," said Donald E. Everett in "Monte Vista: The Guilded Age of an Historic District." In fact, that is true. A former resident of the home, May Eskridge Kearny, told us upon her visit to the inn, that her parents put on the addition in the back (now the Happily Ever After room) in 1920, especially for her.
At that time the house sat alone on the block, but as soon as three years later the land was partitioned off to other buyers. Hildebrand, a City Father and businessman who was president of the Men's Club, the Battle of the Flowers Commission, and chairman of the Bexar County Democratic party, was responsible for the Southern Pacific railroad coming to San Antonio. At the turn of the century, he built another, larger home a block away. In 1902 the inn was sold to Colonel Jot Gunter, the builder of the famous hotel downtown, who lived here five years.
Somewhere during this time, the mural was painted in the dining room, which is attributed to Julian Onderdonk, a well-known Texas artist whose home and studio were only a block away on French Place.
The home changed hands a few times in the early 1900s until it was purchased by J. Marshall Eskridge, and he and his family owned the home for forty years.