If you’ve stopped to have a beer and to relax during the fair at
“Julia’s Veranda," you should know that it honors Julia Cauthorn, often
referred to as “The Duchess of King William.” Julia, who writer Mimi
Swartz said looked a little like Gloria Swanson crossed with a pioneer
woman, is said to have sold old jewelry and gold coins to buy her house
Julia's home in King William is a gothic revival, Alfred Giles designed cottage, known as the Sartor House at 217 King William.
died in 2000 at age eighty-two. She was a passionate supporter of the
local performing arts and on many Sunday afternoons would host musicales
in her home to showcase an up-and-coming singer, performance group,
musician or dancer that had recently caught her fancy. She would set up
chairs in her parlor and invite the neighbors in for the performance and
serve cake and punch afterwards on her veranda.
Although she was an ardent preservationist and worked tirelessly to
restore and preserve the homes in King William, she was often at odds
with Walter Mathis. Julia’s approach to restoration was somewhat
pragmatic and open-minded whereas Walter was a stickler for
authenticity. These differences came to a head in “the battle of the bay
window.” Julia wanted to add a third bay to her cottage on King William
on the scale of an 1882 original and a second added in the 1920’s.
Walter used his considerable influence to convince the Historic Review
Board that the proposed window was “inappropriate” since it wouldn’t
look like the existing two – which of course, didn’t look like each
other in the first place. To this day, the cottage still has only two
Julia, a beloved art patron, had a particular affinity for classical
dance. Her spirit lives on through a scholarship program bearing her
name at the
San Antonio Dance Umbrella.