The city of San Marcos is restoring the historic home of Ulysses Cephas.

The city purchased the home in 2003 as a historic preservation project. Mr Cephas was a blacksmith and community leader at the turn of the 20th Century, with the goal of making it a focal point in the Dunbar Historic District.

The Cephas House is located at 217 W. Martin Luther King Drive, across the street from the Calaboose African American History Museum. The Dunbar Neighborhood is the birthplace of jazz and swing composer and musician Eddie Durham (1906-1987) and the home of the city’s first African American residents.

The Cephas House renovations will include restoration of the exterior, some repurposing of interior rooms, and accessibility improvements. When all rehabilitation activities are complete, the City’s Parks and Recreation Division will offer a variety of leisure and cultural arts classes and programs at the Cephas House. In addition to these programming functions, the Cephas House will provide a venue for the display of materials that detail the history of the Dunbar Neighborhood, its prominent citizens, and the importance of the African-American presence in the growth and development of San Marcos.

The project contractor, Cougar Construction LLC of Nome, Texas, has completed a number of historic renovation projects. Owner Richard Bates is performing much of the work himself.

The kitchen cabinets were completed by LWi Custom Cabinets to match the original color and style, a “Holiday Turquoise”.