Sometimes it’s good to get away — without the hassle of airports, look-a-like hotel accommodations, or exorbitant prices. Weary traveller or city dweller, meet The Emma Grace, an inviting and elegant bed and breakfast with modern amenities where couples, families, groups and individuals enjoy a relaxing retreat.
The Emma Grace is unique in its location and character. Cooper, Texas, sits between Sulphur Springs and Paris, less than 90 minutes from Dallas and about 45 minutes south of the Oklahoma state line. The county seat of Delta County, Cooper has a population of 2,000, and even the triangle-shaped county that’s hemmed in by three rivers, has less than 5,500 people.
The small town location is perfect for the bed and breakfast owned and operated by mom and daughter team Jennifer and Meghan Dwyer. The venue’s combination of first-class accommodations, modern amenities, open common spaces, and historic charm are a few reasons The Emma Grace is growing in clientele and popularity.
Located near Cooper’s picturesque town square, The Emma Grace features the charm of a historic small town with a simple agricultural lifestyle inside a renovated historic commercial building but with modern amenities. Open spaces offer an abundance of comfortable seating and natural light, encouraging guests to refocus, relax, and enjoy being together.
A spacious lounge and breakfast area, a gated outdoor garden with a large concrete fountain, and an upstairs living room, all with comfortable seating, are some of the spaces where guests can freely congregate. The Delta Room, complete with tables, chairs, and a full-size kitchen, offers yet another space guests enjoy.
Seven rooms, each with unique designs and furnishings, offer an enclave for private or group gatherings. The Moulin Rouge is a French-inspired suite suitable for a romantic getaway with a fireplace and claw-foot tub. The Clipper is a nautical-themed room that includes two bunk beds and comfortably sleeps up to six people. Two rooms, The State Room and The Up North, are handicap accessible and pet friendly.
The Ranch, The Botanical, and The Hemingway — which includes an antique wash basin, a writing desk, and a lounge chair — complete the list of themed rooms.
A New Purpose
When the Dwyers bought The Emma Grace building five years ago, they had no plan for its use. In 1900, the structure was first built as a warehouse for a local hardware store. In the mid-1900s however, it served as a furniture store. The building still contained dozens of furniture pieces from that era when the Dwyers purchased it.
Undecided on how to use the building, Jennifer researched what type of sustainable business would suit the community. After finding no local accommodations within 30 miles of Cooper, she decided to renovate the building as a bed and breakfast. With lots of persistent hard work, she is realizing her vision while honoring the building’s tradition with style, elegance, and comfort.
Daughter Meghan manages and markets services, while Jennifer prefers greeting guests and preparing a range of delicious and creative breakfast items.
The menu varies every day, and often celebrates seasonal flavors and local produce while accommodating clients’ dietary needs and restrictions. Guests enjoy breakfasts so much that they often ask if Jennifer is a trained chef, but she has taught herself to cook a range of flavorful cuisine.
Thoughtful restorations and tasteful designs help preserve the building’s history and enhance its new purpose. Jennifer resurfaced wood floors on the second level and salvaged several furniture items to repurpose them for the new rooms.
The Floral Room contains a light green carpet with large rose accents she found in a trash heap. She considered discarding it until a specialist salvaged the carpet by cleaning it and binding its edges.
All seven rooms have a bathroom and a stylish combination of furniture and decorations that incorporate Delta County’s history and heritage.
Since opening in 2018, The Emma Grace is still receiving five-star reviews on Facebook.
“Wonderful, gorgeous addition to our small town,” says Katie Goodson, a Cooper resident. “The real beauty is in all of the well thought out details.”
“The rooms were beautiful, the breakfast was delicious, and our hostess was so kind,” says Jessica Ward of Josephine, Texas. “I would definitely stay here again.”
“This was one of the best stays anywhere I’ve ever stayed,” says Amanda Dawn Flores of Wichita Falls. “I love this place.”
Visible from the front window, guests particularly enjoy the proximity to Cooper’s town square, which complements the elegant atmosphere. The square features clothing and gift boutiques and many early 20th-century buildings are still intact.
The square features two popular family restaurants, Tejano’s Mexican Grill and La Pietra Wood Fired Pizza, both offering dining room and takeout service. A gazebo and park now stand in the town’s center in place of the former Delta County Courthouse, relocated behind the town square in the 1930s.
Guests may enjoy other area attractions such as Cooper’s U.S. post office, which features a Depression-era mural. A few blocks west of the square, visitors discover stories of the county’s early settlers at the Delta County Museum inside the town’s former train depot. For more area history, the Clara Foster Slough Museum in nearby Enloe is another worthy attraction.
Cooper Lake State Park is a popular destination for activities like fishing, swimming, kayaking, or bird watching, and is only a few minutes away. Another great day trip from The Emma Grace is Sulphur Springs, just a 20-minute drive. Its beautiful downtown plaza sports a castle-like courthouse, an incredible veterans memorial, and two “see-through” bathrooms, all surrounded by shops and restaurants.
Whether looking for a unique place for a special event or an escape to small town Texas, the welcome mat is always out at The Emma Grace. It is located at 131 Northwest 1st Street, Cooper, Texas, 75432. For reservations, call (903) 300-3131 and visit online at www.theemmagrace.com.