FARMING CIRCA 1850s to 1930s
Explore the history of north Texas farming at Farmers Branch Historical Park. This outdoor museum occupies twenty-seven acres of Farmers Branch country, documenting over 165 years of life in the Blackland Prairie. Your journey begins in 1856 with a tour of the Gilbert House, a handsome example of early mid-nineteenth century farmhouse architecture. In fact, the Gilbert House is somewhat of a rarity as it has survived relatively intact while Farmers Branch evolved into a Dallas suburb throughout the 20th century. Restoration efforts by Historical Park architects have returned the home, occupied until 1981, to its original state with the exception of the rear-wing addition of 1939, deemed compatible with the overall Greek Revival-inspired design. Next, continue on to the 1870’s Railroad Depot. The Depot’s construction and Farmers Branch rail link were made possible courtesy of land sales to the Dallas and Wichita Railway Company by Gilbert and his neighbors. An old church and a Queen Anne Victorian cottage will carry you through to the first decade of the 20th century and the school house, built in 1900, might remind you of your own school days…sans computers. (School desks, and their “restrictive” design, never seem to change.) A replica 1930’s gas station will help you to appreciate the fact that you live in the automobile age and weren’t required to ride a horse to the Heritage Museum. But the pretty 1937 William and Maude Dodson House, with its clean, simple architecture and verdant, landscaped gardens may leave you nostalgic for the past. It may also inspire an appreciation for life in Farmers Branch before the modern era. If so, then the Farmers Branch Heritage Museum has done its job.