Opal Lawrence Historical Park

Lakes Trail Region
711 E. Kearney Street Mesquite, 75149 (972) 216-6468

The Opal Lawrence Historical Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, and recognized as a Century Family Farm by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The son of an original member of the Mercer colony, Stephen Decatur Lawrence (1853-1934) received about 640 acres of farmland on his twenty-first birthday. He began building the first structure, a small home, on this site in 1874. In 1882 contractor Charley Florrer built a T-plan house about six feet east of the original structure. The new house was of clapboard construction with square nails. In 1886, a kitchen room was added, altering the building to a cruciform floor plan. The striking central tower is an example of the Victorian features of the home, which include the steeply pitched overhanging roof and prominent porches.

Other structures were added to the farmstead, on which Stephen D. Lawrence and his first wife Louisa E. Porter (1861-1891) reared three surviving children. Charley Florrer built the barn in 1887; other structures erected just north of the main house included a smokehouse, a brick-lined root cellar, and the wash house.

The Lawrence Farmstead complex is representative of the evolution of domestic buildings from the 1870s to the late twentieth century on the North Texas plains and blackland prairie. S. D. Lawrence married his second wife, Louisa Hill Walker (1867-1948), and they reared their eight children here. Members of the prominent Lawrence family lived on the land until 1995, when 13.7 acres including the family complex became a city historical park according to the wishes of one of Stephen and Louisa's daughters.

Content provided by the City of Mesquite.


Opal Lawrence Historical Park

711 E. Kearney Street Mesquite, 75149

Visitor Instructions

Last tour one hour before closing time.