Palo Pinto County Tour April 27th

Join us for a fun filled day touring sites and hearing history of the various places on this years tour.

The Watson House in Strawn is celebrating their 100th anniversary with a high tea and live music from the 1920’s. The celebration will be sometime in the afternoon.

Tickets available at all locations, start anywhere you want and go at your own pace. Adult $15, age 6 to 15 $5, under 6 free.

Tickets can be pre-purchased at the Possum Kingdom and Mineral Wells Chamber’s of Commerce or ON-SITE at any of the tour locations on Saturday, April 27th.

Highlights of the tour:

First Christian Church (Palo Pinto) – Built in 1882, this is the oldest church building in Palo Pinto County with Addison & Randolph Clark (founders of TCU) being two of its early pastors. 

Old Jail Museum
(Palo Pinto) – This county treasure contains a wide array of historical
artifacts and numerous restored Log-cabins from Palo Pinto County’s frontier
days.  If you have never seen this great
collection, you’re in for a treat.

Rocker-B Ranch (n.
of Palo Pinto) – built on former Dalton & McMurray Ranches, Rocker B has been
transformed into a phenomenal Events Center that includes baseball facilities,
driving range, pool, lake, tennis and basketball courts and top-notch accommodations.

Johnson League Ranch,
Homestead & Mausoleum
(n. of Gordon) – W.W. Johnson was responsible for
the discovery of coal in southwest Palo Pinto County, first in Thurber and then
in Strawn.   This not only led to
personal wealth for him and the area but the subsequent coal boom and ultimately,
the Ranger oil boom and further oil discoveries across west Texas.   Sadly, Mr. & Mrs. Johnson not only
experienced life changing wealth but were marred by personal tragedies that
make for a fascinating story…  Learn all
about them and their family when you visit the beautifully restored Johnson
League Ranch.

St. Boniface Catholic
Church
(n. of Strawn) – When German & Czech immigrants migrated from
South Texas in the early 1900’s, they settled on Dodson Prairie and built this
beautiful testament to their faith.   The
church includes stained glass windows that were donated by a church in Weatherford,
the original pump organ that is still in working condition and hanging in the
belfry is the bell salvaged from the Weimar Catholic church that was destroyed
by the 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston, TX.  This is a hidden gem that many people spot
from Hwy 16 but have never seen up close. 
Don’t miss this opportunity!

Robinson Schoolhouse (n.
of Strawn) – one of the last
remaining, one-room brick schoolhouses left in Texas.   Robinson Schoolhouse has been restored to
look exactly as it did when it opened its doors in 1937.   A great way to experience yesteryear when
the three R’s ruled the day (Readin, Ritin & Rithmetic)!

Strawn House (Strawn)
– Early pioneer and Strawn’s founder, Stephen Bethel Strawn, built this “East Texas Plantation”
inspired home in 1874.  Situated on a
bluff above Palo Pinto Creek, it was positioned so as to easily spot Indians
that would sweep down from the wilds of West Texas and the Indian Territory.  Restored in 2017 to its original grandeur,
you’ll be impressed not only by the home but by the beautifully landscaped
grounds surrounding the house.

Watson House (Strawn)
– Happy 100th Anniversary! 
The magnificent Watson House celebrates its 100th year in
2019, the same year the nearby Bankhead Hwy was born.   Built on the fortunes made from Strawn’s
early coal and oil booms, Mr. & Mrs. Watson drew inspiration for their home
from a historic, North Carolina plantation mansion and didn’t spare a dime in
its construction.  For 40+ years, this
building was used as Edwards Funeral Home but in 2016, it was purchased and
returned to its former magnificence and is now a Bed & Breakfast and Event
site.  Stop by mid-afternoon and enjoy
Tea and a 1920’s era Big Band.

Historic Strawn
T&P Depot
(Strawn) – although not officially on the tour program, the
recently restored Strawn T&P Depot will be open to tour and is a short 3-minute
drive from the Strawn and Watson Houses.

Bumper Crop of
Wildflowers
(Palo Pinto County) – as an added bonus this year, Mother
Nature has provided a bumper crop of wildflowers (bluebonnets et al) especially
thick south of Strawn (in and around Mt. Marion Cemetery) and east between
Strawn and Thurber (Davidson Cemetery Road) and Strawn and Gordon (along Hwy
108).

We thank all of our sponsors for their support.

This project is presented by the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission members.

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