Denton County history buffs are ready to work on a new donation to the Denton County Historical Park.
Foy Taylor of Corinth donated a farmhouse built in the 1850s, and several of the artifacts inside, to the county. Officials say they plan to restore and move the house into the historical park to join the other existing structures and use the items in existing exhibits.
“You don’t stumble across these types of acquisitions very often,” said Peggy Riddle, Denton County Museums executive director.
Riddle said county officials have known about the house since 2007. She said Taylor was hoping to have the house restored on the family land, but discussions did not pan out. Officials had been in recent contact with the family, waiting for a decision on whether they would continue to hang on to the home.
Ricky Taylor said the family learned the county was creating a park of historical buildings off Carroll Boulevard across from the Joseph A. Carroll Administration Building and his younger brother contacted officials.
Taylor said his father had wanted the home restored originally for other generations to see what older people had to live in and what they had to use to farm with.
“It’s got some pretty interesting old stuff on the inside,” he said. “An old icebox where you had to put ice into to make it cold. … There are things in there people have probably never seen before.”
Riddle recalled taking photos of the farm and artifacts, which included an early gas stove, a chuck wagon and a Stetson hat and original box, and telling Commissioner Andy Eads that they had to have it.
“It was a true, very early log cabin. We wanted to jump on it,” Riddle said. “It fits in so well with our master plan for the park.”
Riddle said officials will begin moving some of the artifacts to be used in the structures in the historical park and the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum.
Additional on-site work will include some archeological digs to search for an old root cellar and some of the trash pits where people would cover their garbage at the time. Officials will also videotape the elder Taylor speaking on the history of the farm instruments on the land related to his father and grandfather.
“There is a lot of work to be done. We have a lot of volunteers and we’re looking for others,” Riddle said. She hopes the cabin can be moved without dismantling it to preserve the original 1800s masonry work inside the house.
She said the inner walls were also covered with newspapers to keep out the wind, some of them from the early 1900s.
Riddle has been continuously researching the land patents, learning that Denton County’s own William Wilson had the original land grant, and other information on the Taylor home and family history.
“It’s like detective work. I love doing it,” she said. “It’s going to be one of our major projects for the coming year.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .