Denton County history officials’ efforts to make the historical park more appealing to visit continues at 3 p.m. today with a ceremony for the permanent placement of a gazebo.
The gazebo has been placed in the former location of the firefighters monument in the Denton County Historical Park at the corner of Carroll Boulevard and Mulberry Street just west of downtown. The firefighters memorial is now at the county’s Loop 288 Administrative Complex.
The gazebo will be rededicated in honor of its new location by the Denton County Historical Commission.
“It’s a nice venue for people looking to marry outdoors,” said Peggy Riddle, executive director of the Denton County Office of History and Culture.
The gazebo spent the last few years up on blocks after it was moved to install the park’s welcome center. The gazebo, reminiscent of structures used by early German settlers, was built from a kit manufactured by American Amish, officials said.
“It’s kind of been in limbo,” County Commissioner Andy Eads said.
Eads said the broken-down Elm Ridge Church structure was removed from the historical park because it was beyond repair. So, the gazebo rededication was moved up on the schedule of improvements.
“We’re trying to make progress on the park,” Eads said. “I think we have done a great job in combining public and private dollars to create the park, and it’s really about to take shape.”
Eads mentioned the upcoming installation of a log cabin and barn courtesy of the Taylor family in Corinth. School groups also come to the park to visit the African American Museum and the Bayless-Selby House Museum.
The weekly Denton Community Market calls the park home during the warm-weather months.
Moving the Taylor property will cost about $40,000 and will happen later this year, according to Riddle. She said she is working on getting the funding together.
“We have some other improvements going on to the Quakertown House [which houses the African American Museum], and we’re looking at doing a new interpretation inside the house where we can recreate some of the [past] room settings,” she said.
Riddle said she encourages the idea of brides using the Bayless-Selby House as a preparation room before their wedding, or as the wedding venue if the ceremony is small.
“We had a young woman call just last week,” Riddle said about weddings at the park. She said one of the Selby sons got married in the historical park.
“We’re trying to get the word out that it makes a nice setting indoors if it is for a small group — maybe 25 or 30 people,” Riddle said. “Outdoors, it’s however many chairs they want to set up.”
She said a handful of groups have held teas at the house already.
Denton County Judge Mary Horn praised Eads and other historical commission officials for the positive changes to the park and its landscaping.
“It’s great to see it coming together,” Horn said. “I would encourage people to come take a look [today] when they do the dedication. It’s really pretty and another reason to be proud of Denton and Denton County.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.