Grapevine, settled in 1844, is known for its wineries and wine tasting rooms. Yes, it’s Texas but still.
Settlers came to Grapevine in 1844, while Texas was still an independent republic, thanks to an 1843 treaty of peace and friendship signed between American Indian nations and General Sam Houston and other representatives.
I took my sister on a tour of the Historic Main Street. This is what we saw.
We started at the intersection of Main and W. Northwest Highway and made our way to the old railway station at the other end. We walked past –and peered inside- some lovely stores like an old-fashioned barber.
We came upon the imposing City Hall. Even though it dates from 1997, it incorporates some historical architectural elements that reference old local buildings. A statue representing a Night Watchman, the forerunner of the local police, stands atop the cupola.
Across the street is Liberty Park. The first thing we saw was a prairie windmill, installed in 1999 as a reminder of the changes brought about by the settlers. To its right, we found the Torian Log Cabin, an original hand-hewn log cabin built around 1845. The cabin is furnished as it would have been when it was occupied.
On that side of Main Street we came upon the Wallis Hotel. It was originally built in 1891 but torn down in the late 1930’s because it didn’t make money. The city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau needed new premises and decided to reconstruct the hotel in the 1990’s. Descendants of the Wallis family loaned them some original furnishings.
Across the street, on 300 S. Main St., is the restored Art Deco Palace Theatre, ca. 1940. It still functions as a movie theatre and as a country music venue.
We enjoyed rambling along the street admiring the historic storefronts. We stopped for a delicious light lunch and pastries at the Main Street Café.
When we resumed our walk, we came upon a dome-like structure with an iron grill. It turned out to be Grapevine’s first jail. The calaboose was built in 1909 and measures 8 ft. by 10 ft. by 8 ft. and has no windows. It felt very claustrophobic. Incidentally, calaboose derives from the Spanish for prison cell, calabozo.
The B&D Mills (702 S. Main St., Grapevine) dates from 1902. It started as a flour mill but was converted to a feed factory in the 1930’s.
No Texan town prospered without the help of the railroad and Grapevine is no exception. The railroad came in 1888 but, sadly, the station closed in 1972. The current depot dates from 1901. There are railway constructions on both sides of the street. The section foreman house, ca. 1888, and the station are on the left, the interlocking tower number 16 (ca. 1903) and depot, on the right.
The Settlement to City Museums (206 W. Hudgin St.) comprises historic buildings like a 1900 schoolhouse or an 1888 home and showcases the history of Grapevine from its beginnings as a settlement.
Grapevine sits between Dallas and Fort Worth, in North Texas, and is easily reached from either big city.