Tour, Historical Farms, AW Perry, John Penn, Heritage Farmstead, Jackson Jones, Sameull Farm, Green Scheme Dallas-Fort Worth DFW North Central Texas North Texas
Dallas-Fort Worth, NorthCentral Texas Tour the Historical Farms of DFW
Eating sustainably means eating local foods, eitherthrough growing your own or purchasing them from a nearby (some say 150 milelimit) farmer. Taking your children on a tour of some of the older DFW areafarms gives parents an opportunity to explain the importance of eatingsustainably and locally. It is also a history lesson in how most NorthCentral Texas farm families once lived as well as how progress and the industrial farming system haschanged both family life and farming over the last century and half.
At this time Sameull Farm is closed, Jones Farmhas never opened, and the Collin County Farm Museum is under the auspices of arental venue. Maybe that will change in the future.
In the meantime, AW Perry Homestead Museum in Carrollton, the HeritageFarmstead and Museum in Plano, and the John Penn farm in Cedar Hill are stillavailable for your family’s pleasure and education.
Another way to acquaint your children (andyourself) with local food is to check out at least one, maybe several, farmer’smarkets in DFW.
A.W. Perry Homestead Museum
A.W. Perry and his wife, SarahHuffman Perry, were two of the area’s earliest settlers. They claimed 640acres, built a home, and established a farm in 1857 for their 14 children.Although they came to this area with only $30 in 1844, they became aninfluential family, deeding some of their land to the Union Baptist Church in1884. According to an 1894 edition of theDallas Daily Times Herald, A.W. Perry and wife deeded to Richard M. Thompson,lots 5 and 7, 11 and 12, block 3, of Carrollton for $80. The A.W. Perry Cemetery(west of the intersection of Sherwood Dr and Perry Rd) opened with the burial ofMrs. A.W. Perry in 1896. It is adjacent to what was the location of the UnionBaptist Church. The present ten room home and outbuildings were built in 1909 by the Perry’s son, using someof the original lumber from his parent’s home. It is furnished with antiques, including antiquefarm implements in the barn, and housed on ten acres with walking trails. Themuseum staff will host a birthday party for your children with your choice of atea party on the porch or games in the barn.
1509 N Perry Carrollton 972 466-6380
Heritage Farmstead and Museum
This four acre museum with restored two-story Victorian farm home, and 12 restored outbuildings were part of the 360 acre blackland prairie farm owned by Dudley and Ammie Wilson at the turn of the century. Start with an orientation film explaining what farm life was like from the turn of the century until the tractor was invented. Then tour the farmhome, built in 1891, and the outbuildings to make the Wilson’s farm life come alive for you. See Aimmie’s loom, the woodburning stove, period toys, and other items inside. Outside see the horse-drawn carriage, Model T truck, windmill, smokehouse, corncrib, and broodhouse for chickens. The livestock area is home to sheep, rabbits, a cow and a donkey. In the spring various crops are planted. Costumed tour guides explain farm life as it once was. Items are changed throughout the farm to reflect the seasons or holidays. Children’s and adult’s classes. Memberships are available and members are admitted free. Party barn for rent. The Country Store has children’s toys and books, history-related gifts, and items made by craftsmen on the farm. Fees apply
Directions: Exit Central Expressway at 15th St. Go west on 15th. Turn south on Pitman. Look for signs and house on left. Be aware that West 15th Street is also called Norman F. Whitsitt Parkway and Tx-FM 544.
1900 W 15th St Plano 75075 972 881-0140
John Penn Farm
The 1100 acre Penn Farm, which was founded byJohn Penn in 1859, remained in his family for over 100 years as his descendantsgrazed cattle and horses on the native prairie grasses. It is now part of, andmaintained by, Cedar Hill State Park. The park itself occupies much of the Pennfarm in a southern suburb of Dallas which enjoys the highest elevation betweenthe Red River and the Texas Gulf Coast. Rising well over 800 feet above sealevel, this area was known in Penn’s time as the Cedar Mountains. Since the sitegives a historical overview of how the farm was retrofitted for changing needsand growing modern conveniences, it represents the morphing of Texas farms frommule/horse-power to petroleum-powered machinery. Exhibits housed in the1918 barn include a Model T garage, plus two granaries. All of this is put inperspective by the quiet creaking of an old windmill. State park day-useentry fees apply to touring the farm. While you are there, have a picnic, hike,mountain bike, swim, and/or camp at Joe Pool Lake. You might glimpse a bobcatwhile hiking or biking or hear a coyote at night.
Directions: Take I-20 to FM 1382. Exit FM 1382and go south to Cedar Hill State Park.
1570F.M. 1382 Cedar Hill 75104 972 291-5940 972 291-3900
Meyers Park and Event Center
Now called Myers Park and Event Center, the farmwas originally created in 1969 as the Collin County Farm Museum and Youth Parkon acreage donated by John and Winnie Myers. The Collin County Farm Museum isstill located on this 165 acre property and includes a blacksmith shop, a restoredgranary, farm machinery, other artifacts, and the confinement house. The park offers a Show Barn and Indoor Arena, Stall Barn, Reception Hall, Gazebo, Pole Barn (Picnic Pavilion), and two primitive group camping areas as rental venues.You will find Myer’s Woods, 35 wooded acres with hiking trails and primitivegroup camping areas also for rent. There is not much free about Myers Park andEvent Center now. It is available for weddings, birthday parties, meetings,tours of the farm museum and more, all for a fee. Call 972 972-548-4792 forfurther information.
7117 CR 166 McKinney 75071 972-548-4792
Ray Roberts Lake
The Jones Farm, located in the property owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Ray Roberts Lake is not available for tour at this time. A few remnants of the farm can be seen when hiking at the Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park. This farm was first settled by Jackson Carroll Jones,his wife Ruth Manerva "Amanda" Wisdom, and their children in the1850s. According to a report by Susan Lebo, UNT Institute of Applied Sciences, it contains an 1898 farm house, a chicken coop, a log crib, and barns. The Jones family farmed their acreage until sold to the Corps of Engineers in 1984. Although the Corp of Engineers leased the property to the State of Texas, the state has not restored the farm or opened it to the public. State park day-use entry fees apply to hiking and seeing the few available remnants of the farm.
Directions: Go north from DFW on I-35 to Sanger, then east on FM 455 to lake. Isle du Bois State Park Unit in on FM 455, 10 miles east of I-35. Johnson Branch State Park Unit is on FM 3002, 7 miles east of I-35.
Johnson Branch Unit of Ray Roberts Lake State Park 100 PW 4153 Valley View, TX 76272-7411 940 637-2294
In 1937, a childless Dallas Surgeon, Dr. W. W. Sameull, willed this and other properties to the City of Dallas with the stipulation that they were "not to be sold." At one time the city maintained this 340 acre gift as a working farm with domestic animals, barnyard petting zoo, playground, fishing, hiking, picnicking, bicycling, and horseback riding. It was operated like a turn-of-century farm. Domestic animals included goats, sheep, cows, pigs, and chickens. Now the City of Dallas has closed the farm, moved the animals to shelters, and no longer maintains the property. There is even some talk of selling the farm despite the wishes of its donor.
Note: The opinions expressedherein are exclusively those of the writers or other participants and do not necessarily reflect theposition of CyberParent, LLC. They are not intended to take the place of, or the advice of, ahealth, legal, or other professional whose expertise you might need to seek.