This old Western Town has been in the North Texas community since the mid-1950's but McKinney grew around it reducing any options of growth. By moving it onto a ranch, this beautiful old town can grow and breathe as we bring it back to life. Read below for details about each building.
Your support and contributions will enable us to move and restore these beautiful buildings. Your generous donation will make the difference!
The Livery Stable comes from Brownsville, TX. The livery is where people would drop off their horses to have them groomed and fed while they did shopping in town.
The Opry House is the only building exterior that was not brought in on a trailer because of its size. However, the fixtures, interior furnishings and décor are all original to the Opry house built in 1851 in San Francisco. It’s two stories, has a seating capacity of around 250 people and it has heating and air-conditioning. This building will be available for rent and used for all types of parties and events.
The Bank is from St. Louis, Missouri. The original vault was changed out with the one currently installed, which came from Krum, Texas. You will see telltale signs of the bank's age, one of which is the original telegraph. At one time when a person went to the bank, they could also do their land deeds, titles and transfers as well as send a telegraph.
This bank was built somewhere in the 1860’s to the late 1800’s, which was prior to telephones. When telephones became available, switchboards would be located in close proximity of where people stayed or lived. They would pick up the receiver; twist the knob that would get them to the operator, who would then plug them in to whomever they wanted to talk to.
An original 1920’s switchboard is located right inside the bank; all the teller windows are original, as are the hardwood floors and the paneling on the wall. The article on the wall indicates the vault in the bank was once robbed by Bonnie and Clyde, which just enriches the historical story.
The Marshall’s office, jail and undertaker's office are three separate but connected buildings from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The jail is just a one room jail cell with a bed in it. Because the Marshall was the top dog, they would jail those caught passing through town when they recognized them from wanted posters or other means, and then contact area sheriffs who would come in with their deputies and take the prisoners back to the city where the jails would normally have 5 or six jail cells and could accommodate more prisoners.
The Marshall had a small room behind his office, where he would sleep. Generally towns were set with the Marshall’s office directly across from the bank, which was their form of security. This will be true when the buildings are moved out to Bethel Cannon Ranch to preserve the authenticity of the town.
The Undertaker’s office is next door to the Marshall. You’ll notice that the undertaker was also the doctor, so he could bring you in to this world and also take care of you when you pass away. He generally had a small room where he slept, which was located behind his business.
The Feed Store is from Montana. It was a feed store and has always been a feed store. This is where they would buy plant food and feed for their animals other than hay. This was built in the 1860’s. Since it’s really just an open room, there are many things we will be able to use it for.
The Blacksmith Shop comes from Oregon. The blacksmith was typically the only single guy in town because he was big and burly, was ugly and smelled. This is a working blacksmith shop with a working anvil, forge oven and blowers. These blowers are circa 1920. The Blacksmith was an essential merchant and craftsman. He made indispensable items such as horseshoes, pots, pans, and nails. The blacksmiths (or farriers when shoeing horses) made numerous goods for farmers including axes, cowbells, and hoes. They also made hammers, candle holders, tools, files, locks, fireplace racks, and anvils. We will use it to bring in a local blacksmith for special events and teaching opportunities. This is a working shop, exactly as it would have been in the old days where they would also come to get their wagon wheels fixed, metal gate parts repaired.
The Fire Station. We are not sure where this one came from, we have not been able to track it down. You will notice this is also just one big room because all it held was buckets, ladders, and a mobile water container. Most small towns did not have a budget for the fire station, so it was volunteer based, much like some of the smaller towns of today. We also plan on building a full volunteer fire department on Bethel Cannon Ranch and teach those who want to learn and serve their community.
Between the fire station and the apothecary shop, is the town bell. The town bell was used for two purposes; to invite neighboring towns to come join them and it was also used as a fire alarm. The bell is an original bell from the 1860’s and 70’s. It still rings and is really loud.
The Chapel is from Clarksville, TN. The stained glass in the front and in the back is original to the church. Its small and quaint and can only seat about 30 people. Back in the 1850’s, 30 people in church was really good. The pulpit is original but the organ was imported from England in 1861 and is a pump organ. The organist pumps the pedals with their feet to operate the organ. The windows on the side were replaced in the 1940’s with windows that came from the old Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas after it was torn down and renovated. The chapel also has the original chapel bell which we will ring when a bride and groom are getting ready for their ceremony.
Hotel Tumbleweed and the Waddle Inn, Waddle Out Saloon go together. The architecture of the building tells a story about the building. This is what they called a “working” hotel and this one is from Flagstaff, Arizona. The rooms upstairs in the hotel have a balcony and are quite small because they were “working” rooms. The women who “worked” the hotel were not allowed to go on the street where mothers and their children visited the apothecary or other stores, so they had to wave to the cowboys from the balcony and the cowboys would come to them.
Inside the hotel, the first thing you’ll notice, besides the antique seating area, is the ornate carved check in desk with stained glass. It’s a beautiful feature of that time period. You will also notice the two bedrooms downstairs are quite large for the time. They are about 10’ by 12’ and large enough for a full size bed, armoire for clothes and a small dresser with a pitcher for water. Because of size of these rooms, we plan on making them fully accessible to ensure we are able to serve everyone.
There is an entrance to the saloon from inside of the hotel through swinging doors. The front door of the hotel says “Always open” and that’s because the hotels and saloons in the 1850’s were open 24 hours a day. There were always people pulling into town that needed a good night sleep and something to eat. They could go into the salon and order their steak or potatoes or cobbler with ice tea or lemonade any time of day. There was no requirement to order alcohol. The saloon has the original wall to wall bar with the brass foot rail, spittoon and against the back wall is a beautiful wood burning stove made with polished steel and pewter. What makes it so unique is there is only one other like it in the world and it’s in a museum.
The saloon has a player piano but the entire room is notably very small. Over the years, movies and television have greatly exaggerated the size of old western town saloons. The size of this saloon is very typical, it seats around 30-40 people. They would go in the saloon to play cards or listen to the music, and get served by the girls that worked next door in the hotel. When they weren’t working, they had to come down and act as hostesses but could not proposition the cowboys. They were dressed in their “work” close which is where television got the idea of fru fru dresses.
The glass in the saloon door has bullet holes and purposefully has not been replaced. It provides the true western flair.
The Barbershop is from San Francisco but we haven’t been able to locate the place where it was brought in from. Everything is like it was back in the 1860’s with the exception of the second floor. The second floor on the outside exists however the room on the second floor on the backside has been eliminated to make it easier to transport.
Barbershops were interesting things. Not only could they get a haircut but they could get their teeth pulled as well. The barber was also the town dentist. This building includes a 1890’s barber chair that is very similar to today’s dentist chair. In fact, today's dentist chairs are an updated, hybrid versions of the old barber chair. Cowboys could also get their boots shined and even enjoy a warm bath at the barbershop which was often located directly across from the saloon so a cowboy that had been out on the range for two or three months could go get a haircut, a shave and a warm bath before going to visit the ladies at the hotel.
The Apothecary and The Post Office sign says Eldridge, North Dakota, however the apothecary itself, with the post office inside, is actually from Alaska. The apothecary was the pharmacy of the era. Locals would go if they had an ailment and the pharmacist would mix up a powdered form of pharmaceutical powders that would cure anything from a headache to constipation. They could also come in and mail letters in the corner Post Office, the ladies could get some of that fancy toilet water, which was another name for perfume. The building comes with a collection of original antique pharmaceutical bottles, some still have the ingredients in them. They are all labeled which adds to their authenticity. The display cabinets are all original, including the cash register and a lot of these items are from the late 1800’s to the 1940’s.
The General Store, is from Denison, Texas and was an actual working store all the way up to 1952. The General Store is just like it says; you could go in and buy general merchandise from dry goods to canned peaches or green beans, or something special for a gift. It has just about everything when it came to dry goods.
If they had the money they could buy a brand new, fancy wood-burning stove for inside the house, instead of a fire-pit. You could get an updated new metal breadbox, or rice, or beans by the pound, as well as dried meat. If you wanted flour or potatoes, the clerk would climb up the stairs and throw down the bags. There was quite an assortment of items. Everything from coffee cups, to whisks, mixers, cheese graters.
Once a month or so, a wagon would come around and he was the wholesaler. He would have all these little goodie on his wagon and the shop keeper would go out and select items and hang them around the top inside his store. The back wall will be loaded with original canned good products and items from the late 1800’s, early 1900’s.
Since there weren’t shoe stores at that time, they had foot templates to match the foot size and then it would be turned over to the cobbler who would make their Sunday go to meeting shoes. They next time they would come into town, they would pick them up. There were no clothing stores either, so mom would come in and select some fabric and go home and make Dad’s work shirt, school clothes or church dresses. Again, there is just a little bit of everything in the General Store. They could special order china and glassware from a catalog and their kids would eye the candy jars on the counter and stuff popcorn bag with candy for a penny, hence the term penny candy.