Taking the tour
The old high school and its companion Little Rock Schoolhouse are just some of the stops on Saturday’s historical tour.
Don’t miss these stops on this self-paced driving tour, some of which are on private property. And enjoy the wildflowers along the way. Guides will be at each location:
• In Palo Pinto, tour the Palo Pinto County Jail Museum Complex, run by the Palo Pinto County Historical Association and started with the 1882 jail building. Visitors will learn about the county’s early history, architecture and daily life through its stone and wood buildings and many artifacts, including the Crossland Carriage and farm implements.
• Just West of Palo Pinto enjoy shady, scenic Lovers Retreat – one of the most scenic spots in the county. This historic picnic area, on private land and no longer open to the public, has enormous rocks towering above the banks of Eagle Creek.
• The Johnson League Ranch and Mausoleum is also the host location of the tour’s all-day reception. It was the home of W.W. Johnson, who was active in the development of the county’s first coal mine. The 1905 ranch features newly restored ranch buildings and the restored children’s mausoleum, complete with a pine coffin. This smaller mausoleum was washed away by the flooding creek, according to PPCHA President Nancy Hall. The Johnson family still “resides” on the ranch – the parents and two children lie in the large stone mausoleum overlooking the ranch on a hilltop.
• Two Strawn homes dating back to the 1870s. The Thomas House, which is new to the tour, is a 1919 Priairie-style pioneer ranching home, designed by T.J. Galbraith, the architect of the Hall of State at Dallas’ Fair Park. The Stephen Bethel Strawn House, began in 1874 by the city’s founder, is a large two story structure with verandas on both levels.