Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

April 7, 2014

34th Shaw-Kemp Open House Saturday, April 12


Mineral Wells Index

— From Staff reports



For the 34th year, Nebo Valley in southern Parker County is ready to once again come alive with sights, sounds and displays that will take visitors from the present day to life as it was when settlers first arrived.

The annual Shaw-Kemp Open House is Saturday, April 12, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The event is located at 220 Kemp Road, located off State Highway 51 South (Granbury Highway), south of the Highway 171 (Cleburne Highway) split.

There will be people dressed in 1800s costumes with entertainment on the porch of the main house.

Nebo Valley provides a unique, historical experience to the public through the Shaw-Kemp Open House, with more than 3,000 visitors each year. You will likely even meet Minnie Pearl and her dog, Tinker Bell, or come across Otis as he staggers through the little town.

Not only is Parker County home to many descendents of the Shaws and Kemps, but so is Johnson and Palo Pinto counties, according to Mary Kemp.

With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the 200-plus acreage houses nine buildings, including the original Shaw-Kemp log cabin, a barber shop, grocery store and post office, church and school and more.

Kemp, who runs the event along with numerous volunteers, said the Kemps bought the property from the Shaws in 1975 and then spent a year restoring the old cabin.

“The first three or four years, we just had school children come through. Once we got some of the other buildings in, we started to open it up to the public,” she said.

They then brought in the Mt. Nebo School and Church, an old house that had been used as a barn. One of the buildings, now the grocery store and post office, has a touch of Parker County history right on it, with doors purchased after the deconstruction of the old Parker County Jail, she said.

Several original fixtures, including lighting, flooring and even an 1800s record player, occupy some of the cabins, and some even have the original furniture.

Another constant feature during the event is the presence of bluebonnets, which Kemp said she looks forward to every year.

For more information, contact Kemp at 817-594-6837.