Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marking Time #12: Downtown Grapevine

Today's "Marking Time" takes us to picturesque downtown Grapevine, TX where they have their fair share of history. Just driving down Main Street is a trip through time starting with the city's historical marker.

The marker reads:

"Wild mustang grapes growing profusely in this area inspired the name "Grapevine" for this community. Ambrose Foster (1794?-1847) and his wife Susannah Medlin (1796-1876) were among the first settlers in 1845, from Platte County, Missouri. The Fosters, their daughters and sons-in-law acquired land that became the heart of Grapevine. Within the first year worship services and school classes were conducted.
Cattle raising was the major enterprise prior to the Civil War. Beef cattle were sold to Camp Worth (present Fort Worth) by Archibald Leonard, Fosters' son-in-law, who owned a mercantile store. In 1858 a Federal Post Office was established and run by Solon Dunn. During the 1870s the village was also known as "Dunnville". In 1914 the name became "Grapevine". After the Cotton Belt Railroad line opened in 1888, the town thrived as a shipping center for cotton, grain, truck crops and dairy products. In 1907 Grapevine incorporated. By 1934 two major paved roads leading to Dallas and Fort Worth were constructed. A dam built in 1942 on Denton Creek formed Lake Grapevine. It serves as a water supply, flood control measure, and a recreational area. In 1974 the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport opened within the city limits."

The marker is amongst a myriad of shops and attractions and is right next to the Torian Log Cabin which has its own historical medallion.

The medallion reads:

"This cabin of hand-hewn logs was built along a creek at the edge of the Cross Timbers near the pioneer community of Dove. It originally stood on a headright settled in 1845 by Francis Throop, a Peters colonist from Missouri. J.C.Wiley bought the property in 1868. He sold it in 1886 to John R. Torian (1836-1909), a farmer from Kentucky. Torian family members occupied the structure until the 1940s. The cabin was moved about four miles to this site in 1976."

And right next to the cabin, in Liberty Park, is the "Walking to Texas" sculpture, which is the city's first piece of public art which salutes the first pioneers to come to the area. Very close to that is:

"The Sidewalk Judge" who is always eager for visitors to sit down and keep him company. But even farther down is a fully functional piece of history: The Tarantula Train!

A while back we shot some video of the "Murder Mystery on the Tarantula Train" event. Check it out:

And right behind the train is a functioning blacksmith shop:

Live blacksmithing demonstrations are given frequently and homemade metal items are for sale.

Devin was able to speak with the blacksmith and learn a little about the craft:

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