The Story & History of the W.H. Simms Barn
I get to create and work with wood in a hundred year old Barn. It’s truly a unique and inspiring experience. We’re slowly bringing it back to life, dating back to the early 1900s (that we can find on record), with a story that goes something like this.

Our property goes back to the Republic of Texas, where 3,129 acres were granted as a “land Patent” to William Davis as recognition for his participation in the battle for Texas independence, in 1841. Brothers James and William Rhea, local mill owners, purchased part of this land (Block 49) in 1894 and subdivided it into four lots, known as the W.A. Rhea Addition. Our property at 516 W. Hunt St occupied Lot 3 of this subdivision. In 1894 W.H. Sims purchased Lot 3 for $800. W.H. Sims worked as a Wells-Fargo Express agent and City Treasurer and built a wood frame house and the Barn around 1900 on this property. In 1906 Sims sold the property to William Ticknor who worked as a pump engineer and joined a new company called The Texas Company, which later became Texaco.

 

In 1909, Ticknor was relocated and sold the home to George Wilson for $3,000. Wilson was a stockman, farmer and gin operator, a member of one of Collin County’s most influential pioneer families. Then in 1913, P.R. Westmoreland purchased the home for $2,500 cash and a $1,500 note. Westmoreland was a groceryman. He and his wife Emma lived in the home alone until 1925 when they razed it to build a new two-story brick home in its place. This is the house that stands today. It’s believed that Westmoreland used the Barn to store his horses and grocery supplies, as he came to own two grocery stores on the McKinney Square. It’s also believed that one of his stores is where Mellow Mushroom is located today. The Westmorelands lived in the house into the 1960s, where they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

 

 

The Barn still stands today. It’s been slightly modified over the years, but its spirit still holds true. It’s now where I carve and create. It’s a special and unique place that deserves to be honored. The Barn is open on occasion, for anyone to come see my work, experience the setting and hear the story.