As a wood carver, there really couldn’t be a more perfect environment in which to create. My Workshop sits in a 100 yr old Barn, right off the Historic Square in Downtown McKinney, TX.
Our property dates 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’.
In 1894 W.H. Simms purchased Lot 3 for $800. He was working as a Wells-Fargo Express Agent and City Treasurer when he built a wood frame house and a barn on this property around 1900. Then, in 1906, Simms 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 is an historic building with a truly unique and inspiring backstory. We’re slowly breathing life back into her beautiful bones, while being careful to restore the original charm. It’s a very special place that deserves to be honored. We expect to be done with the renovation/restoration work in the Fall 2020.
When Complete we'll open the Barn Doors
When the renovation and restoration work is complete, we'll have an official Barn Opening celebration for friends, family and neighbors to come see what we've done. Hopefully sometime in the Fall 2020.
The Barn will be open for annual Art events like MAST. We'll also have Barn Openings throughout the year to share the barn and its historic roots, my work-in-progress and a preview of my finished pieces. As well as the cool tools I get to use, and simply to feel the uniquely vibrant setting.
Follow me on Instagram to see the progress.