Texas is full of rich American history. From landmarks detailing the Old West to museums filled with historical facts and mementos from the past. Plano is no different. Founded in the 1840s, the city is filled with token historical hot-spots and museums. Even though some historical locations are not official landmarks, they still hold value for Plano natives. Dive into some of the great ones below.
Heritage Farmstead Museum
Tuesday through Sunday, you can visit this historic living museum. Heritage Farmstead Museum docents show visitors what life was like on the Blackland Prairie during the 1800s. A replica of the 1895 schoolhouse and the 1892 Farrell-Wilson House stand as exhibits that you can visit to see the furnishings and tools. Docents will also explain other Victorian-era items that are on display while you take a guided tour. You can also explore the buildings on your own.
Initially, the 365-acre property was a prosperous wheat farm mostly tended to by Mary Alice Farrell, since her husband was often away on business trips. Her daughter inherited the place and continued to take care of the property. Ammie was known for her sheep breeding and won many championships.
When Ammie passed, the Plano Heritage Museum was created with the sole purpose of preserving the house and grounds. It took seven years and 1.2 million dollars to restore the property before it was ready to be seen by the public.
The association’s primary function exists solely to preserve, demonstrate, and teach visitors about the past. The site now stands at 4.5 acres and receives 30,000 visitors a year. The Plano Landmark Association designated it a landmark property, and it has a State of Texas Historical marker as well as a listing in the National Register of Historical Places.
This farm is one of the last standing remnants of Plano’s past. C.S. Haggard initially settled the farm in 1884. The Haggards are one of the original founding families of Plano. Rodney Haggard still owns and operates the farm, even though it has a smaller footprint than it did in 1884. It is still home to eye-catching llamas and a windmill in the back that pumps water for the cattle.
Thunderbird Rolling Rink
For a dose of nostalgia, visit Thunderbird Rolling Rink. The skating rink has been open for over 48 years and is family-owned and operated. Thunderbird has a vintage snack bar with some new treats for skaters. They have also recently added redemption games and pizza.
The rink welcomes four-wheel skaters and inline skaters to come to stretch their legs and ride around. The rink is open Friday through Sunday to the public. You can book a private party Monday through Thursday.
Interurban Railway Museum
The railways had a tremendous impact all across the United States. Like many other states, Texas has a rich history with the railway. The Interurban Railway Museum tells the story of the Texas Electric Railway and how it connects to Plano. The museum strives to relay the information in a fun, factual, and exciting way for its visitors.
The museum is filled with interactive exhibits and historical photographs. Tours are always free. However, the museum appreciates all donations. On top of educating the public about Plano’s history with the railroad, the museum partners with the Plano School District, City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and other local and corporate businesses to bring additional preservation and learning to the Plano area.
Bowling is an all-American pastime, and PINSTACK was the first bowling and entertainment center of its kind in North Texas. The alley is still going strong, with VIP bowling and many other experiences. Take your pick of the six lanes on the climbing wall and make your way to the top. Shoot through the two-story laser tag facility. PINSTACK has hundreds of interactive games to play for additional entertainment.
The facility is more than just fun and games. There is a restaurant featuring a high-end atmosphere serving classic American food. Grab a specialty cocktail and don’t forget to visit the bar next to the bowling lanes. This bar is stocked with 24 different beers and six on-tap wines.
If spending time around cinematic gold is more your speed, visit the famous Southfork Ranch. It’s better known as the ranch from the long-running TV show Dallas. The ranch, located just east of Plano, gets visitors from all around the world. Fans can walk around the grounds, look at show memorabilia, and see what it would have been like to be an Ewing for a day.
Legacy Hall & The Box Garden
This unique food center is one of the nation’s largest at 55,000 square feet over three stories. Food served in the hall is made by high-end chefs and local artisans. The European-style building also houses a brewery and a live music and entertainment venue. USA Today named Legacy Hall the 2nd Best Food Hall in the United States in 2019.
Plano Balloon Festival
One of the most beautiful displays to watch is dozens of hot air balloons floating up to the sky. The Plano balloon festival and run has been going for 41 years. The festival focuses on educating balloon watchers about the lengthy history, over 200 years, of hot air balloons while providing a safe and fun-filled family atmosphere. While the festival producers are a 501c3 non-profit, they raise money for continued awareness and encourage partnering non-profits to do the same.
The balloon festival is a three-day event spanning Friday through Sunday with five opportunities to see the balloons rise into the sky. Enjoy a fireworks show, activities for kids, tasty eats, and wares from local vendors. You can even watch skydivers on Saturday evening. If you would like to participate in the annual run, you can choose from a half marathon, 10k, 5k, or 1k.
We at Huffines Chevrolet Plano hope you enjoyed our list of historic locales in the Plano area. We hope you get the chance to check them out and enjoy a piece of Plano’s charm.
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