Preserving & Promoting Allen's Heritage and Spirit...
Christmas on the Prairie
Visitors were invited to step back in time while enjoying “Christmas on the Prairie” held at Allen Heritage Village in December. The houses and historic Allen Christian Church were decorated for Christmas in the time period of each building.
In the ca 1880s Wetsel house, the native cedar tree held simple homemade ornaments while red gauze bags containing fruit and nuts for children appeared in the bedroom. A coffee serving set and cookie preparations displayed holiday treats.
In the 1920s Lynge house, a tree with colored lights and an inviting dining table were set along with decorations in the other rooms.
In the Bolin house set up as 1940s, many decorations could be seen including the tabletop Christmas tree. The beautiful windows in the 1918 Allen Christian Church shone in the sunlight and illuminated the lovely quilt display from the Allen Quilters Guild. Also on display were pages from the Allen American 1974 special supplement titled “Santa shops Allen”.
The wonderful weather made the outdoor activities enjoyable: Santa’s Brass Quintet, a group of Community band members and high school students, played Christmas music; the Allen Garden Club contributed birdseed ornaments for children to hang in the nearby trees; children also roasted marshmallows for s’mores and magic snowman soup (hot chocolate) was available for all.
2017 ALLEN ROTARY CHRISTMAS PARADE
The Guild entry in the Allen Rotary Christmas Parade this year was a float depicting the well loved book and movie “A Christmas Story”. It was accompanied by two classic 1939 cars; a Pontiac Coupe owned and driven by Gene Hair and a Chevrolet Sedan owned and driven by Dwayne & Karen Rockwell. David and Tammy Sudduth pulled the trailer with their truck. Guild member Maureen Honeycutt designed and implemented the float. Riding on the float was the Papadopoulos Family from Allen: Dad Bobby, Mom Jennifer, sons George and Christian.
MYSTERY AT THE DEPOT
A recent event at the depot was the result of a partnership with the Allen Public Library. Emily Plagens from the library developed the murder mystery which involved guests using clues to solve the murder staged aboard a Houston and Texas Central train going through Allen in the 1920s. Many of the guests dressed in period costume. Fifteen people solved the case correctly which left the library staff to draw a winner who received a special edition of “Murder on the Orient Express”. Tasty refreshments were served courtesy of the Food for Thought Café from the library.
2017 FLAG DAY CELEBRATION
An old-fashioned celebration honoring our nation’s flag was held at Allen Heritage Village June 17, 2017. Groups appearing that day were the Allen Community Jazz Band, Allen Police Honor Guard, Mayor Steve Terrell, Benito de Galvez Chapter DAR and Allen VFW. Activities included contests in ice cream making and watermelon seed spitting and tours of the village houses. Everyone had a great day!
SCHOOL CLASS VISITS THE VILLAGE
First graders from Cheatham Elementary School visited the restored houses at Allen Heritage Village on May 8, 2017. Docents in the Lynge house were Bonnie Borrello, Maureen Honeycutt and Karla Warborg. Docents in the Wetsel house were Ed Bryan, Linda Overton and Anita Rushing.
Allen Water Station Interpretative Trail, dedicated April 1, 2017
The culmination of many years of work to preserve and highlight the importance of the Allen Stone Dam and Water Station site was realized at the dedication of the new Water Station Interpretive Trail on April 1, 2017. Several groups within the City of Allen along with other historic groups played a part in making the plans come together to produce what was celebrated that day. The city purchased the property in 1995, placed gabions on the banks on the sides in 2002 and again in 2013 and did additional erosion control during the final development stage planned and overseen by the staff of Allen Parks and Recreation.
Working to secure recognition of the historical site was done by the City along with the Allen Heritage Guild and the Collin County Historical Commission. Plaques on the bridge and nearby attest to the site as a Texas State Archeological landmark, National Register of Historic places and Texas State Historic place.
Funding was provided by the City of Allen through a grant from the Allen Community Development Corporation, and grants from Collin County Parks Foundation, Collin County Parks and Open Space Funding Assistance Program, and the Collin County Historical Commission.
The Allen Heritage Guild contributed to the historical interpretation signage on the trail. We partner with the city to restore and protect historical sites in Allen.
Following the ribbon cutting, visitors were invited to enjoy BBQ and stroll through the area.
Be sure to visit the site; you will be impressed with all the changes. There is a new bridge to overlook the dam, landscaping and historical signage. To access the trail parking is provided in two areas. Park in Allen Station Park just south of Exchange; this is the major entranceway to the trail that leads under the bridge to the dam. The other parking area is just west of the businesses on the north side of Exchange across from Allen Station Park. A marker designates the location of the trail at this location.
Eagle Scout Project
Boy Scout Andrew McCaslin headed up a split rail fence project at St. Mary to earn his Eagle Rank. The group of guys he directed cleared out the growth in the area chosen, dug holes, set the posts and placed the rails. The good looking fence runs along the creek side of the church.
At the Grand Opening of the Allen Heritage Village, the mayor proclaimed Paula Ross Day for the years of dedication she has devoted to the Heritage Guild. Congratulations, Paula, you deserve this honor!