The Nettie Bass House probably is the most historic in the county. It was the first house in the county to have glass windows. People came from miles around to see them in the early days with many traveling all day to get to Sherman, camping out at night the returning home another day. The old Green Revival house was built by Dr. Robert Bullock in the middle 1850s with lumber shipped from Jefferson by oxen freight wagons. It was heated by four fireplaces and a beautiful rosewood staircase leads to the upstairs. Mrs. Robert Hocker, a widow from Virginia, moved into the house with her twin daughters in 1867. One of the daughters, Ada, married T.C. Bass that year. A daughter, Nettie, was born to the Basses in 1868 and she lived there her entire 97 years until her death.
Stop by and visit this historic site. They’re open from 1 pm to 4 pm daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. http://www.graysoncofrontiervillage.com/
Other buildings on the premises include:
- The W.L. Holder cabin was built in the early 1840s near the intersection of Crawford Street Road and Harvey Lane in Denison. The cabin actually is the Cold Springs Schoolhouse.
- The Davis-Ansley log cabin is believed to be one of the first houses in the county. The land on which it originally stood was part of a 640 acre grant to M.C. Davis in 1839 at Old Warren. Micajah Davis, one of Grayson County’s founders, built the cabin. He and his wife, Mary, brought their family to Texas from Tennessee in 1835. It is assumed the house was built soon after the land grand was given.
- The Hendricks House, built in about 1863 on land given Jesse Elvis Hendricks by his father John, was built near the Shannon church northeast of Sherman. It originally was a one-room cabin with a loft, but Hendricks and his wife, Susan, added several rooms making it two stories in about 1870. The original cabin was moved to the village in 1978 and restored. However, only the downstairs rooms could be salvaged.
- The Bradley-Bodkin House that was built in the late 1840s on Iron Ore Bayou southwest of present-day Denison was donated to the village in 1979 by Coy and Hallie Wooten. The Evans-Carpenter cabin came to the park in 1985 from the Cherry Mound area. There’s also a church that has its own graveyard out back.
- The country store is filled with many of the items you would find in a real country store of the mid-1800s. It was moved from the Nellie Chambers estate on Paw Paw Hill east of Denison in 1990. You can find anything from bolts of material to barrels of beans, jellies, farming instruments and most anything else you might need back then. We even have a potbellied stove that the spit and whittle group played dominoes around.
- The Jail Wagon that hauled and housed prisoners working on county roads up until 1930 is on exhibit. It is said that prisoners, primarily accused of vagrancy, were taken from work site to work site and kept under lock and key at night. It even had a wooden floor halfway up the side to make two layers of sleeping room for as many as 30 men at a time. The Texas Legislature outlawed this practice in 1939.
- L.B. Burns was in the moving business in Denison for many years and to help establish his business, the company had a wagon that was used up until 1978 when it was donated to the Village by Betty Burns. It didn’t always haul furniture, but in later years was used in parades and other such events.
- There is a blacksmith shop, a dentist’s shop and even a beauty parlor complete with the early day permanent wave machines.
- In recent years a newspaper office was added with early day equipment and a tack shop with saddles and other items.
- The Fitzgerald House was built in 1866 on Red River, north of Bells. George Fitzgerald started cutting oak timber for the house before he left for the Civil War in 1859. He built the house when he returned from the war.
- The Lankford House was built in 1847 east of Denison by William T. Lankford. In 1870 there was an epidemic of cholera that caused at least 80 deaths and the ceilings of the house were removed to build coffins for many of those who died.
- Also on site is the home of James G. Thompson, who first settled in the mid-1930s on the south bank of the Red River at Preston Bend, where he operated a trading post. He built the house himself using hand-hewn logs for framing.