If you’re looking to explore local history with your kids, you’re in luck. The area in and around Colleyville boasts an array of interesting places to check out. You can look to historical markers right here in our home city or branch out to nearby areas like Fort Worth and Dallas to expand your local education.
Not sure where to start? Crème de la Crème of Colleyville has you covered. We put together this list of some of the best local historical sites to visit.
Texas Civil War Museum
If you’re searching for a museum to visit without traveling far, look no further than the Texas Civil War Museum. Located in nearby Fort Worth, this museum collects and preserves artifacts relating to the history of the American Civil War. The museum also focuses on the role Texas played in the war.
Boasting the most comprehensive artifact collection west of the Mississippi River, the Texas Civil War Museum displays an important collection of domestic objects, personal items and artifacts, historic flags, and postwar Victorian attire alongside the military collection for which it is known best. This is the place to visit with the kids to learn more about the Civil War and beyond through the lens of local history.
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
Heading into Fort Worth? You won’t want to miss the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. The kiddos will love taking a trip back in time to explore Western heritage in an authentic setting. After all, the West begins in Fort Worth, so there’s no better place to learn the history of the area.
Look forward to original brick walkways and wooden corrals serving as a backdrop to learning about the famous livestock industry in Texas. You’ll want to make sure to reserve some time for the Fort Worth Herd, a twice-daily longhorn cattle drive that takes place in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Dallas Heritage Village
Add Dallas Heritage Village to your itinerary when it’s time for a trip into Dallas. Home of the largest collection of 19th century commercial buildings and Victorian and pioneer homes in Texas, the buildings here let kids and adults alike get a sense of what life was like for ordinary Texas more than 100 years ago. The shady setting in Dallas’ first city park makes a great escape from the regular bustle of modern daily life, all while offering an interesting glimpse into local history.
Texas Historical Markers Right in Colleyville
The Texas Historical Commission offers historical markers that commemorate topics in Texas history, including the architecture and history of local houses, public and commercial buildings, military sites, and religious congregations. These markers also signify events that impacted local and state history as well as individuals and organizations that made contributions to Texas. You’ll find these THC historical markers in all Texas counties, including right here in Tarrant County. Here are some highlights to visit with kids interested in learning about the local history of Colleyville.
Check out Bidault House when you want to see a historic home. This house was built from molded concrete blocks. Designed by Anthlem Bidault, a farmer and winemaker from France, the farm was well-known for its berry fields, orchards, and vineyard. Construction began in 1905 and was finished over the next six years. French soldiers who were stationed at Camp Bowie found entertainment here during World War I. The house was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1980.
The marker at Bransford shows the spot near where the namesake post office opened in the late 19th century, before the post office moved to Red Rock in 1889. This post office was named for Felix Grundy Bransford, a pioneer, and the town with his name became the center of an important farming community. The Bransford Post Office closed in 1913. That event, coupled with the start of highway travel, led to Bransford’s decline. Most reminders of this hamlet were gone by the time Colleyville was incorporated in 1956.
Dr. Lilburn Howard Colley
Head over to the marker for Dr. Lilburn Howard Colley to learn about the historical figure who gave Colleyville its name. Dr. Colley was a veteran of the Union Army who moved from Missouri to Texas with his wife in 1880. In 1885, the pair settled in the Bransford community. Dr. Colley became an election official for the Pleasant Run School District as well as a respected physician. Dr. Colley suggested the Colleyville name, and the community eventually grew to include areas such as Bransford, Pleasant Run, and more.
Pleasant Run Baptist Church and Pleasant Run School
You’ll find two markers close to each other that speak to the early history of the area: Pleasant Run Baptist Church and Pleasant Run School. The Baptist Church of Christ of Pleasant run was first organized in 1877, meeting first in a one-room Grange Hall or Lodge in the area later known as Bransford. A bit later, they moved a short distance south of the present church building to Pleasant Run School.
Early settlers spoke of a log school near the marker’s site from the 1870s. By 1897, a wooden schoolhouse stood, where one teacher taught nearly 100 students. Around 1913, a two-story brick building was constructed, but that was replaced in 1939 by a Works Progress Administration building. Over 200 students were enrolled as recently as 1960, but classes were last held at this site in 1962.
Jonathan Riley came to the area with his family from Kentucky around 1856, receiving a land grant in 1863. As legend has it, a thief was killed close to the land and Riley gave permission for his burial. Riley and his neighbors continued to use what would become known as Riley Cemetery. Thomas Riley and William Autry set aside the 1-acre tract of land for a graveyard in 1883, but aside from the burial of Riley’s daughter in 1937, burials stopped before 1897. Today, you’ll find some graves designated only with sandstones while many remain unmarked.That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Colleyville’s list of some of the best local historical sites to explore. Do you have a favorite spot we missed? Let us know so we can add your recommendation!