Historic Sites in Lewisville

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In addition to official State Historical Markers, there are many other buildings in Lewisville of historic significance. Below are descriptions of a few.
 
 THE OLD WELL HOUSE, 1927
(151 W. Church Street, in front oF Lewisville City Hall)
 
 When Lewisville was incorporated in 1925, with a population of about 850, W.W. Sherrill owned the water company that included a well, a “standpipe” or water tank, and the distribution system. Many of the surviving photos of Lewisville from that period were taken from atop the “standpipe” located near the intersection of Poydras and Elm Streets. The limited water distribution system mostly provided water to faucets in front yards for use within the house. Although the community included a scattering of farm houses for a mile or more outside the “urbanized” Lewisville, most of the town was located roughly between Charles Street and Kealy Avenue about a block north and south of Main Street. The town sold bonds to purchase Mr. Sherrill’s water system and to build the first municipal building, this well house, constructed in 1927 for a new water well. The building, which also housed the town’s fire truck, has been used over the years for a variety of City offices, including service as the Police Station, and was remodeled in 1996.  

Although the renovation included the addition of modern improvements such as restrooms, an effort was made to give the final product a feeling of the original 1920’s style interior and exterior. Paint colors inside the building were selected from those common to the period. The original tin ceiling was not salvageable, but a similar style was installed on the 12-foot ceilings. Several of the tall windows, which had been closed off or retrofitted with aluminum frames for air-conditioning, were restored to their original design. A door on the south side of the structure that had been covered over during a remodeling in the 1960’s was discovered inside the wall. In addition to being refurbished for continued use, that door served as a model for the remaining doors. A door on the east side of the building was a modern glass and aluminum frame style but has been replaced by one of the wood style doors.

 

A 1962 episode of the television show Route 66 filmed in Lewisville provided a brief view of the original building, showing a portico outside the south entrance. Prior to the renovation the only evidence of the portico was a small concrete slab and a deviation in the pattern of brick on the side of the building. The TV clip provided the architect, Ames Fender, enough information to redesign the feature and have it added back, much like the original.

 

The cornerstone plaque, giving credit to Mayor Fagg and the City Council members involved in the 1927 Water Works building construction, had been salvaged during a remodeling effort many years before and was finally returned to a spot inside the reconstructed portico. A blend of original brick and new brick was used in the remodeling, expanding the unique pattern found on the 1927 walls. The most prominent feature inside the building is Lewisville’s original jail cell. Old-timers sometimes recall tense boyhood moments of being in or threatened with the riveted steel cage.

 
Greater Lewisville Community Theatre, 1885
(160 W. Main Street in Old Town Lewisville)
 
Originally built as Cobb's Dry Goods, this structure is the oldest standing building in Lewisville. It later was used as a church. A cast iron plate from the original construction is still visible at the front of the building. Greater Lewisville Community Theatre has renovated the interior and exterior of the building between 2003 and 2006 (see photos here), adding a distinctive neon sign and two hand-operated marquee signs among other touches, and puts on a full season of stage plays inside.  

In 2008, Dallas Morning News reporter Shawn Floyd include this tibit in a story about a group called Metroplex Paranormal Investigations:

 

Recently, members converged on the Greater Lewisville Community Theatre, which was built in 1885 and originally housed a dry goods store.

“I’ve never heard anything about ghosts here, but there might be some,” theater board member Bill Thorne said.

In the costume room, the crew detected some activity when they passed an electromagnetic field radiation meter over an old pink ball gown.

“It’s like an energy footprint,” (Vicki) Isaacks said. “People’s energies get attached to certain things, and we’ve got a lot of people stirring around, which can bring the energy out.”

Psychic Annette Bingham said she felt “the presence of an older lady. Her personality was quiet and very sweet. I believe that she is not haunting the building but does come to visit occasionally.”

Ms. Bingham also sensed some activity in the kitchen. But the group’s gadgets showed nothing definitive.

“The only thing that we captured on the equipment is dust,” Ms. Isaacks said. “That doesn’t mean there isn’t activity. It just means that on that particular night, we weren’t able to capture anything of a paranormal nature.” 
 

 
Tierney's Cafe & Tavern, 1885
(208 E. Main Street in Old Town Lewisville)
 

This Victorian-style house was built in 1885 as a home for Dr. J.W. Kennedy. Legend has it, Dr. Kennedy would periodically be blindfolded, kidnapped and taken to the hideout of Bonnie and Clyde (who used to camp out in a nearby area now covered by Lewisville Lake) to provide them medical care.

The dining rooms located on both sides of the entry, as well as the Library Room, are part of the original structure. The ceilings in the East and West dining rooms are adorned with 120-year-old cedar planks used in the original construction of the home.

The building was last used as a residence by the Lauderdale family in the early 1980s. It was purchased by Robert and Alice Goetz, who added onto the structure and converted it into a restaurant called Hearthstone Manner.  It was the site of an antique mall, Wishing Well Antiques, in the early 1990s, named after an old well that was located inside the building at the time.

 

New owners converted the space into The Veranda restaurant from 1992 until 2007, when it was purchased by former City Councilman Greg Tierney who remodeled the entire building and re-opened it as Tierney's Café and Tavern.

 
 Homes on the 2003 Old Town Holiday Home Tour
(some owners may have changed)
 
• The Resh House, 478 Richland Street. Earliest records indicate that this house was erected in the late 1890s and later was sold to the Dudley family, who kept the house until sometime in the 1970s. In the early 1980s, dormers were added that converted the house into a two-story residence. Ed and Lana Resh bought the house in 1982 and completely restored the structure.

• The Crockett House, 477 Richland Street. Built in about 1897, this house is a good example of the Folk Victorian design popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. Although there are marked differences, this house is believed to have been built by the same family that erected the Resh house across the street.

• The Allen House, 235 Herod Street. This house was built in 1999 by Greg and Dixie Allen and was designed to fit into the neighborhood with siding instead of brick, front and back porches, tall transom windows, and a Victorian exterior paint scheme. Many visitors have assumed the house to be much older than it really is.

• The Stockard House, 319 Herod Street. This home was built in 1924 by Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Edwards, who owned and operated an insurance business on Main Street. The house is still much in its original condition except for upgrades to the electrical and plumbing.
 
 
 Homes on the 2004 Old Town Holiday Home Tour
(some owners may have changed)
 
 • Lewisville Feed Mill, 119 E. Main Street. Opened in 1886 as the Lewisville Livery Stable and Feed Mill, the mill was opened by J.W. Degan and has remained family related ever since. The current owner, James Polser, has managed to hang onto a part of Lewisville’s small-town atmosphere and recreate it for others to see. The entire Feed Mill building is filled with memorabilia from past generations of Lewisville residents.

• The Bowers House, 530 Milligan Drive. This 2,000-square-foot home was built in 1989 in a newer addition close to Old Town. The current owners, Darrell and Laurie Bowers, have owned the house since 1996. They also own Mama’s Daughters Diner on West Main Street.

• The Bays House, 601 N. Charles Street. According to the old-timers, this house was moved to its current location in the 1950s from a dairy that was located at the southern end of Mill Street. The Bays family has lived in Lewisville since 1975 and purchased this property in 1984. Since that time they have made several additions, including a large dining room for family gatherings and several out-buildings for Jerry’s hobby of collecting and restoring antique equipment and trucks. On display will be a 1923 Grahams Brothers truck fully restored, a 1936 Dodge fire-engine in its original condition, and a 1952 Allis-Chalmers WD tractor fully restored.