McKinneyTo say the W.D. Smith home in McKinney, built in 1902, has been around for a great deal of North Texas history is an understatement — from its early beginnings as a farmhouse to its life as an abode for an alleged bootlegger and later as home to a McKinney mayor, the quintessential Victorian farmhouse has stood on College Street for seemingly forever.

And now the home where even the trees are historic (no lie — they were planted in 1908 and are recognized by the Texas Historical Tree Coalition) is on the market, listed just three days ago by Leah Graybeal Ashley with the Browne + Douglas Group.

“It was erected in 1905 by W. D. Smith, who was a well-known businessman, rancher, cattle trader, farmer and large landowner in Collin County,” Cathy Browne (the Browne in Browne + Douglas) told us last week. “At one time, the Mayor of McKinney lived there and there is also a story involving this house and the notorious gangsters, Bonnie and Clyde.” (more…)

HistoricNot every historic home in Dallas meets the wrecking ball — some are lovingly cared for, carefully updated, and enjoying third, fourth, and even fifth lives as new generations of Dallasites back up the moving truck and begin their lives there.

This week, we’d like to show you three open houses, all homes that are at least 75 years old or more, all updated and move in ready for their next family.

Every Thursday, we bring you our pick of the hottest North Texas properties in our Open Houses of the Week. Which one will you choose? (more…)

Collinwood House moves

Driving a house down Spring Creek Parkway takes patience and a lot more shimmying than you’d think. “Nudge over to the left a foot,” Billy Lemons yells out over the radio. “I don’t want to jump that curb if I don’t have to.”

Lemons moves houses for a living. His company, Lemons House Moving of Whitesboro, Texas, has been moving large structures like these since 1963, when his father first founded the business.

On this day, Billy is moving the Collinwood House, Plano’s oldest home built in 1862, about a mile down the road. For years, the city has tried to figure out what to do with the Gothic revival home that belonged to one of Plano’s founding families. The Civil War-era home was almost torn down because the city and voting taxpayers didn’t want to foot the bill for restoring it. But Collinwood got its happy ending when Clint Haggard and the Haggard family stepped forward to move the home onto their nearby farmland.


At left, Billy Lemons talks to his crew during the Collinwood House move on Sept. 19.

Clint Haggard drives a tractor to aid the truck that’s carrying the Collinwood house.