Denton County Historical Park
Denton County Historical Park features a number of Denton's most historic structures. These include the Bayless-Selby House Museum, the Quakertown House museum, the Taylor Log Cabin, and the Woods House. The park also has green space used for a variety of public events and a welcome center. The Queen-Anne style Bayless-Selby House features furniture, hand-painted porcelain, musical instruments, and other artifacts from the turn-of-the-century. It also features long-term exhibits on the second floor. The Quakertown House was built in 1904 and is the location of the African American Museum. The Taylor Cabin was built in 1868 and moved to the park in 2016; it is one of the oldest structures remaining in Denton.
Backstory and Context
Samuel Bayless built the home in the 1880s. He expanded the house in 1898 and included electricity (for lighting only) and plumbing. In 1920, R. L. Selby purchased it and it remained in the family until 1970. Visitors can enjoy a free guided tour of this house museum, and its wrap-around porch and gardens. An interesting item on display is a hair wreath with hair from 17 members of the same family.
This home is named after a neighborhood within Denton called Quakertown, which was where the local African American community was located. Quakertown began to form in the 1870s and eventually had schools, churches, and businesses. However, in 1921 the city voted to buy Quakertown in order to create a park, thereby forcing the residents to leave. Many of the homes there were torn down but some were relocated to an area called Solomon Hill. The Quakertown House, which was built in 1904 for Arthur E. and Docia Brewer, was one of them. In 2004, it was moved to the park and restored. The museum opened in 2008.
The Taylor Cabin was built by Augustus and Esther Serren in c.1868. The family made a living running a farm on the property, growing corn, cotton, and peanuts. They also raised cattle and made butter. The house didn't get electricity until the 1940s. The family owned the cabin in until 2012 when a descendant donated it to the county.
"Historical Park Highlights: The Taylor Cabin." Denton Count History and Culture. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://dentoncountyhistoryandculture.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/denton-county-historical-park-highlights-the-taylor-cabin.
"Tragedy, Flowers, and Everything You Didn’t Know About the Bayless-Selby House." Denton Count History and Culture. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://dentoncountyhistoryandculture.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/tragedy-flowers-and-everything-you-didnt-know-about-the-bayless-selby-house.
Photos: Denton County Office of History and Culture