The Frisco Heritage Center is a complex located in Frisco, Texas. Frisco when established attempted to name itself “Emerson”. This name was rejected according to the post office. The name “Emerson” that was chosen for the city was apparently too alike that of another city in Texas for the comfort of the state. For those who do not know, Frisco is located about 20-25 miles north of the well-known city of Dallas in Texas. Originally, Frisco was developed from a stop on the Shawnee Trail. Annually, the Frisco Heritage Center holds a “Shawnee Trail Cowboy Day”, in which people can see how the Cowboys lived during the Shawnee Trail. Frisco has grown exponentially in population, business, and attraction over the last fifteen years. The Frisco Heritage Complex includes buildings that include Gaby’s Blacksmith shop, Lebanon Church, Frisco Depot, Smith-Muse House, Frisco Heritage Museum, and Historic Homes.
Gaby’s Blacksmith Shop
Gaby’s Blacksmith Shop was established in 1923, nearly two decades after the city of Frisco was originally officially founded in 1904. At first, there were blacksmiths located in the general vicinity that the city was eventually established in prior to its founding. These blacksmiths were here because there were farmers in the area working on the land. It was basically blacksmiths that did work that was needed for more personal use, rather than for public service. It was used for the small farming community and families rather than commercial utilization. Gaby’s Blacksmith was considered to be a very personable, successful, and well-known business ‘in the neighborhood’. The blacksmith shop was sold to Mack Gaby from its original owner, AJ Gunstream from Tennessee. It was later handed down through the Gaby family line thereafter. The shop was ruined by a fire in the late 1930’s; originally constructed out of wood and reconstructed with metal-it has been standing ever since. In the mid-1980s, the shop closed for public utilization and is now apart of the Frisco Heritage Complex.
The Lebanon Church and Chapel located on Page Street in downtown Frisco is one of the earliest built in 1904 during the establishment of the town. In this year, the church burned down by the fire and was rebuilt by the members of the church into the still standing structure that we see today. The Lebanon Baptist Church was systemized in 1879. The Church was named after Lebanon, Texas. Lebanon, Texas is now known as Frisco, Texas. When settlers came to the area in the 1860’s it was just a service area for the railroad and not a confirmed town. The sanctuary was originally in a different location but now resides in the Frisco Heritage Complex. There are countless weddings that have occurred in the gorgeous white-stained glass-pew panel chapel. This small chapel seats about 120 guests. The Chapel was donated by the church to the city of Frisco for historic utilization and preservation. After the Church hit its centennial in 2004, the building was renovated for this preservation. Most of the original materials that the church was built with were preserved for historical purposes.
The Frisco Train Depot
The Frisco Train Depot is also apart of the historical collection of buildings in the Frisco Heritage Complex. Like the others, the Depot was built in 1902, and it sat next to the infamous Frisco railroad tracks for six decades. People often would go watch the trains for pastime-much as we do now with baseball. This was another very popular spot in the town-especially in early development-because of the business between farmers and other towns that the trains helped to facilitate. The depot was demolished and rebuilt due to the wood that it is made of. The reconstructed version of the depot is basically almost an exact replica of what the original looked like. It is still in use today in the sense that it is possible to be rented out for events and personal use (just like the Lebanon Chapel). Included are a warehouse and the training agency itself, but ultimately has six rooms utilized for special events. The Frisco Depot is also attracting tourists every year.
The Smith-Muse mansion was built in 1905. The owners A.F. Smith Jr. and his wife owned hundreds of acres of land in the Frisco area. The house was relocated to the Frisco Heritage Complex and the ability to donate this house to the city was made possible by the granddaughter in the Smith family. Just like all of the other structures in this area, after donation, the building was renovated in efforts to restore/preserve the originality of the house and to modify the house for current use as apart of the history of the city. This house can also be utilized for rentals for weddings, and other events just like the rest of the buildings in the Frisco Heritage Complex. This house is two floors, and shows how the community prospered from an agricultural area into a major suburb of the city of Dallas with successful infrastructure and thousands of eclectic businesses.
Frisco Heritage Museum
The Frisco Heritage Museum holds all of the secrets of the little town, turned city of Frisco, Texas and undoubtedly displays its rich history. Opened in 2008, its purpose is to preserve what has passed, and develop what is the future. The museum is unironically situated near the railroad tracks in old town Frisco and is representative of the beginning and development of this Dallas suburb. The Frisco Heritage Museum is apart of the Frisco Heritage Association complex, and it is about 18,000 square feet. It consists of lots of period exhibits, and artwork about the development and early living of the town. There is also artifacts and other artistic pieces located in the Museum that is precious to the city of Frisco and its history, and even some of the present day. Some of what is located in said exhibits include a printing press, cars, service station, old movies, and other memorabilia. This Museum undoubtedly shows the development of the city in continuity and change over time.