Wise County Heritage Museum
The Wise County Heritage Museum is located in the former Decatur Baptist
College building, circa 1892. In addition to displayed artifacts and
a gift shop, the museum houses an excellent archive of genealogy research
material from different counties and states. The museum is open every
day, Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. It is also open
on Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is an admission fee of $1.00
for adults and $.50 for children. The Wise County Heritage Museum is
located at 1603 S. Trinity in Decatur. For more information or for booking
classroom tours, please call, 940-627-5586 or write, Wise County Historical
Commission, P.O. Box 427, Decatur, TX 76234.
LBJ Grasslands - National Forest Service - National Forests and
Grasslands in Texas
The Caddo and LBJ National Grasslands are a haven for hunting, fishing,
horseback riding, hiking, camping, and bird watching. This land was
set-aside in the late 1940's to remove sub-marginal agricultural lands
from cultivation and to demonstrate wise use land practices on lands
not suitable for cultivation. An aggressive prescribed burning program
has been taking place the last few years to reduce dangerous fuel loads
on the Grasslands to protect our neighbors and to recreate the open
nature of the Post Oak Savanna that original pioneers encountered in
North Texas. The Grasslands are located at 1400 North US 81/287, Decatur
TX. The office phone number is 940-627-5475.
The Wise County Courthouse
The Decatur Courthouse was built in 1895 for a sum of $110,000.00 dollars.
The architect, J. Riley Gordon of New York, began work on June 1, 1895
and completed on May, 1896. The Courthouse is constructed of beautiful
pink granite and has been pronounced architecturally perfect by noted
experts in that line. The first court was held in the new building in
December of 1896. The Courthouse is listed in the National Register
of Historic Places and is recorded Texas Historical Landmark with the
appropriate medallion and plaque. Open weekdays, Monday through Friday,
tours may be arranged through the County Judge's office at 940-627-5743.
The Wise County Courthouse is located at 101 N. Trinity.
Decatur Main Street
Take a walk through the past! From the East Side to the West Side,
from the North Side to the South Side, Decatur's Downtown Square is
full of History. Every building has its own story to tell. The Main
Street Program began in 1994. A volunteer driven program governed in
part b the Texas Historical Commissions Texas Main Street Center and
the Decatur City Council. Rehabilitation and revitalization of the Downtown
business district are the main goals of the program. Please contact
the Main Street manager Frieda Davis with questions at 940-627-2741.
The Petrified Wood Gas Station
Located on the corner of Bus. 81/287 and Hale Street. A Historical
Marker stands with the information on the building.
The Waggoner Mansion
The Waggoner Mansion is located at the end of Main Street in the City
of Decatur. The home was built by Mr. Dan Waggoner for a growing family.
Sometimes called "El Castile", this is a large home, situated
on a hill east of town sitting on thirteen and one-half acres. The house
consists of two stories, sixteen rooms with a full basement and eight
fireplaces. This home is occupied at the present time and is not open
to the public.
Oak Lawn Cemetery
Oak Lawn Cemetery was officially established in 1878 when William T.
Perry deeded property to R.M. Collins, the Mayor of Decatur, for a public
burial ground for area residents. At that time however, at least one
marked grave, that of Eli Lindley, (d. 1867), existed, indicating that
a private cemetery has first been established here. Other marked graves
dating as early as 1857 are believed to have been relocated to this
site after the public cemetery's founding.
The City of Decatur managed the cemetery between 1878 and 1928. During
that time, local residents C. and Caroline Harmon generously donated
land to the city on four occasions to enlarge the cemetery property.
In 1928, in response to the recent formation of a cemetery association
by E.P. Gibson, W.P. Thurmond and T.J. Dillehay, their city ceased its
management agreement of Oak Lawn. Between 1928 and 1986, the Cemetery
Association maintained the burial ground, which was again enlarged in
1947 and 1960, after the dissolution of the Association the City of
Decatur resumed responsibility for the graveyard. Now consisting of
over 40 acres of property, Oak Lawn Cemetery is the final resting place
of over 3,700 area residents. The Cemetery is located in the 500 block
of Cemetery Road.
The Woody Cabin
He had a dream, and his dream became reality way back in 1854. Sam
Woody left Tennessee sometime during the 1840's and headed southwest
hoping he would find greater opportunities for himself and his family.
After a brief stint in Fort Worth, Woody returned to the spot he wanted
to build on due to its abundance of game, fish and grasslands. However,
much to his dismay he found that in his absence a man named Tom McCarroll
had settled in the precise area Woody had visited just a year before.
Woody, along with Jim and John Mann, arrived on the banks of Deep Creek
and began to build a home of logs from the forests that surrounded them.
The log cabin became a haven of rest for other pioneers looking for
a better life in the uncharted territory. A historical marker signifies
the importance of the cabin and its place in Decatur History. The Woody
Cabin is located off of Hwy. 287 to the left about 3 miles out. Follow
signs to Deep Creek Cemetery and the Cabin is located on the left hand
side of the dirt road.