Making headway with Park Hardware replication in the museum...
The Alvarado Heritage & Preservation Foundation was created to preserve, promote, and protect the rich history and heritage of Alvarado, Texas.
Making headway with Park Hardware replication in the museum...
Relettering of the Park Hardware Wagon Barn has begun! Slowly, but surely, we’re returning the exterior look to how it was originally during the early 1900s. Special thanks to Ken Richardson, Noe Deleon, and John Percifield for their assistance.
Thanks to Ronnie Turner and the Aztec Concrete Staining crew from Cleburne, the concrete floor of the Wagon Barn now replicates the original red dirt floor when it was constructed in 1908...
Things are still taking shape at the Barn. We were able to get things ready in time for a wonderful wedding reception for Heather and Clint Davis back at the end of September. Still plugging away with trying to get things wrapped up. Unfortunately, it's a long drawn out process...
Still making headway toward completion of the wagon barn renovation... Loft, partitions, and railing finished.
Finishing up the stairs... Some assembly required..!
The loft in the Park Barn continues to progress. Getting closer to completion.
Work continues on the interior renovation of the barn. The loft is starting to take shape.
Recognizing National Autism Awareness Month
Renovation on the Park Hardware Wagon Barn is progressing! Just about ready to seal the walls and reconstruct the loft that was along the west wall. The overhead lighting has been completed and the front wall has been painted the same shade of green that the interior of Park Hardware was originally painted.
Making headway on renovations at the Park Barn! The front entry is framed and the ship lap was completed on the west wall Saturday evening.
Renovation of the Park Hardware Wagon Barn is coming along nicely! Within a short time, this 108 year old structure will be transformed into the Alvarado Heritage Center Museum.
For years, the city of Alvarado wanted to tear down and get rid of the old Charles H. Park Hardware Barn that had been sitting vacant since the owners closed the business in 1981.
Decorated for Christmas... The burlap bows seemed only fitting for an original hardware business...
The large heavy exterior doors have now been installed. Now it's time to focus on the interior renovation.
The exterior restoration is getting very close to being complete... The new vents are finished, and the new windows were installed today.
Special thanks to Tom and Chris Clark of Leeds Clark of Midlothian for manufacturing and donating the windows which are exact replicas of the originals. Incredible craftsmanship, guys!
After 107 years, the Park Hardware Wagon Barn gets a new roof and vents, and a new lease on life...
RESTORATION CONTINUES ON THE PARK HARDWARE WAGON BARN
New door and window frames, and a clean fresh coat of paint. 10/26/15
Started replacing the old leaky tin roof today. Will be replacing it with the same material. 10/29/15
HISTORY OF THE 1906 SANTA FE DEPOT, ALVARADO, TEXAS
Numerous people have been asking about the history of Alvarado's 1906 Santa Fe Depot and how I ended up with it... Here is a brief summary.
This was the second Santa Fe Depot to be built in Alvarado. The first was constructed around 1882 across on the east side of the tracks. The 1906 depot was constructed on the west side of the tracks, across from the first depot, on Magnolia Street, between where College Street dead ends into the tracks and the Weaver Street crossing (crossing has been removed). It remained on that site until passenger service diminished in the late 1950s.
In 1959, the depot was sold to local attorney and businessman T. Wesley Hook. Mr. Hook had the structure cut into 3 pieces. The freight depot was cut off of the passenger portion of the depot (which is what you see in the pictures that have recently been posted), then cut in half again. One portion of the freight depot was made into a rent house at 407 South Russell Street and the other portion ended up as a rent house at 102 West Cotter Street. At that time, Mr. Hook owned 3/4 of that particular city block with his house sitting at the southwest corner of South Spears and West Davis Streets.
The passenger depot section was relocated on Patton Street between the Park Hardware Barn and the Locker Plant. It was made into 3 efficiency apartments, one of which was occupied by John Woods.
In 1993, the Park family donated the barn to the city, and the depot was also obtained by the City around that time. Architectural plans had been drawn up later that year to renovate the barn and fully restore the depot to its original grandeur. However, the necessary funding was never raised to cover the project. Both structures remained as they were and fell into disrepair.
By 2008, both structures were in bad shape. The city manager at the time, Don Ives, who resided in Granbury, convinced the city council that the depot was racking and leaning due to rot and disrepair and must be condemned and torn down.
To keep from catching hell from the pubic, since the structure was a historic building, he offered it to the Johnson County Historical Commission. However, the Commission had nowhere to move it or funds to restore it. As the deadline approached, it seemed that the depot would be lost to the bulldozer.
As the deadline drew nearer, I lobbied Don more and more everyday, trying to come up with a plan that would be acceptable to him. Unfortunately, I was working in Houston and was unable to fight this fight on the ground, but rather had to over the phone... No matter what I came up with, Don shot it down! He explicitly told me that the City (he) would not permit me to move the structure to any location within the city limits. It had to be moved outside of the city limits with no exceptions!
With only a couple days before the deadline, Don shot down my best and last plan... There seemed to be no hope...
I called my dad to share the devastating news. He asked that I come by his house right then. When I got there, he requested all of the parameters of the demands that Don had made. After I had explained them, he asked if I had a non-profit organization to take control of the project, which I did (American Historical Railroad Fnd. 501(c)(3)). He agreed that moving the depot outside the city limits was a huge mistake on the part of the City. However, he told me to contact Don Ives and let him know the depot had a new home.
I called Don and gave him the news that the depot would be moving to the Percifield Ranch across from the Vet Clinic. Don was glad to see it go..!
After further inspection of the depot, it was discovered that the building was leaning, not because of rot, but rather the pier and beam foundation had been washed out in front of the depot due to drainage that had been poorly routed by the City around the barn and under the depot.
When Mr. Hilton relocated the depot to its current location, I instructed Mr. Hilton to leave the depot blocked up on the 2 skids it was move on, to prove the point that it was not rotted and wasn't racking at all. It sat suspended on the 2 skids for more than 4 months, and Don Ives had to look at it every day as he drove to and from work. I clearly proved my point!
Located near the corner of I-35 and Hwy 67, the plan is to turn the depot into a tourist information center for Alvarado and Johnson County, and a small museum in the reconstructed portion of the freight depot, once a developer purchases the property behind Cactus Jack's. Hopefully, this will happen sooner than later..!
Alvarado's 1906 Santa Fe Depot is getting a preservative facelift..!
The storms this last spring damaged a large portion of the roof, leaving large holes where OSB was used as patches in the past. To fully repair the roof and rotted materials would be very costly. We have repaired the worst areas and will be covering it with rolled roofing to protect the structure. We decided to paint the structure with its original color scheme so as to protect the 109 year old aging wood siding and trim, until it is decided where its final home will be located, and a full restoration can commence.
Hopefully, as things dry out from the recent rains, we can complete this preservative task soon.
Making headway this last week..! Restoration is in full-swing..!
East side of the Square circa 1920s.
This video is an original November 1972 episode of KDFW TV's "4 Country Reporter" featuring Alvarado's Park Hardware, the "Oldest Hardware House in Johnson County".
These pictures depict some of the artifacts that have already been obtained and some of the exhibits that will be featured in the Park Hardware Wagon Barn once the restoration is completed.
C.H. Park Hardware
This is a picture of the northeast corner of the Square, circa 1890s. Some of you may have seen this picture before or one very similar to it. However, I have not seen one quite this crisp before. I received this picture last month from Nan McLeroy, the wife of my cousin Don McLeroy. She's related to the Sansom family that settled in Alvarado in the late 1800s. Notice the Sansom name on the sign on the north side of the Square. In this picture, you can clearly see the two story Opera House next door to the Citizens Nat'l Bank in the middle of the picture. The Sansom family also has one of the largest stones marking their family plot in the Glenwood Cemetery.
3 generations of Percifields, preserving a piece of Alvarado's rich history... Michael, Everett (10), and John Percifield
Laboring on Labor Day... Making some headway on the restoration of the Park Hardware Wagon Barn.
Fern's Hamburger Stand at the corner of Spears and College Street. Next door to the Park Hardware Wagon Barn... You can see the roof of the barn in the background. Circa 1960s.
This album contains photos that depict the historic town square throughout different points in history...
PARK HARDWARE, ALVARADO, TEXAS - 4 Country Reporter
If you are or were a resident of Alvarado or Eastern Johnson County, this is a must see video about the longest family operated hardware store in Johnson County. For over 90 years, Park Hardware was opened for business on the northwest corner of the Square from 1891 to 1981.
This video was take by KDFW-TV's 4 Country Reporter and originally aired on DFW Channel 4 on November 4, 1972, highlighting PARK HARDWARE of Alvarado, Texas....
's cover photo
The photos in this album depict the extensive amount of work that this restoration project has undertaken to transform this structure into a museum that will showcase Alvarado's history and agricultural heritage...
100 W College St
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