Plano is the perfect blend of historic charm and modern luxury. With historic homes, a historic Texas-shaped pool, and even a famous TV show set, there is so much history in our suburban community. Let’s take a brief tour around the city to discover all of the iconic historical sites.
A Piece of Plano History
The first settlers came to Plano in the 1840s. A sawmill, gristmill and a store helped the area grow. The city was officially incorporated in 1873, a year after the Houston and Texas Railroad was completed. In 1881, a fire destroyed most of the city’s business district, but it was quickly rebuilt. Plano grew steadily over the years, but its population “exploded” during the 1980s. During this time, many large corporations, such as JCPenney and The Frito-Lay Company, moved their corporate headquarters to Plano. The city was recognized as an All-American City in 1994.
Not far from downtown Plano is Heritage Farmstead, a four-acre museum that recreates life during the prosperous early 1920’s. The beautiful Victorian home was built in 1891 on Blackland Prairie soil by Hunter Farrell for his wife, Mary Alice, and daughter, Ammie. The house and its 12 outbuildings were the hub of a 360-acre farm that was later operated for several years by Ammie, a storied local
Interurban Railway Museum
The Interurban Railway Museum brings Plano transportation history back to life. Once a vital part of the Texas Electric Railway that ran between Denison to Waco from 1908 to 1948, the Interurban is one of the original electric cars that ran on the tracks through Plano. Next to the station is car 360, one of the original cars that carried mail and passengers. This is the only station remaining between Sherman and Dallas. The facility also houses exhibits on science, electricity and Plano history.
Relive some memorable moments from the television series “Dallas” at Southfork Ranch in nearby Parker. The “Dallas Legends: Fact To Fantasy” exhibit features such memorabilia as the gun that shot J.R., Lucy’s wedding dress and video clips from the TV series.
Baccus Plaza, located at the sprawling Shops at Legacy, boasts the Trails in Legacy Sculptures, which were created by Texas native Robert Summers and depict a cattle drive along the Shawnee Trail, a principal route on which Texas longhorn cattle were driven before and just after the Civil War.
Baccus Plaza is also home to Baccus Cemetery, the site of the earliest marked grave in Plano. The names on the gravestones belong to some of the earliest pioneers to settle in North Texas. Henry Cook and his wife Sarah Kinkaid had to endure the burial of their son, Daniel, and is the earliest known marked gravesite in Plano.
The Fox-Haggard House (AKA: The Collinwood House)
Built in 1861, the Collinwood House is thought to be the oldest house in Plano. The house was built by brothers J.K. and C.M. Fox. The home was later purchased by Nancy Katherine Lunsford and Clinton Shepard Haggard in 1862. The family lived in the house for two generations until the late 1930’s.
The City of Plano purchased the Collinwood Farm in 2009 to later turn into Windhaven Meadows Park. In 2018, the house was relocated to one of the Haggard’s private properties at Spring Creek Parkway and Windhaven Parkway to prepare for the construction of Windhaven Meadows Park. In 2019, the house was moved one final time to its final location on a new foundation. Exterior restoration and landscaping are up next for this iconic home.
The Saigling House
Located in the heart of downtown Plano, The Saigling House was one of the first brick houses in the city. Husband and wife, C.F. Saigling and Celestine Pillot Saigling, began construction of their home in 1918. Saigling Elementary in Plano is named after C.F. Saigling, a prominent property owner who operated one of the first lumberyards, sawmills and flour mills in Plano. The City of Plano purchased the home and in 2017 completed a $3 million renovation to restore the home.
A “home for the arts in Plano,” the ArtCentre of Plano recently moved to The Saigling House. Its indoor galleries host numerous exhibits by local and national artists throughout the year. With its outdoor deck, beautiful grounds and illuminated trees, the facility is also perfect for parties, weddings and other special events.
At the corner of Park and Custer, sits Haggard Farm, notable today for their pastor of llamas and cattle on 60-acres in the middle of new suburban homes. The Haggard family is a vital part of Plano history, as they are a part of the city’s original settlers.
The Texas Pool
The Texas Pool was envisioned in 1959 when Plano was mostly undeveloped ranchland. Famous Texan Herbert Hunt urbanized the area that would today become Dallas’ Telecom Corridor. As a centerpiece for Plano’s new development, a 168,000 gallon pool shaped like the great State of Texas was created. It opened to the general public in 1961.
On April 1st, 2019, the Texas Pool was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission provided essential research, and expertise in completing and submitting the National Register Application, officially declaring the Texas Pool to be the very first Texas-shaped pool.
Members and guests can swim at The Texas Pool between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Find more information here.