Historical Spots that Tell the Story of Granbury

Granbury is a charming north Texas small town of about 10,000 residents. It is located 70 miles southwest of Dallas yet holds an atmosphere that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of one of America's largest cities. That doesn't mean that it is so quiet there is nothing to do, however. Granbury is full of things to do and history to tell its story. If you are considering a move to Granbury and looking for more information to get acquainted with this favorite of Texas small towns, may we suggest starting with its history? 

Granbury started with just a small town square and a log cabin that served as the courthouse. The city was founded in 1860. The town square was more modernly developed since then but still full of historic architecture. Granbury's town square was the first town square in Texas on the National Register of Historic Places. The best way to get the full feel of Granbury is to start with its history. You will find great adventure, famous names, and maybe even some folklore that many locals will swear is true. ( There's just no physical evidence to back up the story). 

Check Out These Historic Spots that Tell the Story of Granbury

Acton State Historic Site

This is the smallest state park in Texas. The boundaries encompass only .01 of an acre. This tiny piece of state land is home to one of the biggest names in Granbury history. This is where the founder of Granbury is buried, Elizabeth Crockett. Elizabeth is the second wife of a huge name in American history, Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett is well known throughout America and especially in Texas as a hero at the Battle of the Alamo. Elizabeth moved to the Granbury area in the 1850s to stake claim to a land grant given to heirs of the Alamo defenders. Today there is a statue of Elizabeth perched high atop her burial plot. The park is also home to burial sites of other frontiersmen and captains of industry. 

Hood County Jail Museum

The first jailhouse was a log cabin located on the shores of the Brazos River. Granbury, as legend tells, was once part of the wild wild west. As the famous villains came through there was more need for larger facilities. This led to the building of an impressive limestone jail building in 1885. It was the main jailhouse until 1978. Today the impressive structure is home to a museum telling of Granbury's beginnings. This jailhouse was one of the nicest of its time and considered a work of art. 

Granbury Opera House

The Opera House is more than just an impressive historic structure and the place to catch a great performance from the Granbury Theater Company. But beyond the amazing limestone historic structure and the fun live entertainment, the theater is home to one of the most popular stories in Granbury history. A little over 100 years ago an actor by the name of John St. Helen settled into the Granbury Playhouse. He wasn't a well-known actor and also bartended at a few pubs in the town square to make ends meet. St. Helen became very ill during his time in Granbury and confessed to a priest while he thought he was on his deathbed that he was, in fact, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. 

There was a handful of witnesses present and St. Helen told everyone present where the murder weapon was hidden. St. Helen (Wilkes Booth) recovered from his illness and upon realizing he was going to survive fled the area. The weapon was found right where he said it would be and wrapped in a newspaper story of the assassination. 

The Brazos Drive-In

While there is no big scandalous outlaw story behind the theater it is a beloved space in Granbury. It is one of only 300 drive-in theaters operating in the country and just a handful in Texas. The theater is open in warmer months during the year and has been in operation since 1952. It is one of even fewer drive-ins where all of the original features remain including those big speakers you put in your car, a kid's play area, and a concession stand. Enjoy a movie in the original drive-in fashion on weekends in Granbury. All movies are family-friendly. 

The Grave of Jesse James

Jesse James was one of the Wild West's biggest outlaws. He was infamous as a gang leader and robber of trains and banks. Legend in Granbury is that Jesse James faked his death at the age of 35 by having Charlie Bigelow killed in his place and buried in his cemetery plot in Missouri. Some residents of Granbury tell an interesting tale of James changing his name to J. Frank Dalton and living out his last years in Granbury. See the headstone in the town cemetery near the square. The headstone reads " CSA- Jesse Woodson James Sept 5, 1847- Aug 15, 1951. Supposedly killed in 1882. " The CSA stands for the Confederate States of America. 

Historical Spots that Tell the Story of GranburyGranbury has been recognized as the best small town in Texas by many different organizations and publications and for good reason. It is consistently on a List of the best Historic Small Towns of Texas. There is so much to fall in love with in Granbury and knowing the fun and interesting history of Granbury will help you to feel like you know the heart of the city and is a good launching point to fall in love with it yourself. 

If you are planning a move to Granbury, I am here to help. I am happy to be a part of your Granbury home-finding adventure. Whether you are looking for a home right on the gorgeous lake or would like to find a sprawling inland mini-homestead or anything in between. Contact me anytime for any Granbury real estate needs, I am excited to be your Granbury realtor! 

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