What may be one of North Texas’ oldest standing buildings was just discovered hiding in the walls of a suburban home. It’s a mid-1800s era log cabin.
Developer Curtis Grant, who lives in Flower Mound, found the structure after buying the home at 4801 Quail Run in Flower Mound with the intentions of tearing it down to build a 12 home development.
When he closed on the home in February, he began bringing down the walls of the living room to discover the core was large logs, and that the log structure surrounded the roughly 16-by-16 foot room.
The previous owner had told Grant about finding an early 1900s newspaper clipping in the walls of the living room at one point, so he figured that was about the time period he was dealing with, but when he contacted Peggy Riddle at the Denton County Historic Museum with details, he found it was much older.
"She said, 'Curtis, that tells me it's not an early 1900s structure or cabin, that it's a mid-1800 structure,'” said Grant.
The presence of the cabin was a problem for Grant as historic pieces tend to be difficult to disrupt.
So he and Riddle did more research and eventually brought in a University of Arkansas geoscientist to check out the find.
In a report he wrote up, David Stahle used tree ring analysis to date the cabin back to the 1860s, possibly as far back as the 1840s.
Riddle said it was likely constructed by William Gibson of the Peter’s Colony group that founded much of the area back in that time.
However, being undiscovered until now, the cabin doesn’t have any historic markers or status, so Grant had the ability to simply move forward with his plans, but said he just couldn’t do it.
"It’s just something that needs to be preserved as difficult as that is on a developer,” said Grant.
So he’s scaled his plans back to a nine home development, and, working with the county and the Mound Foundation in Flower Mound, hopes now to restore the cabin and create a sort of historic homestead around it.
Mark Glover from the foundation said they also have an old barn that could be added to the site to create a destination out of the spot, something he feels the town could use.
Currently, Glover said Flower Mound has very few historic landmarks in town, despite the vast history of the area.
He’d like to see the cabin become a historic place, but in order to do that, he said it needs to stay where it is, on the original foundation with the original trees around it.
"We want to save this cabin at this site,” said Glover. "Some of the earliest people to settle in North Texas built this house."
However that will take money. Glover thinks about $750,000 to $800,000 for the project.
Glover and Gates are opening the house up to the public Saturday morning so people can see the place for themselves and so that they can begin fundraising and gathering support for the cause.
The cabin is in the house at the corner of Flower Mound Road and Quail Run and they plan to hold the open house from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, Aug. 15.