Saving Stony, One Building at a Time - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Saving Stony, One Building at a Time

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    Saving Stony, One Building at a Time

    You won't find Stony, Texas on a map. Located between Decatur and Denton -- the small prairie town settled in the 1800s has pretty much faded away, except in the heart and hands of one man trying to save it. (Published Friday, Oct. 12, 2018)

    You won't find Stony, Texas on a map, but one North Texas man is doing his best to preserve its history.

    Bill Marquis' workshop is full of old tools and hardware, tools he uses to restore historic buildings across the state. His biggest project yet is saving his hometown of Stony.

    Located between Decatur and Denton, the small prairie town settled in the 1800s has pretty much faded away.

    "Everybody is determined to destroy the town of Stony, so I've been moving everything down here to my farm," said Marquis.

    His workshop is a church he restored from the 1800s.

    "This use to be the Stony Baptist Church," he said.

    He saved it from demolition and moved it to his farm after watching other buildings in his forgotten community of Stony get lost to time.

    He did the same for an old general store that was falling apart. Walk inside now, and it's a step back in time.

    And then there's the log cabin, Marquis claims it dates back to the Republic of Texas.

    "You know, I'm just repeating what I've been told," said Marquis. "The whole thing is held together with 4 pegs up at each corner."

    He moved the log cabin he believes dates back to 1836 to his ranch, too.

    "We gotta leave something behind for the next bunch coming along," he said. "'Cause, you can't know the future without knowing the past. Way I look at it ya know?"

    He figures if he doesn't preserve Stony's past, who will?

    "People laugh at me, but these old buildings will talk to ya, if you know how to listen to 'em," he said. "What I mean by that is, everything in these buildings was built by hand."

    Protecting the past, one building at a time, and learning from the past.

    "I can tell you what tools that man had that built that log cabin," he said.

    Marquis says it's all worth saving, because the walls can talk.

    "It tells a history. It's not a written history, but they all have history to them," he said. "If you know how to listen to them, they'll talk to you and tell it to you."