On a beautiful spring day I visit homes, a church, school and land office all from the 19th and early 20th centuries and all original to East Texas. The buildings, and symbols of local history, were dismantled and reconstructed on a plot of land in Nacogdoches and collectively named Millard’s Crossing.
The museum complex is named for the railroad track that once crossed through the Millard family property and now borders the north side of the village.
The village was the dream of Lera Millard Thomas (1900 – 1993). Thomas, a Nacogdoches native and Texas preservationist was the first woman from Texas to serve in the U.S. Congress.
In 1968 she returned to Nacogdoches and embarked upon this remarkable preservation project, stepping in to save some of the area’s finest historic structures as well as creating a place to house her extensive antique collection.
After paying a nominal admission, I begin my slow meander from building to building, each filled with antiques and period appropriate furnishings, tools and supplies.
Come along with me as I explore Millard’s Crossing, starting with a Methodist parsonage from 1900, with its appropriately genteel interior.
Nearby, an older and simpler dwelling, the Watkins Log House from 1842, with definite signs of family life filling the space...
The 1867 Burrows House reflects a more leisurely lifestyle.
Two 'public' buildings are next, the neat and stately 1905 Free Methodist Church, and a log School House.
This 'dogtrot' house is a Southwestern specialty; it's essentially a large log cabin with a hallway or breezeway from the front door to the back. This one is from 1842.
And two houses that belonged to the Millard family. The first is from 1900, and was owned by Henry Millard. It now houses a textile museum. Below it, the Millard-Lee House, built in 1837.
And congratulations to George G, who was able to identify this week's One-Clue Mystery from the image of the Free Methodist Church!