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THE SHAW CABIN AND GRISTMILL
Built: ca. 1854
Throughout the nineteenth century milling was very important to Texans, who depended on mills to grind grains for
bread and tortilla making.
The cabin that houses the mill was built by Thomas Shaw in 1854. Because of his exemplary skills as a carpenter and house builder, Shaw became widely known throughout the county for his log cabin building. It was with his help that many inexperienced homesteaders were able to erect log homes. The 160-acre site on which Shaw constructed his house was pre-empted at fifty cents an acre and was located in an area known as the Spring Creek community in Parker County, Texas. When first erected, not another Anglo settlement was west of this cabin, and only five miles away a large group of Tonkawa Indians camped along the Brazos River.
After more than a century of use, first as a home, then as a bunkhouse,
and finally as a storage barn, the cabin was relocated to the Log Cabin
Village in Fort Worth. The waterwheel and a stone wall were added to
the original structure for its interpretation as a gristmill.
THE SHAW FAMILY
Perhaps the wanderlust which dominated Shaw's life over the next thirteen years was a result of these journeys. Returning to Tennessee, the restless Shaw remained only a short time before joining his brother, Granville C. Shaw, in Collin County, Texas. From Collin County, Shaw moved to Nacogdoches County and then to Houston County before returning to Tennessee in 1844.
In 1845, Thomas J. Shaw married Louisa Ann Long, who was born May 10, 1827. Three years later, the couple moved to Missouri. In 1851, they moved to Texas. They settled near the present town of Paris for a brief period before moving to a location near Fort Smith, Arkansas.
In 1854, the wagons of the Reverend Pleasant E. Tackett, a Methodist minister, and his group of families from Missouri rolled into Arkansas on their way to Texas. Once again the lure of distant lands beckoned, and the Shaw family joined them.
The group of fifteen families arrived in what is now Parker County in the early part of October. They were forced to camp on the banks of the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, which was impassable due to heavy rains. When the waters finally subsided, the settlers crossed the river and set out to select and stake out locations for their homesteads. This is where the Shaw Cabin was erected and was Thomas’ final home.
Louisa had fourteen children, although four of them died in infancy:
During Shaw's later life he was a prosperous and well known farmer and
stockman. At one time he served as Parker County Commissioner, Justice
of the Peace, and Notary Public. He also assisted in the organization
of Parker County and voted in its first election.
|Hours: Tue. - Fri. 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. (gates close at 3:30 p.m.)
Sat. and Sun.: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (gates close at 4:30 p.m.)
Log Cabin Village is closed on Mondays
|2100 Log Cabin Village Lane
Fort Worth, TX 76109