Friday, February 3, 2023

Task force to tackle telling of Flower Mound’s history

While previous groups trying to preserve Flower Mound’s rich heritage never got very far, a new one is determined to make it a permanent part of the town’s future.

The Flower Mound Historical Commission Task Force was approved in August by the Flower Mound Town Council. It conducted its first internal meeting Sept. 29 and its first public session Oct. 19 outdoors at the historic Gibson-Grant Log House.

Chaired by longtime resident Jacque Narrell, its seven volunteer members have varied backgrounds and length of time living in Flower Mound. They include Mark Glover, son-in-law of Flower Mound’s first mayor, Bob Rheudasil, and the most historically knowledgeable member of the group. Others are Secretary Kathy Blair, Chair Pro Tem Terra Klarich, Adam Shear, Marcia Gavitt and Cindy Clark.

“We really wanted to get this off the ground because there are lot of stories to tell,” said Narrell, whose background is in architecture, interior design and history. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity and we’re going to roll with this.

The group will meet quarterly to find ways to research, discuss and maintain Flower Mound’s heritage and history including how to best present the archives currently housed at Town Hall. Among its duties is to conduct a needs assessment of places, artifacts, people and events of importance that shaped the history of Flower Mound, determine what it should be doing and whether the group should become a standalone commission or a non-profit historical foundation/society to do things a commission can’t.

“Everyone has their own bit of history to bring to us,” Narrell said. “This is not just to preserve Flower Mound, but to bring it out too. The key is that the town council is behind it.”

“We’re here to generate ideas on what could happen down the road,” Klarich said.

Flower Mound officially became a town in 1961 because the area’s ranchers and farmers didn’t want to be annexed by Irving. Among them was the Haynes family that has owned a 158-acre working ranch in the far southwestern corner of the town since the 1800s. Brothers Charley and Barry Haynes spoke on how they want to help the town preserve their heritage.

“It’s good to know there’s a commission and task force that has a passion to get things done,” said Charley Haynes. “If you don’t have a passion you won’t get things done.”

“The history of Flower Mound is far different than say Grapevine or Denton or Lewisville or McKinney or Frisco,” Glover said. “They have downtowns with historic buildings and they have neighborhoods surrounding their downtowns with historic houses.

“Flower Mound is a collection of farms and ranches that incorporated in 1961 so we don’t have those historic properties to regulate and restore. A lot of them were lost in recent decades to development or other reasons but we were lucky to save a few like this Gibson-Grant Log House. We have another opportunity with what I call the Haynes Ranch.”

The Commission Task Force’s next public meeting is scheduled for January. It will then continue work to prepare and present a recommended action plan to the Town Council.

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