The first jail in Hood County was a small log cabin on the Brazos River which quickly became inadequate. This jail was completed in 1885 and served as the only city and county jail until 1978. The first floor had four rooms and a bathroom and served as living quarters for various sheriffs and deputies. The second floor was for the prisoners and included a single cell for "women or the insane". Today the building is open to the public as a museum. Hours are 1 PM to 4 PM Friday, Staturday and Sunday from March through November. Admission is $2 for 12 and up and $1 for kids 6 to 12. Kids under 6 are free.
Granbury has a nice veterans museum designed to honor the service of all members, current and former, of the U. S. Military. Summer hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday. As a veteran and a retiree, I stop to see a lot of these and this is a dedicated group. They are also quite active in the community.
Granbury is dominated by Lake Granbury, 8310 acres, which was created in 1969 with a dam built on the Brazos River. The lake runs through the town and in addition to the usual hotels, resorts and condos there is a neat pier and a city beach so the locals and tourists can escpae the heat of a Texas summer and enjoy the water. Go fishing, relax on a boat or zip around on a jetski.
Granbury is a town of about 8000 located in North Central Texas near the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Wikipedia calls Granbury basically a "suburb of Fort Worth" but don't tell the locals that. The town started in 1825, and was later named after Texas General Hiram B. Granberry. There are various explanations for the difference in spelling. Granbury is the county seat of Hood County, and sports an impressive courthouse (the fifth for the county) built in 1881 using a Texas version of the French Second Empire style of architecture.
Our visits to Granbury didn't include 'Granbury Live!' until just recently. We didn't know what we were missing!
We recently traveled to this sweet little town to experience an oldies concert billed as OLD TIME ROCK N' ROLL, music from the '60's. The two hour concert cost $32.50 each.
The cast offered songs by Elvis, Sonny and Cher, the Tokens, the Righteous Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Rolling Stones and many others.
Granbury LIVE! presents concerts that are family-friendly, comic and nostalgic. Costume changes really help to get you in the "groove". A lively cast impersonate several recording stars and manage to bring back the oldies but goodies in a fun-loving event.
At the conclusion of each concert, a tribute is given to our men in arms.
Other concerts are BIG FUN (music from the '70's), ROCKIN'GOSPEL; GOD BLESS TEXAS; ELVIS, CHUCK & BUDDY and CLASS OF '57.
Several of the cast members will be relocating to Fredericksburg, Texas where they will continue presenting events of the same caliber. A new group of cast members will be selected for the Granbury LIVE! venue.
When at the visitor's center, it was suggested that we stop by Barking Rocks winery. We were intrigued by the name!
The property the winery sits on was once owned by a Helen Knox, who had her initials made from rocks cemented into the side of a building...the letters H.K. appeared to be the image of a barking dog, so owner Tiberia put his imagination to good use...thereby naming his winery...Barking Rocks.
At the wine tasting we were told that the winery produces 800 cases a year and buys their red grapes exclusively from a vineyard in Plains, Texas named Quail Ridge owned by the Welch family. All other grapes are purchased from Texas grape growers, as well. The barrels of white oak come from a particular individual in Cuba, Missouri.
While we were there, we sampled the 2003 Chardonnay, 2003 Casena (named after a grandmother in the family) and a 2002 & 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. A very friendly dog, Seller, greeted all customers with a great big lick!
Granbury's depot was constructed in 1914 and is an example of a typical Texas train station. This building replaces an earlier depot, which was constructed in 1887 when the railroad first came to the area. It was destroyed by fire in 1912.
The current structure was described as a "modern passenger and freight depot".
The Ft. Worth and Rio Grande Railroad came to Granbury in 1887. To enable travelers to visit between Granbury and Ft. Worth, residents paid a railroad $25,000 to run a line between the two cities. This caused a growth spurt in Granbury and an economic boon.
As you drive into historical Granbury, you'll cross a bridge spanning the lake. Granbury lake is part of the De Cordova Bend Dam project constructed in 1966-1969, which comprises 136,823 acres. The Brazos River Authority, the oldest river authority in Texas, oversees this resource.
If you're an angler, this is the perfect place to do some fishing. A brochure printed by the river authority gives tips on where to go: Crappie and panfish gather around the marinas and docks extending around the perimeter of the lake; stripers tend to inhabit deeper and more open areas of the lake and below the dam. PUBLIC ACCESS IS TO FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY."
Boating details: Since Granbury is located in the southern portion of what is referred to as Tornado Alley, all boaters are asked to observe warning signs and flashing lights. The weather can turn dramatically in a very short time. It is also noted that the river area can be extremely dangerous at time with life-threatening stream flows and undertow currents. CANOEING IS BEST IN THE SPRING AND FALL.
So, after reading all the information you'll need to remember that only certain places are meant for swimming and if you fall out of your boat--WATCH OUT!
Granbury's historically restored shopping area encircles the Hood County Courthouse. This area draws a number of people each year wanting to have a look at this picturesque town square.
These adjoining shops are located in the Glenn Brother's Building, built in 1885 by James Farr, an attorney. It was eventually bought (1888) by brothers Clark B., Dan, John and James M. Glenn. They owned a grocery store in this building, but were also interested in the political side of things in Granbury, as well as in other businesses. Their store and three others were engulfed in flames in 1891 and had to be repaired. Contractors Elliott & Halsley made extensive repairs and used heavy iron clad timbers to support the brick veneer front of the upper story, adding a touch of Victorian style.
Currently The Downtown Store, Our Place and DeVine Wine are located in this structure.
What these walls must have seen! The Aston-Landers building has a front facade of ashlar block and side and rear walls laid in the rubble technique. It has a patented iron threshold and was built in 1893 as a saloon. (In photo: white stone building with striped awning)
A historical plaque near the door states "here there occurred a 1901 duel that badly injured a non-participating horseman on the square". Things quieted down when *Carrie Nation visited the town and soon after voters prohibited liquor. The walking tour guide mentions that on the last night before the saloon closed for good, they took in $100 and sold every drop of liquor in the joint.
This building then became a buggy and harness shop with other businesses following through the years. The Brazos River Trading Post, a gift/antique shop, is now located in this building. The single story shop with red awning and parapet that is adjoining was once known as "The Fair".
**Carrie Nation (1846-1911) was born in Garrard County, Ky.; a militant crusader against illegal saloons; member of the temperance movement.
This square stone building with its intricate cornice and jaunty striped awning is the Nutt House Hotel.
The Nutt brothers were prominent citizens of Granbury who ran a merchantile establishment in the town square. They had settled here in 1855 and together with Thomas Lambert, had donated a 40 acre parcel of land that became the town of Granbury. Granbury is the county seat of Hood County.
The first store (1866) was a log building measuring 16' x 12' with a wagon yard in the rear. Local contractor, Jim Warren, built this hand-hewn stone structure for the brothers. In spite of the fact they were both blind, they made a success of themselves in this community.
The Nutt Hotel, famous for it dining room, came into being when the family grocery store was remodeled and the second floor became the restaurant in 1919. This establishment was one of the first businesses in Granbury to be restored and reopened by Nutt family descendants.
Please see picture#2--the original parking "spot" for horses
It's a building one notices on main street, erected in 1886, this two story Italianate theater is one of the most ornate buildings on the town square. The upper windows all feature elaborate hood molds; a cornice of detailed pressed tin and a pediment in the center highlight the building beautifully.
This theater was once known as Kerr's Opera House, which closed in 1911. In its heydey, it featured traveling vaudeville acts, melodramas, singers and minstrel shows. Through the years, it housed many different businesses including a saddle and harness shop and a saloon.
The Opera House was deteriorating, so in the l970's the whole community joined in to restore it. It reopened as the Granbury Opera Association in 1975 and presents family oriented broadway style musicals from March-December.
We were hoping to peek at the inside, but it was closed when we came by. The Walking & Driving Tour of Historic Granbury & Hood County gave us the lowdown on its history.
The Granbury cemetery sits atop a slight rise outside the town and is the last resting place for many of its early settlers and founding fathers, such as General Hiram B. Granberry, for whom Granbury is named. His first gravesite was elsewhere, but he was reinterred here in 1893 in a elaborate ceremony attended by his sister, Nautie, and many hundreds of spectators.
General Granberry (Granbury) was killed on the porch of his headquarters at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864. In total, six generals were lost in this battle.
The cemetery is also the center of a longtime legend. A man known as 'J. Dalton' had worked in the Granbury area for a short time on the railroad in his younger years. When he thought he was dying at 103 years of age, he talked a grandson into bringing him back to Hood County. At that time he supposedly confessed that he was actually the notorious outlaw, Jesse James.
Jesse James had been a Confederate veteran, but also an infamous outlaw. Historians believe that Jesse James was killed by a member of his gang in 1882, but according to legend another James gang member was shot in order that law enforcement would believe that the outlaw was dead.
Descendants of Jess James believe this man is their infamous relative and have placed a headstone on his grave upon which visitors have placed pennies.
Touring this jail was fascinating! A volunteer guide on the premises was full of information about the history of this facility built in 1885 by J.N. Haney, a miller from Granbury.
We viewed the original headstone for H.B. Granbury which depicts the family spelling of the name (Granberry). A handsome framed photo of the General hung from the wall. He fought with the 7th Texas brigade where he became a Brigadier General and died in battle at Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, l864. General John B. Hood, for whom Hood County is named, is also represented in a vintage photo.
Hood County jail has a unique system of cells created by the Pauly Jail Building & Manufacturing Company. I've included a photo of the second floor jail cell, that looks pretty spooky! It is a free-standing system manufactured in St. Louis, Missouri that was patented in 1874.
This system was frequently used in jails of the West and holds 8 prisoners. The doors locked shut with a lever outside the cells. The "bang" it made when it shut caused people to refer to it as the SLAMMER.
The tall tower with cupola was built just in case a gallows would be needed at a later date, but no such thing was ever built. The guide told us that no hangings took place in this jail.
I thought this was interesting: A time capsule is buried on the side of the building, where a plaque on a bench states that it was buried on March 8, l986 and is to be opened on March 8, 2036. Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-4pm and there is no charge.
When visiting Granbury for the first time, you must stop by the visitor's center. You'll find assorted brochures and maps on Hood County and other surrounding areas of interest. Shelf after shelf of helpful information awaited us. I walked out with an armful of brochures and maps.
We spoke with an outgoing and lovely lady named Ann, who staffed the visitors center counter. She filled us in on what we should see while in her fair town. Her family was deeply rooted in the area and she was a walking history book!
Not only did we pick up the Walking and Driving Tour of Historic Granbury and Hood County, but many other bits of information. We'll definitely have to make a return trip because we only had time to find a few of the noted buildings. There are restrooms open to the public at the visitor's center.
1517 North Plaza Drive, Granbury, TX, 76048
Good for: Solo
635 Pearl Street, Granbury, Texas, 76048, United States
Good for: Couples
903 Harbor Lakes Drive, Granbury, Texas, 76048, United States
Good for: Business