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Gainesville, Texas Where”Texas Hospitality Begins”

The farm roads and byways surrounding Gainesville offer vistas of gently rolling hills and woodlands.
By D Magazine |

Gainesville can be best described as a gracious community. Most of Gainesville’s downtown area dates from the 1880’s and 1890’s, but settlement here actually began 40 years earlier. California Street hails from the years when forty-niners rode through North Texas on their way to look for gold in the West. Some of the would-be prospectors settled here, attracted by the area’s fertile soil, abundant timber, and clear streams.

For visitors who enjoy contemplations as well as celebration, the farm roads and byways surrounding Gainesville offer vistas of gently rolling hills and woodlands. Travelers spot: quarter horses, paint horses, and miniature horses gazing on green pasturelands. Sullivant Ranch is among the best known and most successful quarter horse ranches in the world. Sullivant Ranch has several world champion horses. Championship horses from Cooke County’s 42 ranches qualify the area as “one of the major horse capitals of the world,” says Greg Solomon, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Championship Rodeo will be held on July 20, 21, and 22. This event features some of the top competitors in the country and serves as one of the largest events in the North Texas region. Cowboys and cowgirls from alt over the country give one of the best shows you have ever seen.

Good eatin’ spots abound in Gainesville. At the Fried Pie Co. & Restaurant, diners enjoy breakfast or lunch in a turn-of-the-century building with a high, pressed-tin ceiling and walls lines with shelves of antiques. The Fried Pies -seven mouth-watering varieties are made from owner Jo Clark’s own recipes. Martin Street Pub & Eatery serves mouth-stretching sandwiches and other tare under the watchful eyes of assorted trophy heads, including a wild hog hanging over a sign that admonishes “Don’t Be a Boar.”

Harper’s Restaurant and Bar serves a variety of cuisine including barbecue, seafood, salads, and other tasty dishes.

Need a place to spend the night after eating all that good food? The Honey Bush Bed and Breakfast, a yellow-and-green Victorian house in Gainsville’s historic district, offers ample opportunity for relaxation. The B&B features five bedrooms, each with a private bath. Guests in the antique furnished 1894 house find all sorts of extras – from brandy in snifters and Victorian nightgowns in the bedrooms to rubber duckies in the claw-foot tubs.

Guests enjoy a breakfast that includes an egg dish, Belgian waffles and pecan-flavored syrup, homemade bread, biscuits, fruit, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and coffee. To add to the atmosphere, guests wear Victorian hats to breakfast or to the British afternoon tea.

For live entertainment at its best, the Butterfield Stage Players perform on weekends in October, December, February, April and June. The Players showcase the superb talent of local actors and actresses to audiences that continue to return for more.

If you desire shopping, Cheaney’s offers a wide variety of western wear and other clothing. They carry name brand items as well as custom made products. There are over 21 antique shops such as Naughty Lady Antiques which offert a large selection of antique furniture, dishes, collectibles and more. The Lindsay House/Powell Fine Art offers one of the finest collections of art in the United States, This gallery offers art, antiques, and other specialty items only found in Gainesville.

Shoppers will love Gainsville’s largest attraction – The Gainesville Factory Shops, the largest outlet center in North Texas. Fila, one of over ninety factory shops of the Gainesville Factory Shops, offers a wide variety of sports apparel, casual west as well as many different styles land types of shoes at factory prices. Dansk, also part of the Gainesville factory Shops, offers an assortment of dishes, flatware, vases, and glasses to compliment any need. Everyone will find Texas size bargains at Gainesville Factory Shops. Those of you that may he interested in the perfect vehicle should visit Glenn Polk Ford, one of the largest dealerships in the North Texas region. Glenn Polk Ford offers a wide selection of vehicles including Mercury. This dealership offers the best prices in North Texas.

One of Gainsville’s most recognizable landmarks is the Santa Fe Depot. Built in 1902 to replace a smaller structure, the depot reflected Gainsville’s status as a regional huh of commerce and transportation. From the 1880s through the early 1900s, the town thrived as a major shipping point for cattle and cotton.

Although no longer in use {it served its last passengers in 1979), the well-maintained, red-brick and tile-roofed depot stands along the railroad tracks between Broadway and California streets near downtown. With the help of government grants and private donations, the Community preservation Foundation plans to restore the building to its original condition.

Aficionados of classic cars, Coca-Cola, or circuses appreciate the Schmitz Museum. A large back room houses 25 classic cars of 1924-to-1966 vintage, reminders of the days when the building served as Frank’s auto dealership. He drove two of the cars in the Great American Race, an annual cross-country event for antique autos. Recalling the competitions he entered from 1989 to 1993, he says, “1 raced for three years in the ’29 Dodge Sport Roadster and tor two years in the ’36 DeSoto Coupe.”

Lining the building’s upstairs walls are Coca-Cola bottles, signs, calendars, and some 4,500 other artifacts from the building’s bottling-plant days.

Near the entrance, the museum displays memories of the city’s renown with the help of as many as 118 local residents, including doctors, businessmen, housewives, and schoolchildren.

Those individuals interested in moving to this comfortable and safe community will want to know about some of the fringe benefits. North Central Texas College is one of the more progressive and well-rounded community colleges in the country. It has a student population of approximately 4,200. In addition to Gainesville, it has branch campuses in Denton, Lewisville, and Montague County. It offers a wide variety of programs and degrees. Guaranty National Bank and North Texas Rank & Trust are progressive banks that offers full services to their customers.