Step Back in Time at Emory Park


Published:

Ine Burke

The Emory Heritage Park is located off Highway 69, adjacent to the Rains County Public Library in Emory. It is established and maintained by the Rains County Historical Society.

The park is dedicated to the preservation of rural cultural and architectural history in Rains County from the early 1900’s era.

Here’s a preview of some of its historic structures in the park that were once located in various towns in Rains County and donated by members of the community.

The Luckett House, a 1912 Texas style farm house was built for George and Florence Luckett, who raised 18 children, with the seven youngest ones having been born in this house. The two-story wooden house is very well restored and furnished under the direction of the Luckett family descendents.

Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church is typical of early Texas rural churches, constructed with hand-planed lumber, by the church’s own members. It was built in 1930 in Shady Grove and served its congregation for 66 years until 1996, when the new and larger building was completed.

At Point Gasoline Service Station, back in the day, you would get full service, which included cleaning the windows and windscreen, checking the tire pressures, and a general inspection of other items under the hood. This 1920 gas station served as a community meeting place in Point, about eight miles northwest of Emory, selling groceries, snacks, auto parts, and other supplies, in addition to gasoline until 1984 when the last owners retired.

The Point Cotton Gin scales building is dated from the 1920’s and was used by the Farmers Co-Op Gin and reminds us of how important it was to the community then. Around the 1900’s, cotton was a major cash crop for farmers in East Texas. The cotton industry in Rains County reached its record high in 1931.

The Rains County Leader building is a replica of the 1887 newspaper’s office that still serves Rains County today. The interior is a work in progress. When completed it will exhibit 1890-1920’s original printing equipment donated by the owner and operator of the newspaper, the Hill family.

Other structures in the park include an octagonal bandstand, an outhouse, and a steel jail cell. A replica of an old jail building is planned to be built around this cell.

Emory, the “land between the lakes,” is located 70 miles northeast of Dallas between Lake Tawakoni and Lake Fork. The community celebrates several annual events including “Eagle Fest” in February, “Rains County Founder’s Day Festival” in May, “Rains County Fair“ and “Classic around the Square” mid September (week of September 11 -15 this year), and “Christmas on the Square” in December.

An upcoming event in the park is the “Back to School Bash,” August 4.

For further enquiry contact Keeley Roan, Director of Community Development of City of Emory Development Corporation, 903-473-2465 x 112, email keeley@emorytx.com, or visit their website at www.emorytx.com.

See more photos of Emory Heritage Park at inegaleri.com.

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