Cherishing Our Sense of Place

Cherishing Our Sense of Place

Hood County grew by almost 25% from 2000 until 2014, and is expected to continue growing at a rapid pace.  Suburban sprawl has brought dramatic change to our community.  Preserve Granbury is working to preserve the charm and special sense of place that makes us all want to live in Hood County.  Here are photos of some of our past and present projects…won’t you be a part of our future?

Walley House Work 2



president's house

Come Join the Fun at Preserve Granbury’s Annual Picnic & Business Meeting

Come Join the Fun at Preserve Granbury’s Annual Picnic & Business Meeting

You’re invited to Preserve Granbury’s 5th Annual Picnic & Business Meeting on Saturday, May 30, 2015.  This year, the picnic will be held at the historic Preserve Granbury House located at 801 North Lipan Drive in Granbury.

The business meeting will begin at 11:00am, followed by the outdoor picnic at noon.  During the business meeting, the restoration updates, timelines, and future plans will be discussed concerning continuing preservation efforts in Hood County.

The Preservation Picnic lunch will be free for members of Preserve Granbury and $10 for guests. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED, so make sure to contact any of the directors listed or email us today.

Tours of the in-process restoration of this historic building will be conducted for those interested in viewing our progress.


Rehabilitation of Gordon House Underway

Rehabilitation of Gordon House Underway
Rehabilitation of the historic Gordon House in Granbury is underway and Preserve Granbury is proud to be part of its preservation.
chimney and door

In March 2013, Preserve Granbury donated $26,000 to the City of Granbury for
rehabilitation of the Gordon House and other historic buildings at the Dora Lee Langdon Cultural and Educational Center. This donation helped match the generous $100,000 grant from The Inge Foundation.
Much of Preserve Granbury’s donation was contributed by the Gordon Family in memory of Richard Gordon and Billie Gayle Gordon Langford and was specifically for rehabilitation of the Gordon House.


Sixth Annual Party on the Peak Set for September 27

Sixth Annual Party on the Peak Set for September 27

Save the Date!

Preserve Granbury’s 2014 Party on the Peak will be held on Saturday, Sept. 27, beginning at 5 p.m.  Party on the Peak features historic tours, panoramic views of the North Texas prairie, an authentic cowboy chuck-wagon dinner, and dancing under the stars. The party also features live and silent fundraising auctions of fabulous trips and unique artwork and gifts. Reservations are $100 per person.

Preserve Granbury is now seeking sponsors for the 6th annual event.

FNB table “Party on the Peak offers sponsors the opportunity to associate their business or organization with a unique, positive event that focuses on preserving our special quality of life here in Hood County,” said Chairperson Cindy Peters. “We hope many local businesses will support historic preservation.”

Ken Hill Sr., the Hill family, and Comanche Peak Ranch, LLC, graciously host the party atop their 1,229-feet tall historic mesa, Comanche Peak, to help Preserve Granbury raise funds for its historic preservation projects. Preserve Granbury is a 501c3 organization that preserves and promotes the historic integrity of its community.

For more information about Party on the Peak or sponsorships, contact  Mary Saltarelli at



Granbury’s Historic Brazos Drive-In For Sale

Granbury’s Historic Brazos Drive-In For Sale

Historic Landmark May be Eligible for Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits

 The Brazos Drive-In Theatre in Granbury has been showing first-run movies since opening night June 5, 1952, when the theater featured The First Time, a “delightful family comedy” starring Robert Cummings and Barbara Hale. Featuring two cartoons each night, the Brazos charged 49 cents per person, but Wednesday and Thursday were “bargain car” nights when enthusiastic moviegoers could pile in station wagons for 60 cents per carload.

After 60 years of continuous operation, the Brazos Drive-In is for sale, looking for its fourth owners and caretakers. Current owner Jennifer Miller is ready to retire. As the third owner of the Brazos, Miller preserved the valuable North Texas landmark and kept it open for more than 27 years, the longest of the theater’s owners. Miller said the Brazos Drive-In is a thriving, viable business and bona-fide tourism attraction for Granbury, and she would like it to be preserved.

“The Brazos Drive-In has been part of my life for years. My kids grew up working there, and the theater is near and dear to my heart,” Miller said. “I want the Brazos to always be a thriving regional theater and vital attraction for Granbury.”

When it opened, the Brazos featured in-car speakers and the latest in sound and projection equipment. But today, like other mom-and-pop drive-ins nationwide, the Brazos must upgrade to new digital projection technology in order to stay open. According to Miller, the cost of such an upgrade will be $70,000 to $100,000. The drive-in is and its five-acres are for sale for $575,000.

With a huge screen that’s 35-feet high and 70-feet wide and its original ticket booth, marquee, and concession stand, the Brazos is an established and familiar landmark on the west end of downtown Granbury. In 2003, the City of Granbury designated the Brazos as a Granbury Historic Landmark. In 2010, Preservation Texas named the Brazos as one of Texas’ Most Endangered Places.

“The Brazos is an icon of mid-20th century drive-in culture,” said Diane Lock, first vice president of Preserve Granbury. “Throughout the country, there are very few drive-in theaters that remain open and even fewer that have stayed in continuous operation. Yet “new” drive-ins are now being built. We have this jewel here in Granbury that should be preserved and help keep vital for future generations.

Because the Brazos Drive-In is a significant historic resource remaining from the “fabulous ‘50s,” developers who rehabilitate it may be eligible to apply for Federal rehabilitation tax credits. Up to 20 percent of the amount spent on rehabilitation of the drive-in may be applied as an income tax credit if the drive-in is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Miller and Lock said the drive-in could be preserved while being adapted for other income-producing uses. Miller suggested such uses as building an entertainment stage in front of the screen, or opening an outdoor ice-skating rink during winter months.

The Brazos has longtime fans throughout North Texas who bring their families to enjoy outdoor movies and popcorn made in the theater’s original 1950’s popper.  One fan, Cliff Knight, posted his thoughts on the theater’s web site, .

“I can’t express the joy I have, getting to enjoy the ‘drive-in experience,’ with my daughter,” Knight wrote. “Please keep up the good work. Here’s to another 50 years.”



Learn About a Granbury Woman’s Contributions During the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance

Learn About a Granbury Woman’s Contributions During the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance

During the Roaring ‘20s, Josephine Cogdell of Granbury moved to New York City. There, she met and married George Schuyler and contributed to Harlem’s cultural renaissance. Josephine and George were writers, and Josephine was a writer and artist. Their daughter, Phillipa, became a musical prodigy known as the “little Harlem genius.”

josephine cogdellBecause Josephine had entered into an interracial marriage, her parents and siblings in Texas never met George and Phillipa.  Josephine’s father was an early Granbury businessman and banker D.C. Cogdell and she grew up in the historic Cogdell House, now known as the Iron Horse Inn.

Learn more about Josephine Cogdell’s fascinating story when scholar and author Carla Kaplan appears in Granbury January 17 and 18. Kaplan will be speaking about her new book, Miss Anne in Harlem, the White Women of the Black Renaissance, which features Josephine Cogdell as one of six notable white women who embraced black culture and life in Harlem in the 1920s and ’30s.

On Friday evening, January 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Kaplan will be introduced at a small wine-and-cheese reception at Iron Horse Inn on Thorp Spring Road. Reservations for the reception are required and admission is $5 per person.

On Saturday afternoon, January 18, from 2 to 4 p.m., Kaplan will discuss and read from her book at the Hood County Library. Admission is free and reservations are not required. Copies of Miss Anne in Harlem will be sold at both events for $25 and Kaplan will be available to sign books. Copies of the book are also for sale in advance at the Friends of the Library Bookstore in the Hood County Library.

Kaplan is an award-winning professor and writer who holds the Stanton W. and Elisabeth K. Davis Distinguished Professorship in American Literature at Northeastern University. She has also taught at the University of Southern California and Yale University.

Friends of the Library for Hood County, the Hood County Historical Commission, and Preserve Granbury are presenting Kaplan’s appearance in Granbury. To make reservations for the reception on Friday, Nov. 17 or for more information, call the Friends of the Library Bookstore at 817-408-2570.

2013 Party on the Peak Raises $42,000 for Historic Preservation

2013 Party on the Peak Raises  $42,000 for Historic Preservation


Homer:CindyAt Preserve Granbury’s Fifth annual Party on the Peak atop Comanche Peak on Oct. 5, 390 people had fun touring, eating, and dancing. Amidst all the fun, attendees raised approximately $42,000 for Preserve Granbury’s historic preservation projects and its educational and advocacy efforts in Hood County.

National Chuck Wagon Cook Homer Robertson, along with other expert wagon cooks, set up their wagons and cooked authentic Texas grub for an appreciative crowd. Then attendees danced under the big Texas sky to the music of Texas singer-songwriter Davin James and his band.

Special thanks to the gracious hosts of Party on the Peak who open their ranch to the community each year:

  •      Comanche Peak Ranch, PDX/pcI, and the Hill Family

FNB table

Special thanks to the generous sponsors of this year’s Party on the Peak:

  • *    Granbury Wine Walk—April 25-26, 2014
  •      Progressive Waste Solutions
  •      Charles Kennard, M.D., P.A.
  •      The Inge Foundation
  •      The First National Bank of Granbury
  •      Laurel and Carol Pirkle
  •      XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidiary
  •      Luminant


And special thanks to this year’s in-kind sponsors of the party:

  •     Kroger
  •     Hood County News
  •     Granbury Flower Shop and Gifts
  •     Great Outdoors Sports Emporium
  •     Martin’s Office Supply
  •     Walmart

Learn How Native American History in Texas Evolved into Legends, Myths, and Movies

Learn How Native American History in Texas  Evolved into Legends, Myths, and Movies

Attend Special Educational Seminars Presented by Preserve Granbury

Preserve Granbury will present four seminars in November and December that will delve into Texas and Comanche history and examine how actual events became the stuff of legendary Texas folklore.

The first seminar is Saturday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. at the Hood County Library. It will feature Pulitzer-prize winning author Glenn Frankel discussing his new book, The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend. Frankel’s book compares the real life abduction of 9-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker by Comanches to the legendary story created by moviemakers in John Ford’s 1956 film, The Searchers. Frankel is director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He worked 33 years for The Washington Post. During his career there, Frankel won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. A complimentary lunch and showing of the movie, The Searchers, will follow Frankel’s talk.

All of the upcoming seminars coincide with “Comanche Nation: The Story of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker,” an exhibit on display at the Langdon Center’s Gordon House from Oct. 26 through Dec. 18. The Gordon House is located at 308 East Bridge St. in Granbury and is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the exhibit and seminars is free. Preserve Granbury, the City of Granbury, and Tarleton State University are partnering to present the exhibit and seminars.

9780896727076mOn Friday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Gordon House at the Langdon Center, authors Tom Crum and Paul H. Carlson will review their book, Myth Memory and Massacre, The Pease River Capture of Cynthia Ann Parker. Published in 2010, Myth, Memory, and Massacre examines the true story of the Texas Ranger and U.S. Cavalry raid on a Comanche hunting camp in 1860, where Rangers captured 34-year-old Naudah, or Cynthia Ann Parker, and separated her from her Native American family. Crum lives in Hood County where he served as state district judge. He is a director for both the East and West Texas Historical Associations. Carlson is professor emeritus of history at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

On Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m. in the Gordon House at the Langdon Center, historian Doug Harman will discuss the creation of the Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker exhibit, the significance of the mesa known as Comanche Peak in Hood County, and contemporary issues facing Native Americans. Harman is director emeritus of the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Lakes Trail and he worked on creating the Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker exhibit now on display at the Langdon Center. Harman has served as both city manager and convention and visitors bureau director for the City of Fort Worth and he is a member of the Tarrant County Historical Commission.

The seminars will conclude Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. in the Gordon House at the Langdon Center with the showing of the documentary film, Reel Injun, On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian. Produced in 2009, Reel Injun examines Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans from the silent movie era to today.

The Texas Lakes Trail Region produced the Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker exhibit. The Lakes Trail Region is one of ten regional Heritage Trails programs created through the Texas Historical Commission. In conjunction with the Forts, Plains, and Brazos Trail Regions, the Lakes Trail Region is developing a “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker Trail,” which highlights the many historic sites throughout Texas significant in their lives.

Grand Opening of “Comanche Nation” Exhibit

Grand Opening of “Comanche Nation” Exhibit

Preserve Granbury is proud to bring a special exhibit, “Comanche Nation: The Story of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker,” to the Langdon Center from Oct. 26 through Dec. 18. The exhibit will be open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

You’re invited to a reception celebrating the grand opening of the exhibit on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 9 the Gordon House in the Langdon Centerduring Granbury’s Last Saturday Gallery Night.

Quanah-Ricks image-PFeaturing rarely seen photos, the exhibit tells the story of Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker, “A Woman of Two Worlds and a Man in Two Worlds.” It seeks to educate visitors about Comanche heritage through the interwoven tales of their lives.

Preserve Granbury is partnering with the Texas Lakes Trail Region, the City of Granbury and its Dora Lee Langdon Cultural and Educational Center, and Tarleton State University to bring this special exhibit to Granbury.

Representatives of the Lakes Trail Region who put together the exhibit will be at the opening reception to share their knowledge of Comanche heritage and culture and answer questions.

Watch for more information on some fascinating educational programs and lectures we will be offering during the time the exhibit is in Granbury.

Party on the Peak : October 5th

Party on the Peak  : October 5th

Preserve Granbury has reached full capacity for the 2013 Party on the Peak. We are taking names on a waiting list in case someone can’t make the party. If you’d like to put your name on the 2013 Party on the Peak waiting list, please email

Thank you all for your support of Preserve Granbury and historic preservation in Hood County, Texas!

Steep yourself in Comanche Peak’s magical sense of place while you help preserve historic places in Hood County at Preserve Granbury’s fifth annual Party on the Peak on Saturday evening, October 5.

Held atop historic Comanche Peak mesa, the party features tours of the peak beginning at 5 p.m., where you’ll behold panoramic views of North Texas prairie. After your guided tour, you’ll enjoy cocktails, dinner, and dancing. Granbury’s own Homer Robertson, who is a National Champion Chuck-Wagon Cook, and his friends will bring their wagons and prepare an authentic and delicious cowboy dinner.
After dinner, you’ll dance under big, bright stars to the music of Texas singer-songwriter Davin James and his band. The evening features both a live and silent auction with special items, one-of-a-kind art, and trips.

Admission to Party on the Peak is $100 each. Tables for ten can be reserved for $1,000, and tables for eight for $800.

Once again, proceeds from Preserve Granbury’s annual fundraiser atop Comanche Peak will go toward the organization’s historic preservation projects and its educational and advocacy efforts in Hood County.

If you’re interested in being a sponsor, donating auction items, or making reservations for Party on the Peak, contact Mary Saltarelli at 817-573-2787 or

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