Preserve America Community:
The land that became what is today the city of Frisco (population 102,000) was first settled by a small collection of people who made homes for themselves along the Shawnee Trail. Also known as the Texas Road, this cattle trail was an important route for early settlers crossing Indian Territory and heading west.
The city itself dates to 1902, when the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad finished laying track through the fertile soil of western Collin County. The land was sold to the Black Land Townsite Company, a subsidiary of the railroad that ran through Frisco. Years later, the residents decided to name the city Frisco to honor the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad that established the community. In 1908 the city was incorporated and the residents elected their first mayor and council members.
In 1910, the first Frisco census showed the population to be 332, and for many years the community remained small and primarily agricultural. Today Frisco is a bedroom community and one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Recognizing that the flood of building and development could well erase much of the city's history, the Heritage Association of Frisco (HAF) was established in 1998 to research, preserve, and share the town's heritage.
The Heritage Museum, which houses artifacts from Frisco's history and items belonging to the people who influenced the city's growth, opened in 2008. Its construction was initiated by the HAF along with the Frisco Heritage Center, which was first envisioned in 2001 as a place to teach visitors about early life in the area. Many historic buildings from Frisco have been refurbished and relocated to the six-acre park, including the Lebanon Baptist Church (c. 1904), a one-room schoolhouse, and a 1910 steam locomotive.
Many heritage projects in the area are ongoing. The Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, for example, is currently spearheading a North Texas Shawnee Trail Partnership with at least six other cities that fall along the old Shawnee Trail. The goal of this program, which is still in the development phase, is to create a regional heritage tourism program that will explore and educate people about the trail's history and its impact on the North Texas area.
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Updated October 25, 2010