In Denton County, Texas, historical sites and museums share perspectives from the past, and groups are welcome to visit, tour, and learn about the area’s rich history. At the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, located in downtown Denton, visitors get a glimpse into the history and culture of the area through rotating and permanent exhibits. Housed inside the iconic 1896 courthouse designed by architect W.C. Dodson, the museum’s permanent exhibits include an evolution of firearms, a 1913 farm wagon, and a vintage grocery store for interactive play. On the second floor, visitors can take in the historic Commissioners Courtroom and admire the restored features of the pressed tin ceiling and the courtroom’s woodwork. On the courthouse lawn, visitors may be surprised to find the grave of the county’s namesake, John B. Denton. The museum is currently hosting a special exhibition called “Making a Scene,” which takes visitors on a journey through Denton’s legendary music scene. On view through Aug. 26, this exhibit features photographs, posters, and other items representing decades worth of the beloved artists, venues, and festivals that played a vital role in putting Denton on the map.
After visiting the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, take a stroll over to the Denton County Historical Park. Just a few blocks from the downtown square, the park is home to the Bayless-Selby House Museum, the Taylor Log Cabin, and the Denton County African American Museum. Each of these museums provide a look into early periods of Denton County’s history. Groups visiting on Saturdays can enjoy the weekly Denton Community Market and the Denton Farmers Market.
Group tour visitors can request to visit both the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and the museums at the Denton County Historical Park, or opt to visit one site. A clocktower tour, with beautiful views of the city, can be arranged by special request. In addition, the Quakertown Walking Tour highlights the people and places of a former African American neighborhood in Denton known as Quakertown.
“We hope that by visiting our museums, visitors will get a sense of what makes Denton County unique and an important part of North Texas,” says Kelsey Jistel, curator of educational programs at Denton County Office of History and Culture. “We often use the phrase “learn like a local!”
Farm wagon on display, Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum
Credit: Denton County Office of History and Culture