The wooden logs of this
structure were originally the Blacksmith Shop of Noah
Turner Byers in
Washington-on-the-Brazos during 1836, when the Declaration of Texas
Independence was being framed and signed there. At the time, Byars
was working on wagons, guns, etc., for the use of General Sam
Houston's Army in the upcoming Battle of San Jacinto.
In 1842, Byars tore down the
Blacksmith Shop, and took the logs to build a cabin in the Dresden
settlement of what was later to be Navarro County. Dan Hartzell
bought the cabin in 1851 and converted it into a General Store that
served the community for many years.
Exhibits include typical
store merchandise of a wide variety found in truly
"general" store of the period, some furnished from relics
of the old Cryer Creek Store, also a replica of an early day
post-office in such stores, much like the first in Navarro County in
1846. Logs donated by Ordway Ferrell of Dresden in 1960.
Postcard of the Hartzell Store
See Article: Melton
revisits history at Pioneer Village for
information concerning restoration of this building
The Hartzell Store was rebuilt from
the ground up at Pioneer Village. Daily Sun photo/KIRK SIDES
Pioneer Village's Hartzell Store more than just a general store
By RUTH THOMPSON/Daily Sun Staff
Love to shop? Shop through history in
Pioneer Village's Hartzell General store and see what bargains
The Hartzell General store was built with
the logs from a Blacksmith shop, located at Washington-on-the-Brazos,
where the Declaration of Texas Independence was signed and framed.
The logs were then moved to Navarro County where they were used to
build a home which was later bought by Hartzell who turned it into a
The museum dedicated to showing all aspects
of the pioneer life including a game of checkers by the pot belly
stove to the different medicines sold in the 1800s and early 1900s,
is set-up almost exactly like a general store of its time period.
The only difference would be the glass walls and labels showing who
"The Hartzell General store would have
to be my favorite, because we got to set it up the way we wanted to.
We went through and designed the store to where the public could see
everything," Bobbie Young, the executive secretary at Pioneer
Village, said. "We hung a lot of things from the rafters like
they did back then, and designed glass shelves and walls so every
historic object could be displayed."
Pioneer Village received a grant to rebuild
the Hartzell General store from the ground up. The store isn't just
a grocery store, but a post office, pharmacy, hardware, and clothing
store as well.
Many interesting objects are located in the
Hartzell General store such as the old Powell combination locks post
office boxes, and the very old radio sets. The store even has a
woman's corner where a variety of household items such as quilts,
clothes, old irons, and other sewing equipment is located.
This structure has truly seen history. It
has been the blacksmith shop of Noah T. Byars where wagons and guns
were made for the use of General Sam Houston's Army for the battle
of San Jacinto. It was then relocated to Navarro County where it was
a home until 1851 when it served the community as a general store
for many years.
Ruth Thompson may be contacted via e-mail
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