1836 Blacksmith - 1842 Home - 1851 General Store
Pioneer Village
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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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


7/29/2002 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 you'll find.

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 general store.

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 donated what.

"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.

Reprinted with permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun
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Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox