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Historic Homes & Buildings


Terrell's Historic Homes

Cartwright/O'Donnell House

This home, located at 505 Griffith Avenue, was originally constructed in 1883. The 7,000 square foot house was built for Matthew Cartwright and his wife, mary Davenport Cartwright. Constructed of yellow pine and cypress, this home originally had no plumbing or electricity. Although it was built during the Victorian era, it is considered a traditional hybrid of Revival and Second Empire styles. It is on both the National Registry of Historic Places and the Texas National Register of Historic Places.

L.E. Griffith House, 805 First Street

The L. E. Griffith House (c. 1880) is a fine example of early Texas architecture. It was one of the city’s early homes and was owned by the same family for five generations. It is recognized as both a state and a national historic landmark. (Interior not open to the public.)

Lochhead/Pinson House

Originally constructed in 1900, this 3,654 square-foot, two-story house was originally owned by E.J. Lochhead, a native of Ontario, Canada. He founded Terrell Milling Company. The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home is situated on a corner oversized lot. It features  a large wrap-around porch, ornate woodwork, leaded glass windows and original light fixtures. 


The Sears House

 The Sears house was built in 1910 from a kit purchased through the Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog. Josephus Autrey built the house for his wife and five children. The house kit, which sold for $1,764, was Design No. 118 with a few modifications - dormers, an enlarged porch and a porte cochere. Sadly, Autrey died just a few years after the house was built and his family moved out soon after.

Terrell House, 200 Bowser Circle

The oldest home in Terrell still standing is the former home of Robert Adams Terrell for whom the town of Terrell is named. It was actually built in an octagon shape but has become know as the "Round House".  It is currently situated on the campus of the Southwestern Christian College.  Historical marker notes that it was built circa 1865.  The Round House is the first house with window glass in the county.  The logs for the foundation were brought up by wagon from East Texas and hand hewn on the site.  When the floor was removed a number of years ago, the ax marks were still visible and can be viewed now through a plexiglass cover.  There are only two octagonal houses left in Texas making it of great architectural interest.  

Walter Allen House

This  Tudor Revival House, located at 7095 Griffith Ave. was built in 1928. The home was designed by Dallas architectural firm, Foosheeand and Cheek. It was the home of city alderman and commisioner Walter Peck Allen and his wife America Cartwright. Mr. Allen was instrumental in transitioning the city to a city manager form of government. A banker, Mr. Allen was an organizer and later president of American National Bank. He also helped ensure Terrell was one of the Royal Air Force training locations during WWII.

Terrell's Historic Buildings, Museums and Churches

Terrell Heritage Museum & the Carneigie Building

Located in the former Carnegie Library, the Terrell Heritage Museum is operated by the Terrell Heritage Society. The building itself is an important piece of local history. Built in 1904, it housed the city's public library for some 80 years.

The collection includes a 1912 Estey pipe organ from First Baptist Church. The instrument has been restored to playing condition and occupies a place of honor in the upstairs auditorium. Another religious artifact, a Torah Cupboard, bears witness to Terrell's only synagogue.

Stroll through the exhibits to learn more about early farming in the Terrell area, the latest in modern household appliances from days gone by, and a unique doll collection including an Armande Marsaille figure.

Other displays focus on memorabilia from the #1 British Flying Training School, a training facility for the Royal Air Force based at Terrell Municipal Airport during W.W.II.

The museum's collection also includes artifacts from the Midland Railroad and its illustrious owner, E.H.R. Green (son of Hetty Green the “Witch of Wall Street”).

The museum houses the Terrell Heritage Society's archives. The photographs and documents in the collection are available for historical research. More than 300 photos and paintings by local artist Hazel Slayton commemorate early Terrell buildings.

The Terrell Heritage Museum
207 North Frances St.  
Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment
Admission is free.

No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum

The No. 1 British Flying School Museum is a popular destination for World War II history buffs, aviation enthusiasts, and veterans. Visitors of all ages enjoy the museum's hands-on exhibits that explain how and why airplanes fly.

During World War II thousands of British pilots learned to fly at six civilian training schools in the United States. The first and largest of the schools was in Terrell.

After the United States entered the war, American Aviation Cadets also trained at the school. More than 2,000 Royal Air Force and American Army Air Force pilots earned their wings over North Texas between 1941 and 1945. Terrell's citizens welcomed the student pilots to their community, and many life-long bonds were forged. The museum celebrates this little known chapter of World War II history.

The museum's archives contain the most extensive record of the British Flying Training School that exists.

Visit the No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum at Terrell Municipal Airport.

The No. 1 British Flying School Museum
119 Silent Wings Dr.  
Hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission is FREE.

Midland Railroad #993 El Paso Rail Car

The private car of E.H.R. “Ned” Green, President  of the Midland Railroad, is on display in Ben Gill Park.

Green was the son of the notorious “Witch of Wall Street” Hetty Green, a gilded age multi-millionaire. He was a prominent citizen of Terrell and served as state Republican Party Chairman in 1896. Green took Texas’ first gasoline-powered motorcar trip in 1899.

The collection in the rail car commemorates the rail company, once headquartered in Terrell, and its colorful president.

Historical Markers

There are more than 27 official Texas Historical Markers in the city commemorating early churches, public buildings, people, and events important in local history. A guide (with map) to marker sites in the city is available from the Terrell Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Historic Downtown Shopping District

The Downtown Shopping Area is part of the Terrell Historical District. The more than $4 million renovation under the Main Street Program reflects the city’s commitment to retaining the charm of yesteryear while enhancing commercial activity in the central business district.  Our small town business district offers a variety of choices for locals and tourists to find just about anything on their wish list. For the antique lovers, House & Buggy Antiques and Collectibles offers an ever-changing assortment of unique finds. The Front Porch also features antiques as well as an assortment of items made by local artisans, gifts suitable for any occassion and a line of gourmet food items. Flowerfields Florist, a longtime Terrell florist, offers deliveries of fresh flowers, plants and gift baskets. They also carry many unique gift items. Women who are looking for just the right outfit have several local options to choose from including enVogue, The Heart of Avon and Risinger Country Store. Silhouette's is a resale shop, featuring gently used clothing, jewelry, purses and shoes. Quiter's Apprentice offers fabric, quilting supplies and classes suitable for beginning and experienced quilters. Mostly Quilts, located upstairs in the historic Brin Building, offers artistic style quilts and custom design services. No downtown shopping excursion would be complete without a visit to Whisked Away Bake House where you can enjoy tea, coffee and bakery items. Books and Crannies, located in the historic Iris Theatre, offers a selection of new and used books for all ages. Terrell Paranormal hosts ghost walks through Terrell's historic district. Men can enjoy a trip downtown with a visit to Terrell Guns to look at their selection of new and used guns and knives. Traylor Furniture is a one-stop shop with a collection of furniture, appliances, decorative accessories and artwork suitable for any decor. The Ter-Jan Company offers a selection of flooring products as well as installation and janatorial services. Creative Picture Framing offers custom framing services and pre-framed artwork. OCOP Express Terrell offers business supplies with free local delivery.

Visit downtown for a variety of retail shops, professional offices, museums, and restaurants. Don’t miss the Heritage Museum, located in the old Carnegie Library building, and the completely restored Brin Opera House, which now houses offices. No visit to downtown would be complete without viewing the one-of-a-kind handpainted murals on buildings throughout the city. These murals showcase various aspects of Terrell's rich and varied history. 

Ghost Walk

Learn about the legacy of Terrell through the stories of its spirits.  The two-hour walking tour is held Satuday nights at 8 pm.  The Ghost Tour begins at 106 E Moore Avenue, at the historic Brin Opera House, followed by a 1/4 mile paved walk through downtown Terrell.  Reservations can be made online at a discounted rate or book a private party tour.  For more information, please give them a call.  www.terrellghostwalk.com or 972-546-7536.

Downtown Murals

Several buildings in downtown Terrell feature feature murals that provide a visual representation of Terrell's rich history. The goal of the committe who implemented the project is to draw people to Terrell to view these unqiue artistic creations. To date seven mural  have been completed which include include one featuring classic movie posters on the back side of the Iris Theater, a mural with vintage aircraft that pays tribute to the British Flying Training School that was in Terrell during WWII, another on the front of Firmin's Office Products which is a facade of the old entrance to the former Lyric Theatre and another which features scenes from an early Terrell circus. 

List of Murals


Porter Farm, 1 mi. north on FM 986

Porter Farm is the birthplace of the U. S. Agricultural Extension Service. Established in 1903, this demonstration farm became the model for agricultural extension programs throughout the nation. The farm is both a Texas and National Historic Landmark