GRAPEVINE, TEXAS (February 28, 2019) – Founded in 1844, Grapevine will officially turn 175 years old in June but will celebrate its 175th Anniversary Saturday, March 2, during a Texas Independence Day Celebration, sponsored by the Grapevine Historical Society. The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in Liberty Park Plaza, 215 S. Main St., in downtown Grapevine and will include Texas chili served from an authentic chuck wagon, early Texas music by the Lone Star String Band and hayrides.
Grapevine was founded while Texas was still a Republic and “President Sam Houston” will be in attendance, through the reenactment of David Hansford. The 10:30 a.m. program will feature State Representative Giovanni Capriglione and Mayor William D. Tate, who will share some highlights of Grapevine’s 175-year history, alongside Grapevine Historical Society President/Councilwoman, Duff O’Dell.
Grapevine's story began in 1843 when General Sam Houston and representatives of the Republic of Texas met with members of 10 American Indian nations. They came together to negotiate a treaty at Grape Vine Springs, also known as Grape Vine Creek. The document resulted in the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which opened the area to homesteaders.
In June 1844, several related families from Platte County, Missouri settled on what was then called the Grape Vine Prairie. The pioneers became known as the “Missouri Colony.” The pioneers raised cattle and grain. Reverend John A. Freeman taught school and preached to the settlers at Lonesome Dove. Some original colonists moved to pioneer other frontier regions, while others remained to help build the northeastern section of Tarrant County, the first permanently settled area in the county.
In the 1850s the town was officially named “Grape Vine” and the mercantile system began to flourish, led by Solon Dunn who opened the first mercantile in Grape Vine. In 1860, the Lucas Family continued the trend and began business with a general store, and during the 1860s, the Nash Family began construction on its new farmhouse. In the 1880s, the Cotton Belt Railroad extended its rails to Grapevine. In 1891, the two-story Wallis Hotel was built near the Depot by Johnny Wallis for his sister, Susan Wallis Terrill. It remained in this location until 1926. The addition of rail contributed to Grapevine’s success as a business hub and on February 12, 1907, the town of Grapevine was officially incorporated, leading to the many milestones that occurred in the 1900s.
Charles M. Millican remodeled his blacksmith shop on Main Street in 1911. The Grapevine Fire Department was chartered in 1921 and in the 1930s-1940s, several businesses and buildings were constructed. Lake Grapevine and the Police Department opened in the 1950s and ground was broken for Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport in 1968.
The 1970s presented a number of “firsts” in city government, with Thelma Conine elected as the first City Councilwoman in 1972 and Mayor William D. Tate elected as the youngest Mayor in Grapevine’s history. Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport opened in 1974 with the arrival of its first commercial flight, American Airlines flight 241. On November 14, 1974, the first Grapevine Tourist & Convention Bureau was established.
In 1981, Grapevine Medical Center became affiliated with Baylor Health Care System and in 1984, the City of Grapevine joined the Main Street Program. In 1985, the airport changed its name to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. That same year, the first Main Street Days festival (now known as Main Street Fest) was held. In the 1990s, several historic buildings were restored.
In 1991, a replica of the 1891 Wallis Hotel was dedicated, becoming the first historically accurate infill building on Main Street, and in 1992, Grapevine’s Cotton Belt Depot was moved back to its original location on Main Street. In April 1993, the city celebrated the 70th anniversary of library service. 1993 also brought the beginning of Grapevine’s wine history with Delaney Vineyards beginning to plant 10-acres of land in Grapevine. La Buena Vida Vineyards, Grapevine’s first winery tasting room, opened in 1995 serving as the catalyst for the Urban Wine Trail. Delaney Vineyards opened its replica 18th century French Chateau winery and tasting room to the public in April 1996. In 1997, Grapevine Mills opened and in 1999 Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World joined Grapevine’s list of retailers. Also in 1999, accords were signed between Krems, Austria and the City of Grapevine to formalize an official Sister City relationship.
In the 2000s, there were several important openings including the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in 2004, Settlement to City Museum in 2007 and Great Wolf Lodge, also in 2007. In April 2008, the Nash Farm House was dedicated, and the bronze “9/11 Flight Crew Memorial” sculpture was dedicated on Northwest Highway and Texan Trail. Also in 2008, accords were signed between West Lothian, Scotland and the City of Grapevine to formalize an official Sister City relationship. In 2009, Merlin Entertainments, the world’s second biggest visitor attraction operator, announced plans to build LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine Mills. In 2011, LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium opened.
In 2011, Gaylord Texan Resort opened “Paradise Springs” waterpark. The following year, on September 21, 2012, the City of Grapevine was recognized as a “World Festival & Event City” by the International Festival & Events Association. The Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2014. On November 15, 2015, the Grapevine Historical Society Museum opened on the Settlement to City Museums Complex. A groundbreaking ceremony for TEXRail took place on August 24, 2016. Also, in 2016, Standrock Hospitality announced plans to build a $330 million, 1,020-room waterpark resort hotel, and will break ground in 2019. In 2017, iconic Texas restaurant The Salt Lick BBQ announced plans to build a satellite location in Grapevine, with groundbreaking set for 2019 as well. In April 2018, the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center opened its $120 million expansion, The Vineyard Tower. On December 31, 2018, TEXRail made its inaugural ride to a VIP celebration event at the DFW North Station.
On January 10, 2019, TEXRail officially began public service, marking the official return of passenger rail to Grapevine. In February 2019, Peppa Pig World of Play, the first attraction of its type in North America, opened at Grapevine Mills. In 2020, the highly-anticipated $105-million-dollar public/private sector transit-oriented development, Grapevine Main Station, will open to the public, bringing an attraction to the Railroad District unlike any other in the city.
Grapevine’s festivals and events throughout 2019 will continue to celebrate this momentous milestone and pave the way to the next 175 years.
For more information about Grapevine, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com or call 817.410.3185. For more information about the Grapevine Historical Society, visit GrapevineHistory.org or contact Dr. John Boyd.