McKinney in Collin County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Old Settlers Park
Site of all Collin County Fairs and Ex-Confederate - Old Settlers picnics, this land first housed a fair in 1858. The fair was held each year, usually in autumn, except during the Civil War years. In 1883, the Ex-Confederate-Old Settlers Picnic Association began to hold their annual picnic across the street from "the old fair grounds." They continued to meet on this site, buying the land for themselves in 1912 and 1924.
The County Fair was a showcase for agriculture, livestock, handicrafts, and culinary delights. Riding competitions were held in the grandstand; it is said that Frank James once won first prize.
As many as 15,000 people a day visited the picnics in the 1910s and 1920s, many camping around the park. Political speakers were scheduled all day, and contests included three-legged races and storytelling. In early years there were balloon ascensions; later, an air show astonished the crowds. Like the fair, the picnic featured a midway of rides and games.
The last picnic was held in 1941, when the last Confederate veterans in Collin County were too old to attend. The last County Fair was held in 1965, but the park continues to serve the community as a part of the McKinney Parks and Recreation Department.
Erected 1997 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14724.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil.
Location. 33° 11.81′ N, 96° 36.225′ W. Marker is in McKinney, Texas, in Collin County. Marker is on East Louisiana Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: McKinney TX 75069, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Site of Elm Saloon (approx. 0.4 miles away); 1911 McKinney Post Office (approx. 0.6 miles away); John Faires House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Taylor House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Dulaney Cottage (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dulaney House (approx. 0.6 miles away); 1927 Collin County Courthouse (approx. 0.7 miles away); Collin County Prison (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McKinney.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on January 28, 2021, by Jesse Nelsen of Farmersville, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area together in context. • Can you help?