The Glen Rose Chamber of Commerce should soon be in a new location — one of the oldest and most significantly historic structures in Somervell County.
A contract agreement has been reached to allow the Chamber to move into a wing adjacent to Barnard’s Mill Art Museum, 307 SW Barnard St. in Glen Rose. That’s pending approval by the Somervell History Foundation’s (SHF) board of directors, possibly this week.
Glen Rose residents celebrated the 150th anniversary of Barnard’s Mill in 2010.
The three-story main building is 40x60 feet, featuring stone walls 36 inches thick on the bottom floor. Oak timbers — a hefty 12 inches by 12 inches thick, were delivered to the site via ox-drawn wagons from East Texas at the time of its construction.
Settling into the rock structure makes perfect sense for the Chamber of Commerce, given Barnard Mill’s significance in Glen Rose history as both a trading post, grist mill and later a cotton gin.
“We’re excited that the Chamber is going to be moving here to Barnard’s Mill because the mill is where Glen Rose and the economic development of Glen Rose started in 1860,” said Ann Carver, president of the SHF. “It’s a win-win for all of us because they represent the businesses of Glen Rose.”
The physical move will have to wait until a variety of stored items such as spare folding chairs in the wing are relocated into a storage shed. First, though, the shed needs some work.
The chamber had to find another office space before Oct. 1, after having been housed several year in the old jail building on U.S. Highway 67.
Linda Rowe, president of the Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, said it could be several weeks before the move can be completed — if approved by the SHF board.
Barnard’s Mill has been listed with the National Register of Historic Places since Sept. 9, 1982. It is also a Texas Historic Landmark and a State Archeological Landmark.
It was built in 1860 by pioneer Charles Barnard, a Connecticut-born businessman who arrived in Texas at the Port of Galveston in 1844, according to information from the SHF. He arrived in what is now the Glen Rose area in about 1847. He established an Indian trading post near Comanche Peak, and built a home across the street from the mill for himself and his wife, Juana.
Barnard sold the mill to Tyler C. Jordan of Dallas in 1874. Jordan sold it to A.J. Price in 1893.
Price turned the grist mill into a burr mill and cotton gin. Bales of cotton soon were being hauled on wagons to Cleburne and Walnut Springs before being transported by rail to other destinations.
Price sold it to Dr. J.J. Hanna in 1943. Hanna operated a clinic of “healing waters” there as visitors used his water therapy to treat arthritis, gout and other illnesses.
In 1949, doctors Roger Marks and Robert D. English established a full-service hospital in the structure. It was available for childbirths, surgery and all other forms of medical treatment.
Jordan’s ownership also holds major significance because he made the plan for the original Glen Rose town plat on the land east of the mill. Lots were then sold and Jordan commenced construction of the courthouse, according to the SHF.
The hospital was sold in 1979 to Richard H. Moore, who made it his private residence in 1986. Antiques in the museum were gathered throughout the lifetime of Moore, who was a retired attorney from the Metroplex.
Moore gifted the structure in 2005 to the SHF, which still manages and oversees preservation of the property. The SHF got a matching grant from the Texas Historical Commission in 2008. It also received a private grant along with another matching grant.
Art that can be seen on display includes the Robert Summers Art Gallery. Works created by Summers, a resident artist, were provided by the Summers family. Eleven original Summers paintings are on loan from Joe Marchman collection.
The mill houses the Fielder Foundation’s Art Collection, as well as the personal collection of Richard Moore. Impressive bronze art sculptures are also on display.
Annual community events that take place at the facility include a February Valentine Dinner; Art on the Paluxy in March featuring local and new artists; the GRISD Art Show and Contest in April; a tour for GRISD third graders each May; and the Cowboy and Cabernet Gala each September.
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Carver noted that the museum also is available at other times, by appointment.