The Historic Mesquite, Inc. (HMI) announced new visiting hours for Mesquite’s two historical parks in 2021.
Beginning this month, Opal Lawrence Historical Park, 711 E. Kearney St., will now be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to its current hours of operation, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The Florence Ranch Homestead, 1424 Barnes Bridge Road, will be open Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month.
“It’s our hope that expanding regular hours to Saturdays will allow more residents and visitors to tour the two historic homes. Guests may also enjoy the historical parks through other activities like picnics, nature walks and even volunteer projects.” Executive Director of HMI Toyia Pointer said. “Our goal is for the museum sites to be welcoming places for those that wish to spend a morning or afternoon in a unique setting, that’s steeped in history.”
Both properties are Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks and recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture as Century Family Farms. The entire Opal Lawrence Historical Park site is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, the nearly 14 acre park includes the Lawrence family home, original 1886 barn and various outbuildings, as well as a newly restored 1840s log cabin and nature trail. Florence Ranch Homestead sits on four acres and offers picnic tables, shaded porches and open space for playing old-fashioned games. Both parks offer ample opportunities for bird watching and other nature activities.
“We have some fun, family friendly activities planned for each Saturday,” Historic Homes Coordinator Nancy Riley said.“In addition to tours, visitors can participate in amateur photography, outdoor games, craft projects, nature walks, story time, holiday events and volunteer activities to keep the buildings and grounds in good shape.”
COVID-19 health and safety protocols are in place for both historic parks. Visitors must wear a face covering and maintain 6-8 feet of distance from anyone not in their group. Annual memberships, which include year-round complimentary admission to both parks, may be purchased by individuals and families.
“Help preserve Mesquite's historic sites and educate the public about Mesquite history by purchasing an HMI Membership,” new Board Chair Susan Cumby said. “Membership is an economical and fun way to visit the parks multiple times a year.”
For tour reservations, information on membership options or to inquire about site rentals for weddings and other special occasions, contact HMI via telephone at 972-216-6468 or by emailing email@example.com.