Community History

History of Grapevine

Four major waves of settlement impacted Grapevine since its inception in the mid 1840's.  The first wave of settlers came to the area around 1845.  They were a Scotch-Irish clan from Southern Missouri associated with the "Missouri Colony".  This first wave of colonists were only in the Grapevine area for about ten years being typical American frontiersmen who moved regularly from one unsettled area to another.  By the mid-1850's most of these original settlers had moved out of the area.
The second group of settlers arrived from southern states in the late 1850's and established a community with a postal service, churches, and schools.  The community became known as Grapevine because of the wild mustang grapes that grow on the trees and shrubs.  Cattle raising was the major enterprise in the area.  

A third wave of settlement resulted from the Civil War.  In many parts of the South there was widespread poverty and many people moved west in search of a better life.  Immigrants from Tennessee, Georgia, and the Carolinas settled Grapevine.  By the late 1870's, livestock was replaced by cotton as a major enterprise.  With the building of the Cotton Belt rail line throughout Grapevine in 1888, the city became an agricultural trade center.  Through the first half of the 19th century, Grapevine was an agriculturally based community that grew at a moderate pace.  In 1952 Grapevine Lake was completed and by the mid-sixties and has developed as a popular recreational area.  

The fourth major wave of people into Grapevine started during the mid-seventies and continues today.  Major factors contributing to the population growth were the opening of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 1974, the development of Grapevine as a major employment center, and the movement of homeowners from the inner city to the suburbs.

Historic Preservation

Preservation of Grapevine’s historic character – its commercial buildings, residences and cultural sites dating back to the mid-1800s – strengthens the appreciation for our heritage and gives Grapevine a sense of place and distinctiveness few other cities in the area can claim.  Restoration and revitalization of Grapevine’s historic heart is well underway.

Grapevine’s Main Street is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Cotton Belt Railroad historic District, where the restored 1901 Cotton Belt Depot and 1888 Section Foreman’s House anchor the Grapevine Heritage Center complex.  History lives on at the Center, where heritage artisans demonstrate their century-old crafts for visitors and Grapevine area school children as part of a broad heritage education curriculum.  The Grapevine historical Museum tells the town’s story in the Depot, where visitors also embark daily on the 1896 Grapevine Heritage Steam Train to Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District.

The City’s Historic Preservation Commission and the Township Revitalization Project offer homeowners in the old township historic area and business owners in the historic Main Street area, design and restoration assistance to help protect the architectural interest and value of their properties.  A designated Texas Main Street City since 1983, Grapevine is protecting and developing its singular quality of life for today’s residents.

Grapevine-historic main-500
Grapevine-old excusion on main-500