About Chestnut Square

The mission of The Heritage Guild of Collin County is to:

Celebrate Community. Preserve History. Inspire the Future.

about-chestnut-square-title-image
The Heritage Guild of Collin County achieves this mission by:
  • Hosting community events that bring people together to celebrate Collin County’s heritage.
  • Maintaining buildings, artifacts and grounds that show how people lived during a key period in Collin County history (1850-1940).
  • Providing educational programming to demonstrate how people lived from 1850-1940.
  • Supporting Collin County and McKinney in achieving a community that owns its unique history in stewardship for the future.
Our mission is funded through:
  • Volunteers/Members
  • Grants/Donations
  • Sponsorships
  • Programming
  • Facility Rentals
Dulaney House

Dulaney House

Margaret Hughston

Margaret Hughston

Martha Schuburt

Martha Schuburt

The History of The Heritage Guild of Collin County

Chestnut Square Historic Village is a collection of six historic homes, a replica of a one-room school house, chapel and store on 2.5 acres just south of the downtown McKinney square. The grounds also include a blacksmith shop, smoke house, and a reception house and reception gardens. The buildings include period artifacts showing how people lived in Collin County from 1854-1940. The Heritage Guild of Collin County oversees Chestnut Square Historic Village.

In November of 1973, Joan Palmer Hughston organized a small group of women to preserve a sample of McKinney’s historic heritage. Those in attendance at that first meeting were Joan’s mother-in-law, Margaret Hughston, Martha Schubert, Frances Caldwell, Nan Dyer, Irene Hay Thomas, Frieda Comegys, Lucy Burkett and Ethel Holt.

Their first project was to host a Christmas tour of homes. Margaret Hughston’s home on Howell Street represented A Children’s Christmas. Joan Hughston’s home on Louisiana depicted A Victorian Christmas. Ethel Holt showed her farm house as A Farm Christmas. Martha Schubert’s represented A Family Christmas and Nanette Boyd’s home depicted A Modern Christmas. That first Christmas Tour was a huge success.

The financial rewards enabled the group to purchase the Dulaney home and the adjacent Dulaney cottage on Chestnut Street. These homes became the foundation of what we today call Chestnut Square Historic Village.

In 1974 the Heritage Guild of Collin County was formed to perpetuate the preservation of Chestnut Square Historic Village. The spirit and dedication of our founders still serves as a beacon as we continue to build a living portrait of McKinney and Collin County.

Chestnut Square truly brings Collin County History to Life!

The following is a chronology of The Heritage Guild of Collin County:

1973

Collin County Historical Society purchased the Dulaney Cottage and Dulaney House. Chestnut Square was established.

1974

The Heritage Guild of Collin County was formed to perpetuate the preservation of Chestnut Square Historic Village.

1980

The Faires and Taylor Houses were moved to Chestnut Square.

1981

Final payment on the original note. (Which was funded by Margaret Hughston and Martha Schubert).

1986

Plan established to purchase the Johnson House for The Heritage Guild’s Sesquicentennial project.

1987

Purchase of the Johnson House.

1993

Final payment on the Johnson House note.

1994

Foote Baptist Church was moved to Chestnut Square.

1995

Dixie’s Store moved to Chestnut Square and opened as a gift shop.

1996

Restoration and dedication of Foote Church as The Chapel at Chestnut Square

1997

Johnson House ready for tours.

2000

Dedication of the Chapel Garden. Weddings begin at Chestnut Square.

2001

Bobby’s Room dedicated at the Johnson House.

2005

Replica of the Wilmeth One Room School House is built. Living History Days and Prairie Adventure Camps are launched. Remaining property to the south of the Johnson House is purchased including a 1920’s Arts and Crafts house and duplex.

2007

1940’s Arts and Crafts house at 405 Chestnut St. is renovated to add reception and event capacity and named The Bevel House.

2008

Historic McKinney Farmers Market at Chestnut Square opens in the spring. Legends of McKinney Ghost Walks are launched in October.

2009

Duplex is renovated into a Visitors Center with offices, restrooms and display space. It is named for founders, Margaret Hughston and Martha Schubert and opens in July. Doc & Clyde’s Ice Cream Freezer exhibit (largest in the world) moves to Chestnut Square’s Visitors Center. Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off moves to Chestnut Square and the first Crank-Off is held July 4.

2010

Trolley tours of the McKinney Historic District are launched and offered each 2nd and 4th Saturday.

2013

Historic McKinney Farmers Market is named #1 Farmers Market in Texas by American Farmland Trust.

2014

Work begins to restore and renovate the Dulaney House into a bed and breakfast: The Dulaney Inn.