Knapp Heritage Park

Knapp Heritage Park: See History Come Alive in Downtown Arlington!

Knapp Heritage Park is managed by the Arlington Historical Society/Fielder Museum and is open every Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m., as well as for special events or other arrangements. More information: 817-460-4001 or 817-992-9493, email for more information.

The Knapp Heritage Park, in a retroactive way, serves as evidence that technological knowledge doubles every five years, with a cumulative effect on human lifestyles.

The little log cabin park in Downtown Arlington (200 block of W. Front St.) is a throwback to another era right before the Industrial Age, that of the mid-1800s when people—those in pioneer Texas anyway—lived in log cabins. By necessity, they were also mostly self-sufficient, growing, processing, or bartering for much of their food or other essentials, often weaving their clothes from coarse yarn produced on spinning wheels. Their horsepower was of the equine variety. Their butter churned by hand, the roofs on their homes covered with rough shingles made the old-fashioned way—with axes, chisels, and saws.

The park, dedicated in 2004, contains three of the oldest Arlington structures. This cultural and heritage facility is available for school tours, rentals, private tours, and is open to the public on weekends.

The park itself is a settlement replica that boasts three of the oldest original structures in the city. Visitors to the park can tour the Jopling-Melear and Watson cabins which date to the mid-1800s, along with a one-room North Side Schoolhouse, which was built in 1910. The Bardin blacksmith barn is also located in the park, just a short stroll away from a general store, which is located in James “Big Daddy” Knapp's former law office—the inside of which now contains a replica of a pre-1900s general store.

Other items of interest include the original trough bowl for the once-famous Arlington mineral well, a water tower once belonging to the first mayor of Arlington, George Finger, and an early-version windmill. The cabins are furnished with authentic furniture of the pre-1900s era, while the schoolhouse interior is a throwback to the late 1800s and early 1900s era. Indeed, some Arlington school teachers have occasional classes in the schoolroom just to show students “The way things used to be.”

And then there are the famous “Knapp cats,” a collection of eccentric, playful-to-lazy (and neutered) feral cats that make the park their home. Say hello to them…but don’t try to pick one up. You’ve been warned.

In short, there’s a lot to see—items of interest to adults and a real learning experience for children. While in the area, check out downtown for more than a dozen historical markers within two blocks of the Knapp Heritage Center. The park is less than a five-minute walk from Arlington Music Hall, various eclectic restaurants (Babe’s Chicken, Tipsy Oak, Gilligan’s and Grease Monkey, and others are close), and an assortment of unique public art.

Learn more about...

P. A. Watson Log House

Jopling-Melear Cabin

North Side School

Knapp Office