To visit Mesquite is like traveling back in time. From warm, inviting homesteads that transport visitors back more than a century to a house of worship still finding new ways to bring people together, these historic destinations are also an important part of Mesquite’s future.
Opal Lawrence Historical Park
To see how one of the founding families of Mesquite lived, visit Opal Lawrence Historical Park, a restoration and preservation project overseen by Historic Mesquite, Inc. The Lawrence family originally lived in a lovely but relatively simple farmhouse. That original 1800s structure blossomed over the years; the family continued to expand the home and made additions, including a belvedere, a weathervane, chicken coops, a smokehouse, a curing shed, and a barn built in 1886 that still stands on the property today.
The sprawling property now holds a Texas Historical Marker and is part of the National Register of Historic Places, giving locals and tourists alike a chance to experience a piece of history right here in Mesquite.
Florence Ranch Homestead
Florence Ranch Homestead is another beautifully preserved estate, this one dating back to 1871 when David Walker Florence laid claim to the 207.5-acre property and made a home for his young family. Just over 20 years later, the ranch had more than tripled in size, and Florence continued to expand his property holdings until he passed on and left everything to his son Emet and Emet’s wife, Perle. Their daughter, Florence Florence, and their granddaughter, Julie Schulz Morris, left Florence Ranch Homestead to the City of Mesquite in 1987.
Built by friends and family, without the assistance of a professional architect or builder, and furnished with significant local artifacts, it serves as a fascinating example of 19th-century carpentry and ingenuity.