After WWI ended, Camp Bowie was closed. The barracks were torn down and the U.S. Army gave the lumber to the citizens if they would haul it off. Walter Lee McCormick (Sr.), “Mc’s” dad, responded and hauled with a wagon and team enough lumber to build the barn. He built the barn himself and finished it some time in 1919. No doubt to him it was beautiful and useful. He had said he needed a barn badly since bringing his family to the home in 1900. He now had a real barn to store his tools and produce. Hay was stored in the loft and could be thrown out the door, but getting into the loft was quite a chore. The slats to climb up were just inside the hall. A hole was cut in the ceiling to get into the loft and a make-shift door was made to push or pull over the hole.
Mr. McCormick (Sr.) got to enjoy the barn only a few years, when circumstances required them to move back to Bangs, near Santa Anna, TX. His wife died in 1925 and the place was given to “Mc” and his brother. They rented the place out. The renters used the barn for the same purpose as previously until in the 1930’s.
I don’t know when the north shed of the barn was built. “Mc” didn’t think it was built when the main part was built. “Mc” brought me here once before we were married in 1929, and the shed was there then.
In the 30’s small dairies began operating in the area. The renters got permission to make some minor changes to the barn so that it could be used in the dairy business. I think the hall was changed somewhat and stalls added.
In 1948 we moved down here and as you can see the barn was desperately in need of repair. “Tubby” Huffman (Henry Murray Huffman) repaired the barn and built the south shed. We had cattle and hogs for several years; so we bought corn and hay in the summer and stored them in barn and loft. “Mc” was gone a great deal of the time with his job so Elizabeth (Mr. and Mrs. McCormick’s daughter) and I had to feed the livestock. It was difficult to get up in that loft and throw out the hay so we had the stairs built on the outside to make it easy for us to get in to the loft. There was no trouble rolling the hay out once we got in to the loft.
We got rid of all the livestock quite a few years ago and since then the barn was used only to store various things like lawn mowers and stuff for the family.
Mrs. McCormick donated the barn to the citizens of Euless and it was moved to Heritage Park in the summer of 2005. Bill Marquis, an expert in the art of restoration, was hired to restore the barn to its original state using authentic period-style materials and construction methods.
Visit Heritage Park at 201 Cullum Drive in Euless, TX. Tours are free on the second Saturday of every month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Group tours can be scheduled on a different day depending on staff availability. For more information call 817-685-1649.