Friday, September 9, 2016

Argyle but Not Socks

Every time I drive to Denton I pass through Argyle. It’s a little tiny town with a variety of
Tree-lined road in Argyle
housing types – farms, ranches, small bungalows, and mansions. Europeans first settled in the Argyle area (formerly known as Pilot Knob or Waintown) on vacant or unclaimed land in the 1850s under the auspices of the Peters colony; they raised cattle on nearby open ranges. The settlement slowly grew with the first school actually being established in nearby Graham in 1875. A year later the Graham Baptist church was organized in the school, and by 1878 a post office had been created in a log cabin.

As with many Texas towns, the Texas and Pacific railroad played a role in the growth of the community. Agriculture-related industries added to the success of the town with grist mills,
Horses in Argyle
general stores, and a cotton gin springing up. Formally founded in 1881, Argyle may have been named by a railroad surveyor after a garden in France, but others stories hold that it was named after the Argyll region of Scotland. Another story about the region relates that Sam Bass, the infamous outlaw, stole $60,000 in gold from the Union Pacific Railroad then hid it in a cave near Argyle, but Bass died at 27 before he could retrieve the gold or reveal its location. The railroad had other benefits for Argyle; new cash crops were grown in proximity to the rail lines, along with sheep and hogs, which were then sold and shipped out. By 1891 there was a large enough population in the area to encourage the community leaders to build a two-story brick school within the town. The 107 students attended school through the ninth grade, then completed their education at a school in Denton. By the 1930s Argyle residents had electricity; they also had telephone service, but only from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM weekdays when the operator was on duty.

After the cotton gin burned in 1930 the area farmers switched from growing cotton to
Large house on acerage
growing peanuts. With the Great Depression, and the depletion of the local soils, the population declined. It wasn’t until the late 1950s and early 1960s that people working in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex discovered Argyle and started moving out to the country. Argyle was incorporated in late 1960, with a volunteer fire department established a year later. The population has continued to grow and large, suburban-type housing developments are taking the place of many of the ranches that were common to this area no too very long ago.

Four and one-half carrots
There are a few restaurants in Argyle, but I haven’t had an opportunity to give them a try. On this trip I did have lunch in Denton at Hannah’s Off the Square (111 W Mulberry St, 
Avocado tacos and fruit
Denton, TX 76201, 940-566-1110). And while this restaurant is billed as being in a former blacksmith shop, there is nothing rustic about this lovely venue. This time I had Avocado Tacos with a side of fresh fruit. The tacos were wonderful, the service was excellent and the setting was conducive to good conversation. This is one restaurant I’ll be happy to visit again, and again.

For information about my rating system, see Reading the Reviews.

Argyle water tower
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