If you’re at home social distancing, one way to pass the time is by reading a good book. There’s never been a better time to learn more about Plano and Plano’s history. You can do both with these five books written by local authors.
Hidden History of Plano
Did you know that Plano once had a winning semipro baseball team? And its own university, boasting a pagoda imported from Malaysia? Or that the city once proudly proclaimed itself the “Mule Capital of the World”? Meet the Native American Planoite who walked in space, the African American entrepreneur who prospered during Jim Crow laws in Texas and the man behind the “mystery stone” uncovered in the Collinwood House. Visit a military tank, a five-hundred-year-old tree and the pioneer cemetery started by a smallpox epidemic. From the town’s contributions to World War II to the secrets lurking beneath Collin Creek Mall, local authors Jeff Campbell, Chery; Smith and Mary Jacobs unlock an astonishingly large storehouse of Plano’s hidden history.Hidden History of Plano >
Haunted Plano, Texas
Plano’s old homes and businesses are rife with haunted history. Explore eerie urban legends like the Goat Man, the Clown Threat and Ranch 111, where devil worshippers supposedly performed their rituals. The Evaporating Apparition spooked the staff at the Art Centre Theatre, while the grumpy spirit of an old rancher stalks the Masonic Lodge. Some specters are harmless, such as the Giggling Ghost, a little girl in the Cox Building with a penchant for peanut butter and pranks. Other figures own a more sinister reputation. The Witch Lady of Plano was feared by city youth and monitored by the FBI. Author Mary Jacobs examines the ghostly fallout of Plano’s darkest moments.Haunted Plano, Texas >
Plano’s Historic Cemeteries
The Plano of today would not be recognizable to the pioneers who settled this section of the blackland prairie. Arriving in the early 1840s, these colonists from Tennessee and Kentucky were captivated by Sam Houston’s stump speeches about the rich, fertile farmland of North Texas. All of their frontier cemeteries, large and small, are now surrounded by golf courses, subdivisions and commercial development. The final resting places of Plano’s pioneers still exist because of the hard work of cemetery associations, civic groups, concerned citizens, the City of Plano Parks Department and the collective authors of this book, the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation. These silent spaces hold a wealth of history that helps tell the story of Plano’s beginnings as a rural farming community.Plano's Historic Cemeteries >
Historic Downtown Plano
This volume, written by Janice Craze Cline, focuses on the city’s main mercantile area of Mechanic (now 15th Street) and Main (now K Avenue) and the surrounding heritage districts of Haggard Park, Old Towne and the Douglass Community. Incorporated in 1873, Downtown Plano has endured at least five major fires, the Great Depression, closure of the Interurban Railway and retail and corporate development to the west of the area. In recent years, Downtown Plano has benefited from ongoing redevelopment and revitalization as an urban transit village with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) light rail train service to the area―taking us back to those days of old.Historic Downtown Plano >
Football and Integration in Plano, Texas: Stay in There, Wildcats!
The year 1964 was momentous for civil rights, as Congress passed the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and Texas’s own Lyndon B. Johnson unveiled his plan for the Great Society. That same year, the Plano school district integrated, setting an example for the state and nation. The tightknit community banded together through a language fluent to everyone – football. The Plano Wildcats had few winning seasons and no state titles at that time, but with hard work and a trailblazing spirit, coaches Tom Gray and John Clark led the integrated team all the way to state championship victory in 1965. The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. presents the inspiring story of the Wildcat fight for the title that made Plano a better place to live.Football and Integration in Plano, Texas: Stay in There, Wildcats! >