“Collin County is the perfect blend of past and present, with its charming historical remnants nestled next to modern amenities. Simply put, the region offers the best of both worlds,” Mary Leidy, CEO, Collin County Association of REALTORS®

While exploring Collin County, you will no doubt stumble upon historical treasures. Historical buildings and homes are sprinkled throughout the county, each eager to tell the stories of their previous owners, and of the era in which they were built. LoneStarHomes.com is embarking on a new series featuring some of these treasured spaces, exploring their history as well as their current day uses.

Our first stop is the City of McKinney. McKinney has gone to great efforts to preserve its unique history, providing numerous grants to businesses that purchase and restore historic buildings and store fronts, as well as tax perks to homeowners of history homes.  Tom Michero of McKinneyHistory.com highlights that the “architecture and public spaces stand unchanged from their original forms [in McKinney]. Neighborhoods established in the beginning of the 20th Century remain intact.”

McKinney undoubtedly has architectural treasures, but you would be amiss to overlook the colorful personalities that resided in the city. When roaming the streets of downtown McKinney, you may just be walking in the footsteps of Jesse and Frank James or even those of Bonnie and Clyde Barrow.

In 1923, McKinney hosted one of its more infamous visitors. Michero shares the story of J.J. Raney, “an oil man, who embezzled $234 from his employer, the Texhoma Oil and Gas Company.” Authorities thought Raney had drowned in an East Texas lake after he eluded arrest. Much to their surprise, he reemerged in McKinney a few months later while visiting his relatives. It was in McKinney that he was finally arrested for his crimes.

Come along with us as we visit historical homes and places in Collin County over the upcoming weeks, both sure to boast stunning architecture as well as amusing personalities of homeowners past.