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Interurban Railway Museum welcomes many during Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano Event

Interurban Railway Museum welcomes many during Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano Event

Many gathered at the Plano Interurban Railway Museum during Plano's "Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano" on Friday, December 5 to enjoy museum tours, two special children's story times, live performers and much more.

"The downtown area was filled with music, carolers, concessions, shopping and holiday fun," said Russell Kissick of Plano, co-founder of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., the group that manages the museum.  "This popular event also gave us the opportunity to showcase the Interurban Railway Museum to guests who have not have had the chance to experience the museum before."

The museum offered two special children's story times, featuring readings of "The Polar Express." Uniformed railway motormen were available for photo opportunities throughout the evening. The City of Plano tree lighting was a highlight of the evening, as well.

The Interurban Railway Museum is located at 901 E. 15th Street in historic downtown Plano. For more information call 972.941.2117 or visit www.planoconservancy.org

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117. 

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Faith Lutheran Church in Plano recently announced the church's Advent and Christmas schedule of special services:

Advent Worship Service: Wednesday, December 3 at 7 p.m. "To Us a Child is Born" (Isaiah 9:2-7)

Faith Lutheran Church Sunday School Christmas Program: God's Love at Christmas - Wednesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.

Advent Worship Service: Wednesday, December 17 at 7 p.m. "The Righteous Branch (Isaiah 11:1-11)

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services: Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Christmas Day Divine Worship Service with Holy Communion: Thursday, December 25 at 10 a.m.

New Year's Eve Worship Service: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd. in Plano, Texas. For more information, call 972.423.7447 or visit www.faithplano.org

About Faith Lutheran Church:
Faith Lutheran Church is a conservative congregation of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that confesses the teachings of the historic Christian church as they are taught in the Bible. Faith Lutheran Church is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has locations in both Plano and Wylie, Texas. For more information, please visit www.faithplano.org or call 972.423.7447 

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The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. today announced that the group is interested in restoring the historic Collinwood house. Currently, the Collinwood house, which was built in 1861, is located at 5400 Windhaven Parkway in Plano.  The original, two-story, 1,800-square foot home is in good condition.  The City of Plano recently released a query seeking groups interested in restoring, relocating and repairing the home.

"The city of Plano has an asset and opportunity with this home," said Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. board member Clint Haggard, whose family has lived in Plano since 1856.  "This is the oldest home in the city of Plano next to the Foreman home on Avenue K that was built in 1867.  Plano has a great staff and council members that care about this city.  I’m hoping we can provide some guidance on how to find a way to keep the house where it is.  I am working beside some smart people from The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., the Heritage Farmstead Museum and the City of Plano to find a win-win solution to keep the home where it was built 153 years ago." 

Clint Haggard's great-great-great grandfather Clinton Shepard Haggard (for whom Plano's C.S. Haggard Middle School and Haggard Park are named) purchased what is now known as the Collinwood house from Charles M. and Julian K. Fox in March 9, 1862, when C.S. Haggard was 23 years old. 

C.S. Haggard came to Texas when he was 18 years old with his father John Haggard in 1856 from Winchester, Kentucky.  John Haggard came because Clinton was his youngest child and all of his other children were much older and out of the house.  John also raised Clinton on his own after losing his wife (Mourning Quisenberry Haggard) when Clinton was eight years old.  The two were part of the first settlers to come to the area known as Peters Colony, which later became Plano.   They originally settled near White Rock Creek, just to the East of the current Dallas North Tollway between Parker and Spring Creek.  John passed away two years after arriving in Texas, and C.S. was on his own. In 1859C.S. Haggard married Nannie Kate Lunsford and the couple had nine children. C.S. already owned land next to the Collinwood House property, so he purchased the property where the Collinwood House stands today. 

The land and home were passed down to C. S. Haggard's daughter Annabel Haggard Aldridge, who gave it, in turn, to her daughter, Emma Ruth Aldridge Kendrick.  Mrs. Kendrick and her husband sold the property in 1936, so it remained in the Haggard family from 1862 until 1936...for 74 years.  

C.S. Haggard lived in the Collinwood house for a while due to its close proximity to White Rock Creek.

C.S. Haggard went on to serve in the Civil War and raise nine children.

"Through quiet determination, frugality and hard work, he became one of the largest landowners in Collin County," said Clint Haggard.  "His interest in education led to the establishment of Add Ran College, which later became Texas Christian University.  He lived to 92 years old."

Clint Haggard said he and others with The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. and throughout the city are interested in preserving this unique piece of Plano's history.

"It’s hard for us to find examples of the past when Texas was at its very beginning," he said.  "In the 1860’s, Texas was a like a third world country. This is an opportunity to preserve a piece of that."

Clint Haggard believes it would be a mistake to relocate the Collinwood home. 

"I’ve moved four historic homes and outbuildings to save them from developments over the years," he said.  "One thing I have learned is that once they are moved, they are never the same and neither are the environments that they came from.  It’s also one of the reasons that the Texas Historical Commission and National Register of Historic Places will rarely register a home that has been moved."

Regardless, Haggard said he and The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. are interested in an ongoing dialogue with the City of Plano and others to work to save the Collinwood home, whether it is relocated or rehabilitated in the place where is has been for so many years. 

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

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The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. recently debuted a wind energy program exhibit “Discover the Power of Wind,” an exhibition sponsored by Texas Tech Universities National Wind Institute. The exhibit is on display at the Interurban Railway Museum in historic downtown Plano.

"At the Interurban Railway Museum, we teach guests a lot about how the interurban railway system used electricity to make lives better for people in this area and beyond," said The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Co-Director Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney. “'Discover the Power of Wind' gives us the opportunity to show how Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute is discovering the power of wind energy to make lives better for residents in the state of Texas and beyond."

The exhibit details the wind energy program options available through Texas Tech University's National Wind Institute.

From the university's printed materials: "Right now, the field of renewable energy has the potential for huge economic expansion.  Wind energy is poised to provide 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030, which means that there will be significant growth in the number of highly skilled personnel needed to join the wind energy labor force. During the next 10 years, the U.S. wind industry could support more than 500,000 jobs, including those associated businesses such as accountant, lawyers, steel workers and others."

The exhibit is available to the public at the Interurban Railway Museum in historic downtown Plano. The museum is open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 - 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about viewing hours or to arrange group visits, contact The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. at 972.941.2117 or email info@planoconservancy.org

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

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Faith Lutheran School third and fourth grade students recently welcomed school Headmaster Rev. Steve Kieser to their classroom for a presentation about beekeeping.

Kieser, a beekeeper for many years, showed the class equipment necessary for a beekeeper, including a smoker, hive tool, gloves, outfit, had and veil.  He also showed the students a hive box, complete with honeycomb cells.

 "This was the perfect culminating activity following a science unit on insects," said Faith Lutheran School teacher Cheryl Wildauer.  "Students had also recently read poetry about insects from the book "Joyful Noise" by Paul Fleischman. The children really enjoyed this presentation, asked many of great questions, and learned a lot of little-known facts about bees."

Students learned that the live expectancy of queen bees is two years. Worker bees live about 30 days.  Bee hives may contain as many as 80,000 to 100,000 worker bees.  Queen and worker bees are all females and have stingers, while drone beers are males and have no stingers, Kieser said.

Kieser's presentation to students concluded with each student tasting a sample of raw wildflower honey which Kieser brought from hives he recently tended in Indiana.

About Faith Lutheran School

In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade.   School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

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Genie Hammel Plano Conservancy with Eugene the Mot

The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. today announced the winners of the Conservancy's 2013 and 2014 volunteer of the year awards.

The honorees were recently recognized at an awards dinner conducted at Angela's at the Crosswalk restaurant in historic downtown Plano.

The group's Sam Mania volunteer of the year award is an award which was named after the Plano Conservancy's first volunteer.

The 2013 Sam Mania award winner is Jeannie Reilly of Plano.  The 2014 Sam Mania award winner is Genie Hammel of Plano.  Reilly and Hammel are both heavily involved in the children's programming at Plano's Interurban Railway Museum, where the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation directs programming and has its office. Hammel leads children's story time at the museum most Fridays, and Reilly leads story times some weeks, as well. Both are involved in children's programming development for the museum.

The group's Maggie Sprague historic preservation recognition award, which is new, was named after Plano Conservancy former co-director Maggie Sprague of Plano. Sprague, who is passionate about historic preservation, is one of the founders of The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. Her devotion to historic preservation, dedication to excellence and years of hard work provided the foundation on which The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. is built.

The 2013 Maggie Sprague volunteer of the year award is Bonnie Peter of Plano. The 2014 Maggie Sprague volunteer of the year award is Candace Fountoulakis of Plano.

Bonnie Peter volunteers at the Interurban Railway Museum as a docent and also organizes The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.'s participation in the annual local Archaeology Fair event and is instrumental in overall planning for the event.  Candace Fountoulakis serves on The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.'s board of directors and is heavily involved in the group's cemetery preservation efforts and other historic preservation initiatives.

"I appreciate all of our volunteers so very much.  What we have been able to do over the years to serve the community is just incredible," said Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Co-Director Russ Kissick of Plano.   "All of our volunteers have provided such a great contribution and really made our work successful. Without the volunteers we have, we would not survive.  Our volunteers are like family to us."

While daily seeking new ideas and avenues to enhance the city's Interurban Railway Museum and striving to further interest in historic preservation through scholarships and other educational programming, The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. has also been successful in offering historic preservation initiatives such as an annual city-wide archaeology education event, National Preservation Week activities and much more.

"I am so proud of the work that our volunteers do," said Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Co-Director Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney.  "Each of you have a passion...for serving children, for preserving cemeteries and so much more.  I am glad we have this great opportunity to recognize some of our amazing volunteers."

"We do not only work at Plano's Interurban Railway Museum, we are also very involved in historic preservation and provide a variety of related programming," added Kissick.  "But no matter what our project, without our wonderful volunteers, we would not be able to do all of the amazing things we do!" 

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc: 
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117. 

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Every Friday morning at 10:30 in the lobby of the historic Interurban Railway Museum in downtown Plano, spellbound children take a magical train ride through the tales of professional storyteller Genie Hammel and her sidekick Eugene the Motor Mouse. The 30-minute fun-filled, interactive experience is aimed at toddlers and preschool children. However, kids of all ages are welcome and often attend.

Ms. Genie is a master at providing young children age-appropriate ways to learn about trains. Her stories arouse their curiosity to explore the
rest of the museum, especially its model train display and interactive exhibits based on the principals of electricity used to power the Texas
Electric Railway cars. There’s even an opportunity to board Interurban Rail Car 360, manufactured in 1911, just outside the train station for
an imaginary trip down the line.

A parent or guardian must accompany all children. Large groups should call 972-241-2117 to ensure a spot in this highly popular program.
Admission is free, but donations are always welcome!

November 7:  Fall into Trains!
Trains run past trees of yellow and gold,
As animals build nests before it turns cold!.

November 14:  Pumpkins, Pumpkins!
This train's whistle toots a loud sound,
As it passes pumpkins big and round.

November 21:  Thanks for Trains!
This train travels on Thanksgiving Day,
"Hooray for Trains!" the children say.

November 28:  CLOSED.

December 5:  Cows Love Trains and Cookies!
This train in the country spies a cow,
Who wants cookies to eat right now!

December 12:  BRRR! It's Cold!
This train is bound for the North Pole,
Ice and snow are oh-so-cold!

December 19:  Trains Bring Gifts!
This train is filled with gifts and toys,
All for little girls and boys.

December 26: CLOSED

The Interurban Railway Museum story time program is presented by The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117 

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The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. recently announced the release of the book "Football and Integration in Plano, Texas: Stay in There, Wildcats."

"This book gives us the opportunity to tell the story of a pivotal time in history not only in the city of Plano, but during a time of great change for our country overall," said The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. Co-Director Russell C. Kissick.  "Through this book, our team was able to capture and record the stories of the many educators, coaches, community members and civic leaders who were instrumental in making integrated education a reality in Plano and beyond. The inspirational stories of these amazing people during a remarkable time in history are recorded here for many to enjoy."

The book was authored by Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney, Amy Sandling Crawford of Plano and Kirby Stokes of Allen for The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. with a foreword by former Plano Senior High School Wildcat football player Billy Ray Smith who went on to play for the San Diego Chargers and an introduction by Robert Haynes, curator of Plano's Interurban Railway Museum and chief curator and director of Texas Curatorial Services of Dallas. The book was published by The History Press.

"Football and Integration in Plano, Texas: Stay in There, Wildcats" is available via www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and at select area retailers. The book is also available for purchase at the Interurban Railway Museum in historic downtown Plano.

Books will be available for purchase at this upcoming event:

Book signing: Friday, November 21, 2014 from 1 – 3 p.m.
Costco – 3800 North Central Expressway in Plano

From the publisher:
Football and Integration in Plano, Texas: Stay in There, Wildcats": The year 1964 was momentous for civil rights as Congress passed the Twenty-fourth Amendment 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 tight-knit community banded together through a language fluent to everyone—football. The 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.

The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., is a Texas-based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting civic pride in the past, increasing preservation awareness through education and public outreach and providing financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for current and future generations. The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., is especially focused on preserving the history and heritage of Plano, Texas. 

Jeffrey C. Campbell is the co-director for the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. He has a degree in heritage resources with a concentration in historic preservation from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. He has worked on historic preservation projects in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico. He is also a published folk poet and writes a column for Stephen F. Austin State University's Center for Regional Heritage Research. He lives in McKinney, Texas, with his wife.

Amy Sandling Crawford was raised in Plano, Texas. She graduated from Plano East Senior High School and has a degree in journalism with public relations emphasis from the University of North Texas. A widely published journalist and successful public relations specialist, Amy uses her talents to promote many non-profits, businesses and community groups in Plano and beyond. She lives in Plano with her husband, Ben, and their daughter, Elizabeth Grace.

Kirby Stokes is a student at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing her graduate degree in history. She was raised in north Dallas and currently resides in Allen, Texas. She lives with her wonderful husband Alex Lindsey and their rambunctious dog Marley.

About the Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc.:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

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A classroom at Faith Lutheran School in Plano, Texas was transformed into "Precinct 3W" on Tuesday November 4 as students in second through fifth grades at the school participated in a mock election.

"Prior to this event, our third and fourth grade students learned election terms and completed mock voter registration forms," explained Faith Lutheran School teacher Cheryl Wildauer, who organized the event.  "Students then learned about various jobs that occur at the polls."

During the classroom election, students carried about their civic responsibility by voting via secret ballot on various student-suggested questions in the form of propositions, which were answered with a yes or no vote. 

In addition, students took turns assuming various jobs at the polling precinct. At the completion of the election, votes were carefully counted by a select group of students, the results were notarized, and the election was declared valid and binding.

"These young students have been learning about the three branches of the federal government and the U.S. Constitutional requirements for elected office," said Wildauer.  "This included following the pathway from declaring candidacy to nomination at convention, to the rigorous campaign train, to the actual election day. This event is always greatly enjoyed by our students and is a great way to teach them about the voting process, and that voting is both a right and a privilege for a U.S. citizen."

About Faith Lutheran School
In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and currently provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade.   School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.

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Jacob Cumming of Plano and Andrew Koch of Plano.JP

Farmers, mice, fairies and superheros gathered at Faith Lutheran School in Plano on Friday, October 31 for the school's annual Treat N Feast Fall Festival.

"This event is not only one of our biggest fundraisers of the year, it's also a great opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to gather with friends, family, neighbors and the community for a fun, family event that is enjoyed by all," said Faith Lutheran School Headmaster Rev. Stephen Kieser of Plano

The event featured a bounce house, obstacle course, fair-type foods, a cake walk, carnival games and more. 

Faith Lutheran School is located at 1701 E. Park Blvd. in Plano.  For more information, please call 972.423.7448 or visit www.flsplano.org

About Faith Lutheran School
Faith Lutheran School is fully accredited and provides classes from pre-school three-year-olds through the twelfth grade.  School curriculum is based on the classical model of education. In 1971, the congregation of Faith Lutheran Church in Plano, Texas established a four-year-old preschool for children of the congregation. Since then, the school has grown and opened enrollment to others in the community on a tuition basis. The school's educational program also includes both sports and the fine arts. To learn more about Faith Lutheran School, please visit the school's web site at www.flsplano.org or call 972.423.7448.