Our Backyard: Jarvies House

08/01/2014 11:45 AM

08/01/2014 11:47 AM

It seems fitting that a historic home connected to one of Keller’s founding families is about to find new life promoting the city’s heritage. The 1920s craftsman, located for decades in the 100 block of South Main Street, was initially the family home of Jim Jarvies, son of one of the area’s original settlers, Thomas Jefferson Jarvies.

In almost a century, the Jarvies House has served many purposes. It was a place of business for the Cinnamon Sticks Tea Room in the 1990s, and most recently, the Texas Harvest Pie Company, which closed in 2012. It also housed booths for clock repair, antiques and gift sellers.

The Old Town Keller Foundation expressed an interest in preserving the two-story home two years ago when it was endangered by development of the upcoming Texas Bleu Steakhouse and Cellar. Texas Bleu owner Cary Moon, who also owns the Keller Tavern, offered to donate the structure to the foundation if members could fund its moving. Last October, the deal was done and the Jarvies House was moved three blocks to city park land, at 133 Bates St.

Now it will be known as the Wild Rose Heritage Center, a place to display artifacts and photos from Keller’s history, and to host meetings and educational events about the area’s roots. Its new name comes from the McCartney Rose, a wild, white rose that served as economical fencing for livestock in the town’s early days.

While foundation workers were busy painting and furnishing the home well into July — and raising funds to afford the improvements — changes to the property could be seen almost daily. In its quiet spot on a side street in Old Town, the Wild Rose Heritage Center soon will be surrounded by colorful, park-like gardens that will include, of course, its namesake rose.

For more information on the Old Town Keller Foundation and the opening of the Wild Rose Heritage Center, visit www. otkf.org.

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