The town of Garland emerged because of a dispute over a post office. In the mid-1800s, two communities–Duck Creek and Embree–sprung up where Garland is now located. Both towns wanted a post office on their soil. A judge requested that Texas Congressman Joseph Abbott figure out a way to calm rising tensions between Duck Creek and Embree. Representative Abbott opted to place the controversial post office in an area between the two towns. Soon after, rival communities Duck Creek and Embree converged to become the town of Garland. Garland was officially incorporated in 1891.


Garland continued to steadily expand until a powerful tornado struck in 1927. Many of Garland’s buildings were seriously damaged, and 15 people died. Growth lagged in the early 1930s due to the Great Depression, but Garland swiftly rebounded in late 1930s. The Byer-Rolnick hat factory–which continues to produce iconic Western hats under the brand name Resistol–began operating in Garland. The demand for military aircraft during World War II created a manufacturing boom in Garland. After the war, companies such as Kraft Foods continued to flock to Garland. Garland is one of the Southeast’s most robust manufacturing centers. Many processed foods and industrial materials such as steel are made in Garland.


Garland is home to several historic buildings. The Tinsley-Lyles House was originally constructed in the late 1800s. The historic home has been moved twice, and is now on display at Heritage Crossing. Historic Downtown Garland features architecture reminiscent of the city’s first settlements. In 2017, Downtown Garland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Garland’s Landmark Museum–which is located in the former Santa Fe depot building–showcases items such as quilts, old newspaper clippings, and agricultural tools that belonged to Garland residents.


The Spring Creek Forest Preserve features a rare old growth forest within an urban center. Conservationist Bobby Scott stumbled upon a grove of trees while taking a walk near Spring Creek in 1980. Some of the trees that Scott discovered were 300 years old. Early settlers had left the trees alone when they first built homes and buildings in Garland. Scott successfully worked with state and local officials to preserve Spring Creek’s unique forest. Bobby Scott referred to Spring Creek as a “biological museum” that would help modern residents of Garland appreciate the area’s incredibly diverse and complex ecosystem. The Spring Creek Forest Preserve offers trails that give visitors a choice view of over 650 species of plants and animals, including rare flowers such as Solomon’s Seal.

Garland is a modern city that still has a great deal of quaint charm. Contemporary manufacturing facilities that build modern products coexist with a historic downtown that looks like it is straight out of the Old West. The old Santa Fe depot is filled with relics that remind visitors and residents of Garland’s humble beginnings. A rare old growth forest in the heart of the city allows visitors and residents access to a quiet space where they can connect with Garland’s past.

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