LLELA Pioneer House Walking Tour

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LLELA Pioneer House Walking Tour is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lewisville, Texas that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

0.9 miles
3 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running



The Pioneer Log House Tour is a .97 mile loop, you can also use the full Cottonwood Trail loop (1.48 miles) for a longer walk.  Both provide access to LLELA’s 1870’s Pioneer Homestead. This is a walking tour of a wonderful fully restored 1870's  furnished log home, a dugout, a smokehouse, and a barn.   The tour begins at the LLELA Pavilion and proceeds down the Cottonwood Trail to the log house.  From the Log House you can follow the shorter loop  tour (as shown on the map)  or follow the Cottonwood Trail.  Both trails return to the Pavillion. The History of the Minor-Porter Log House William Tipton Minor, a single man, came toTexas from Alabama and bought property in 1869 near today’s town of Highland Village. Around the same time, he married a local woman, Mary Nowlin, and built a log home for his new family. Mary died in 1879. They had no children. William married Mary’s sister, Vesta Ann Nowlin, in 1881. They had two children: a daughter named Alice and a son named Beecher. Mary and Vesta Ann Nowlin were the daughters of Archibald Anderson Nowlin and Cynthia Reed Nowlin. The Nowlin family came by wagon train from Tennessee to Texas in 1853. William Minor (along with Elisha and Mary Chinn) donated land for the Chinn’s Chapel Church and School. His children attended school there, fewer than 200 yards from their home. The Chinn’s Chapel School and the nearby Hawk School were consolidated in 1921 and became the new Annie Blanton School, located on Copper Canyon Road. Vesta Ann died in 1895, when Alice was only 14 years old. Alice kept house and took care of her father and brother. When Alice married Clarence Olin Porter in 1901, the couple set up housekeeping in the log house. They added rooms to the home and covered the logs, and from that point on most people (even younger family members) were unaware there was a log house hiding within what the family now referred to as “The Prairie House.” The enlarged home had a long front porch divided by a central hall or covered porch. The log structure (now hidden) was the corner room on the right as one looked at the front of the house. A dining room and kitchen were added behind that room and bedrooms and a parlor were added on the other side of the central hall. William continued to live with Alice and Clarence in the Prairie House until his death in 1926. He had lived on his farm for 56 years. He was buried beside Vesta Ann at Chinn Chapel Cemetery. Alice and Clarence had five children: Ruby, Fred, Ray, Olin, and Lillian. They were the last family to live in the house. The children were grown when their parents died (Clarence in April, 1953 and Alice in October, 1953). Clarence and Alice are buried at Chinn Chapel Cemetery. The property went to Olin and Ray. Ray sold his share to Olin. When Olin died in 1997, his two daughters Linda and Beverly inherited the property. Linda had married Jimmy Feagins, who along with Beverly and her husband Ronny Gibson, later donated the house to the City of Lewisville. The house was moved to City property, as it was going to be destroyed if left in its historic location. In 2005, the City moved the log house to LLELA. Bill Marquis of Stony, TX, a specialist in the restoration of log structures, restored the log house during 2005 and 2006. The Minor‐Porter Log House is a beautiful example of log house craftsmanship during the mid to late‐1800’s. Looking closely at the expertly cut half‐dovetailed corners and the way the logs were prepared, one can’t help but respect the skill involved in building a home with the simple tools available (examples are hanging on the back wall of the home).