History: Oldest home in McKinney open to tours at Chestnut Square

The Faires House was built in 1854 by John Faires and stayed in the Faires family until 1975.

The Faires House was built in 1854 by John Faires and stayed in the Faires family until 1975.

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Heritage Village at Chestnut Square is home to 10 historic McKinney buildings, including the 165-year-old Faires House.

“The Faires House ... is the oldest standing residential building in McKinney,” said Chestnut Square Executive Director Jaymie Pedigo.

The Faires House was owned by carpenter and blacksmith John Faires, who built the home in 1854. Faires was well-known in McKinney for constructing the original bridge over Wilson Creek.

The home stayed in the Faires family for more than 100 years. After Faires died in 1878, many generations of Faireses went on to live in the house until 1975, Pedigo said.

In the late 1970s, the land where the home stood was condemned to be used for a Collin County courthouse. The Faires house had been scheduled for demolition to build the new courthouse, but instead was donated to the Heritage Guild. The home was moved from its original site in an effort to save the house and its history.

“Chestnut Square was [created] by a group of ladies, known as the Heritage Guild,” Chestnut Square Education Coordinator Annie Quinn said. “They really had a passion for history and maintaining the integrity of history.”

In 1980 the house was relocated to Chestnut Square. It was one of the first two homes to be moved there, in addition to two other homes originally built on the property.

While the siding of the Faires House has been replaced, the home still boasts its original windows, floors and overall structure, including the front door chiseled by Faires from a single piece of wood, Quinn said.

Today, the home is open to tours.
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