Around the time that the was mapped out in 1852, horse and buggies were the primary mode of transportation.
That’s why having a livery stable in the downtown square was important, said Jason Edwards, ’s historian.
Shortly after the Civil War, J.B. Foote, who owned the , built a livery stable on Main Street where now is located. While livery stables were used for boarding and renting out horses, the stable in Dallas primarily was used to board horses of people who came to visit the city.
“It's not just a coincidence that the man that owned the hotel owned the livery stable,” Edwards said.
In 1894, Foote sold his property and building to brothers James B. Watson and John C. Watson. The next year, they tore down the wooden building and replaced it with the current brick-and-stone structure. The Watson brothers continued to operate a livery stable on the property until around the time of World War I.
“The Watson family owned the building until 1946, and it is very difficult to determine what was located in the building during those years,” Edwards said.
The Watson brothers owned the building until 1946, renting it out to several different people during that time. In the late 1920s, Hyman Goldman, a Lithuanian native who immigrated to the United States in 1900, rented it and used the building to run a general store. Sometime in the 1920s, the building caught on fire. The blaze burned some of Goldman’s stock but did not damage the structure itself.
After Goldman, the building was rented out to Clifford Boynton, and in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s he used the building for a bowling alley. In the mid-to-late 1940’s, it was used as a pool hall.
In the 1950s, the property was the site of McConnell’s Ten Cent Store. During this time, there also was a skating rink behind the store.
The Watson brothers sold the property in 1946 to W.O. Hart, who continued to rent building out to McConnell until 1959, when he opened Hart’s 5 & 10. Although Hart and his wife operated the store for several years, records aren’t clear as to exactly how long their store was in business.
In 1986, Hart sold the building to the Credit Bureau of Dallas, which sold it to its current owner, James R. Stokes, in 1994. Stokes’ wife, Chris, continues to operate The Craft Cottage, where she sells items for the home.