First Impression and Brief History
Grandview Texas is a tiny town along I35W. It’s something like 10 or 11 miles north of Hillsboro Texas. Use the map link at the bottom of this post for an exact location. I like this one red-light town. That light is at the intersections of highways 4 and 81. Farm Road 4 takes you to Cleburne and 81 to Hillsboro, if you go the right way.
The early history of Grandview courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission Atlas:
Settled in 1850 on land grant from Governor Elisha M. Pease. Supplies were hauled by ox wagon from Houston. A visitor exclaimed, “What a grand view!” Which gave community its name. Church organized 1853. Post office opened in 1856. Masonic lodge (county’s first) founded 1860. Town moved to this site, on Missouri-Kansas-Texas rail line, in 1883. Incorporated in 1891. Home of Grand View Collegiate Institute 1897-1907. Devastating 1920 fire razed 135 homes, schools, churches, and businesses. Town name changed to Grandview (one word) in 1925.
Grandview has a population of about 1500, based on U.S. Census data. They also have a significant Mennonite community. Mennonites operate several businesses in the town, so if you’re interested in getting to know more about their culture and faith, then the opportunity is there.
Watts Chapel Methodist Church and Cemetery
Watts Chapel Historic Church is a couple miles west of Grandview on Farm Road 4. There’s a Texas Historical Commission sign on the main road and after that the church and cemetery are on the right side of the road.
The rural Watts Chapel community was named for the family of Nathaniel Franklin Watts (1851-1919), who settled in this area of Johnson County in 1872. Watts married Rachel Ann Bennett in 1875, and they bought a small farm near this site. Nathaniel and Rachel Watts were the parents of twelve children, five of whom died at an early age. The Watts Chapel Cemetery began as a family burial ground in 1879, when their infant daughter Sallie died and was buried on the family farm. Over the years other family members also were interred here, as were friends and neighbors in the community. In 1892 the Watts family deeded three acres of land to the Methodist church.
The Watts Chapel United Methodist Church is an active church and still very much a part of the local community today.
JavaTaza Coffee Shop—Finding Pleasure In The Daily Grind
The Javataza Coffee Shop had been open in Grandview since 2006. This is an outstanding coffee shop. I can tell you from personal experience that often as not stopping at coffee shops in small Texas towns ends up being a bad experience. That is, unless you were stopping for conversation or to use the bathroom or something like that. Javataza Coffee ended up being the exact opposite.
Their espresso-based drinks are outstanding. The food was also good, the atmosphere was casual and quiet, prices real reasonable, service very good. Unlike that popular coffee shop most of us have visited, they don’t hound you the moment you walk in the door, and there’s no quirky attitude to deal with. Besides the coffee shop, they roast coffee. Javataza is a self importer of coffee and they also roast their own coffee on site in Grandview. They specialize in Costa Rican coffees, and they sell their fresh roasted coffees in the Grandview store and also through third parties. They also develop private label coffees for businesses and restaurants.
The fresh roasted coffee definitely makes a difference in the quality of their coffee and espresso based drinks. They offer some very tasty light roast coffees. Dark roast coffees have become pretty standard in American coffee bars. Truth is that light roast coffees can be very classy. Even in Italy, espresso is made from light roasted beans in the North and from dark roasted beans in the South of Italy. Javataza offers both light and dark roast coffees. For something different try espresso made from their light roast coffee.
The Javataza store is located on Farm Road 4 just a little out of town heading towards Cleburne. See their web site or the map at the end of this article for directions.
Burgundy Pasture Beef
Burgundy Boucherie, storefront for Burgundy Pasture Beef. Boucherie: that’s French for butcher market, by the way. Burgundy Pasture Beef specializes in free-range grass fed beef. Owners Wendy and Jon Taggart raise cattle, process, package, and sell beef and other meats produced in an environmentally conscious way. They also serve burgers at the Boucherie. Highly recommended.
Grandview Cemetery and Original Grandview Town Site
Also on Farm Road 4 heading towards Cleburne is the original town site and cemetery. If you like old cemeteries this is one. Otherwise, just stop to read the Texas Historical Commission Medallion sign.
Browse the gallery below for pictures and more destination information.
Copyright © 2008 by Sam Fenstermacher
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