— By SALLY SEXTON
For more than 30 years, Nebo Valley has provided a unique, historical experience to the public through the Shaw-Kemp Open House, with more than 3,000 visitors each year.
The property will be open to the public once again, during the 33rd annual event, held Saturday, April 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.
With a history that dates back to the 1800s, the 200-plus acreage houses nine buildings, including the original Shaw-Kemp log cabin, a barber shop, grocery store and post office, church and school and more.
“The Kemps bought the property from the Shaws in 1975 and we spent about a year restoring the old cabin,” Mary Kemp, who runs the event along with Leon Tanner and numerous volunteers, said. “The first three or four years, we just had school children come through. Once we got some of the other buildings in, we started to open it up to the public.”
Next came the Mt. Nebo School and Church, an old house that had been used as a barn.
“The cabin was the only original piece on the property,” Kemp said. “The rest of the buildings were brought in, and were either purchased or donated.”
One of the buildings, now the grocery store and post office, has a touch of the Parker County history right on it, with doors purchased after the deconstruction of the old Parker County Jail.
Several original fixtures, including lighting, flooring and even an 1800s record player, occupy the many cabins.
“Some even have the original furniture,” Kemp said.
Another constant feature during the event is the presence of bluebonnets, which Kemp said she looks forward to every year.
“Unfortunately because of the weather, we’re not going to have as many this year, but there will be some in front of the Shaw-Kemp Log Cabin,” she said.
Nebo Valley is located south of Weatherford on Highway 51 towards Granbury, at 220 Kemp Road.
Admission to the open house is free. For more information, contact Kemp at 817-594-6837.