Adventure: Night Watchman Tour in Grapevine, Texas.
Week Of: September 28 – October 4, 2014
Where: Downtown Grapevine, Texas (begins at D’Vine Wines)
Cost: $20, includes a glass of wine afterwards (hell yeah!)
I’m enjoying the second week of my 3-week fun-employment (before my next job starts up) with my parents here in the suburbs between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, where I spent the first 18 years of my life. For this week’s adventure, my mom signed the two of us up for a ghost tour of Grapevine, the town she and my stepdad have just bought their “forever” home in, in an effort to convince me that where I come from is not as un-interesting as I usually tell people it is.
And strangely enough, my mother’s instincts were spot on – I had no idea how interesting (and creepy) the history of my family’s home town actually was! Kudos, Ma.
The tour starts at D’Vine Wines in Grapevine – if you’re in the area and you like wine and cheese, it’s a great spot in it’s own right – and it lasts about 90 minutes. The tour was led by an energetic, quirky woman named Ashley who had an affinity for the phrase “wildly haunted” and has collected her mostly first-hand information from local historians and the descendants of prominent families that built the town.
As it turns out, this small city near DFW airport has a lot of fascinating history centered around it’s Main Street, including a bloody shoot out, a haunted funeral home, the ghost of the Night Watchman who used to patrol the town after dark, and even an appearance by Bonnie and Clyde! (The real ones, not Jay-Z and Beyonce…..I asked.)
I learned all kinds of fun facts, like Grapevine is older than Fort Worth, the middle school was once the site of an insane asylum, and my favorite Mexican restaurant off of Main Street was once a funeral parlor (and still has the original sink! ugh). I also had no idea how many times the banks in this town were robbed, or that the Farmers Bank in Grapevine is the only vault in America that Bonnie and Clyde couldn’t break into.
I also noticed things around town that I hadn’t before. For one, there is a statue of the Night Watchman atop City Hall that is a tribute to the men that patrolled the town after dark, keeping the peace. There is also a calaboose in the middle of Main Street where criminals were kept before they could be transferred to proper jails outside of town. There are even statues of Nat and Willy in the clock tower – two men who both came here to rob the train but killed each other in a drunken shootout waiting for the train to arrive. It’s funny how things can be right in front of you for your entire life and you never even notice them!
The coolest part about this experience was that I was able to see a whole new side of a place that I grew up in, further proof that adventure can be found anywhere, even in your own backyard. I never would have imagined the suburban area where I spent my first 18 years held any kind of historical interest to anybody, especially not to me! But I was wrong.
I highly encourage you to do some research on off-beat, local attractions in your home town – you never know what you might discover. Hell, Bonnie and Clyde might have slept in your house! (Probably not….but you never know!)
How you can do it: Night Watchman Tour at D’Vine Wines in Grapevine, TX
Get more info on this specific tour here.
If you’d like to find a ghost tour in your own home town or somewhere nearby, a quick Google search should give you some fun options! Personally, I am already looking into some LA Ghost Tours for when I get back to LA…..because why not?