OFFBEAT DENTON ODDITIES VOLUME: 6

SHAUN TREAT

Removed sheet rock and wood paneling revealed the original 1860 log cabin structure. Photo from Denton County History and Culture. 

Removed sheet rock and wood paneling revealed the original 1860 log cabin structure. Photo from Denton County History and Culture. 

Summer 2017 is barreling down on us just as the streets clear of student traffic, which means a hankering for adventures. We have thoughts on Summertime things-to-do-in-Denton, of course, and you can catch up on past wacky wanderings of strange Denton sights to fill your days. If you think Stranger Things was kooky, take a gander at these new urban adventures and a few hidden delights to explore.


You can now authoritatively tell your friends that, Yes, Denton has at least one dinosaur.

You can now authoritatively tell your friends that, Yes, Denton has at least one dinosaur.

First up, a quick update on one of our very first offbeat wonders, Denton’s own Texas Jack the Jackalope Smoker. It seems the beloved icon has been moved to a new site just a few blocks off the Denton Square, for reasons unknown. We spotted Jack’s new sittin’ spot on Hickory Street a couple months back, and with a little hunting you can add this Texas Barbeque legend to your Instagram feed but include us with #WDDI.

Another secret spot takes a bit of a drive but we can confirm the rumors on Reddit’s r/Denton board that it does indeed exist.  We ain’t sure if this is a Gnome Castle or a Hobbit Hideaway, but this tiny architectural wonder is hidden on the roads outside Denton near the edge of Lewisville Lake. Finding it is half the fun!

Another pretty dang wacky sight that almost made me fall off my bike: the head of a life-size T-Rex poking over a backyard fence!! The dinosaur’s dead eyes were peering out onto the greenbelt path bridge close to Denton’s North Branch Library and, after I double-checked that I didn’t need to change my bike shorts, we had a lovely conversation with the T-Rex owners working in the yard. Apparently, the dino-buddy is a family in-joke that was being used to commemorate their daughter’s graduation from UNT. Gotta hand it to ‘em, this takes the Neighborhood Watch to a whole new level, so we obviously need to update our list of Mythical Creatures in the Denton Wild.

Speaking of epic graduation shenanigans, one UNT graduate went viral with his commemorative photoshoot. Integrative Studies major Mark Philips used his graduation photos to recreate the covers to his favorite modern Rap albums, and his cleverly creative labors won the internet. You can check out the NOW THIS slideshow of his epic project below, and follow this rising star’s Instagram to keep current.

These Tesla Supercharger Stations on University near I-35 are putting Denton on the map for cross-country e-cars. Photo from Green Source DFW. 

These Tesla Supercharger Stations on University near I-35 are putting Denton on the map for cross-country e-cars. Photo from Green Source DFW. 

You know we love our local history here at WDDI, so the recent discovery of the Gibson-Grant Log Cabin down in Flower Mound is an exciting and rare example of history hiding in plain sight. As detailed over at the Denton County Office of History and Culture blog, a pretty average-looking ranch-style house was scheduled for demolition but during the process a rough-hewn log infrastructure was revealed. Developer Curtis Grant told the DRC that he quickly realized it could hold significant historical value, little knowing it would turn out to be one of Denton County’s oldest standing structures well-preserved by the exterior add-ons. Y’all can volunteer to help with it’s historical maintenance, or plan a visit during one of the DCOH&C open house events! But don’t forget to meander into the Courthouse Museum to peruse their new exhibits.

Also kinda nifty is the new four-bay Tesla Supercharger at 2700 West University Drive, the first in North Texas, which will help connect the dots on a growing network of Tesla chargers being set up across North America to enable Tesla owners to charge up in an hour or less as they drive cross-country. There are quite a few spots around town to charge an electric vehicle [EV], you can see a list of EV stations here, but the Tesla SuperStation is a pretty big deal.

Have you spotted any wacky or weird sights in Denton? Hit us up in the comments, then tag us on Twitter or Instagram with #WDDI so we can share in your urban adventures!


Shaun Treat is a former professor at the University of North Texas and founder of the Denton Haunts historical ghost tour. Doc has written about numerous local places and personalities at his Denton Haunts blog, and is forever indebted to the great work of our local keepers of history like Mike Cochran and Laura Douglas at the Emily Fowler Library for their tireless work in helping preserve Denton’s intriguing past. Be sure to check out our local museums curated by the fine folks at the Denton County Office of History & Culture, and follow @Dentonaut on Twitter for local happenings.