Breckenridge Texan

Texas Forts Trail caravan stops by Breckenridge museum, restaurant and bungalow

Texas Forts Trail caravan stops by Breckenridge museum, restaurant and bungalow
April 03
18:16 2024

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

When the Texas Forts Trail caravan made its Spring 2024 tour around the north-central portion of the region, the group visited Breckenridge, touring the museum, stopping for lunch and visiting a local bungalow for dessert before heading back to Abilene.

Breckenridge was the official, final stop of the caravan’s second day of touring on March 22. The day before, the caravan participants had visited Frontier Texas in Abilene, Buffalo Gap Historic Village in Buffalo Gap, the WASP WWII Museum in Sweetwater and the Dyess Air Force Base Museum. That Friday, the group started out at Fort Phantom Hill just north of Abilene before traveling on to Fort Griffin in Albany and then on to Breckenridge. The caravan was open to the public and included several people connected to the Texas Forts Trail program, as well as others interested in the historical sites.

In Breckenridge, they toured the Swenson Memorial Museum, had lunch at the Blackhorse Mercantile & Cafe and then stopped by the Breck Walker Bungalow on West Walker Street.

Jeannine Herrington, owner of the Breck Walker Bungalow, talks to participants in the Texas Forts Trail caravan recently. Pictured from left are Jeannine Herrington, Rhonda and Arno Gretillat of Abilene, Executive Director of the Texas Forts Trail Region Tammie Virden and Museum Curator at Dyess Air Force Base BeauJory Vanderburg. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Jeannine Herrington recently opened the bungalow as a guesthouse after purchasing it from Tommy Wimberley and then fixing it up. “I wanted it to feel like you’re coming home to grandma’s house,” Herrington said about the house.

The house was built in the 1920s, and Herrington has decorated it with vintage furniture and knick-knacks, as well as fluffy blankets and comfortable pillows. There are also books, including a Breckenridge history book, and board games. “Some of these items came from my kids’ grandma’s houses and my grandma and different things like that,” she said.

Herrington named it the Breck Walker Bungalow after Breckenridge Stephens Walker, historically known as the first baby born in the newly established Stephens County and City of Breckenridge. His father, E. L. Walker, was elected county judge in Stephens County’s first election in 1876, and Breck Walker was born in 1877. At one time, the younger Walker owned the property that Herrington now owns at 1112 W. Walker St., although there wasn’t a house on it at that time.

As they toured the Breck Walker Bungalow, some of the caravan participants explained the Texas Forts Trail and the region it encompasses. The Forts Trail makes a 650-mile loop from Fort Richardson in Jacksboro to Fort Concho in San Angelo and Fort Mason south of Brady. The trail also includes Fort Belknap just south of Newcastle, Fort Griffin at Albany, Fort Phantom Hill near Abilene, Fort Chadbourne near Bronte, Fort McKavett west of Menard and Presidio San Luis de Las Amarillas, also known as Presidio San Saba, a fortress constructed in 1757 just outside of present-day Menard.

The Texas Forts Trail is one of the 10 heritage trail regions of the Texas Historical Commission’s Texas Heritage Trails Program. The Heritage Trails Program was created as an economic development initiative to encourage communities, heritage regions, and the state to partner and promote Texas’ historic and cultural resources.

Owen Miller, president and founder of XEO Wealth Planning in Breckenridge, is on the Texas Forts Trail’s Board of Directors, as well as on the board of Texas Heritage Trails LLC, a coalition of five of the Heritage Trail Regions from across the state that publishes the magazine “Authentic Texas.” Margaret Hoogstra, publisher of the magazine that is dedicated to Texas heritage and culture, preservation efforts and travel, was also on the caravan tour that stopped in Breckenridge.

The Breck Walker Bungalow is decorated with a mixture of vintage and modern furniture for a cozy atmosphere. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Jeannine Herrington, owner of the Breck Walker Bungalow, left, talks with Lori Dodd of Gorman, who serves on the Forts Trail Board, and Jeff Salmon, the executive director of Frontier Texas, in the kitchen of the guesthouse. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Breck Walker Bungalow includes two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, dining room, kitchen and a dog run area. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The dining area of the bungalow features a vintage table and chairs and an airy atmosphere. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

When she was decorating the bungalow, Jeannine Herrington picked out items that would give it the feel of being at grandma’s house. A framed biography of Breck Walker is posted on the wall. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Participants in the Texas Forts Trail caravan stopped by the Breck Walker Bungalow on West Walker Street last month. While in town, they also visited the museum and Blackhorse Mercantile and Cafe. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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