History of Frisco
Frisco, Texas got its start from hardy pioneers who helped settle one of America’s newest states: Texas, admitted to the Union in 1845.
Most families who came to the north Texas prairie followed the Preston Trail (today’s Preston Road), a trail that began as an Indian footpath from the Red River south to Austin. Later, the route was known as the Shawnee Trail upon which millions of longhorn cattle were driven to markets in the north. The trail followed a high ridge of white rock that provided a dry path for the cattle. A Texas State Historic Marker about the Shawnee Trail is located at Collin College’s Frisco Campus.
With all of this activity, the community of Lebanon was founded along this trail and granted a U.S. post office in 1860. In 1902, a line of the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway was being built through the area, and periodic watering holes were needed along the rails for the steam engines. The current settlement of Lebanon was on the Preston Ridge and was thus too high in elevation, so the watering hole was placed about four miles to the west on lower ground.
A community grew around this train stop. Seeing the growth and opportunities, many residents of Lebanon decided to move and some even moved their houses to the new community on logs. The new town was originally named Emerson, but that name was rejected by the U.S. Postal Service as being too similar to another town in Texas. In 1904, the residents chose the name Frisco City in honor of the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway and later shortened it to its present name, Frisco.
Frisco remained an agricultural center for decades, boasting five cotton gins at one time. The population remained below 2,000 residents until a growth spurt in the 1980s foreshadowed what was to come. By 1990, Frisco’s location, its quality of life and visionary leadership contributed to it becoming the fastest growing city in the nation with a population of about 120,000 in 2011. Today Frisco’s population is over 150,000.
To learn more about Frisco’s and the North Texas area’s rich history, make plans to visit the Frisco Heritage Museum.
What To Do
Like sports? Us too. Whether you call it futbol or soccer, cheer on FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium; catch a Frisco RoughRiders baseball game while floating the Lazy River at Dr Pepper Ballpark, or watch the Dallas Cowboys practice and then tour their all-new headquarters and practice facility at The Star. No matter which team you root for, Frisco is the ultimate destination for sports fans. If shopping is your sport of choice, check out Frisco’s more than 9 million square feet of retail space throughout the city.
Of course, there’s food too. Between BBQ, sushi, pizza and pho, take your pick from Frisco’s more than 300 restaurants. Featuring more than 90 miles of trails, Frisco offers hikers, bikers, runners and walkers plenty of pathways to explore and was even named a “Bicycle Friendly” Community (1 of 8 in Texas) by The League of American Bicyclists. When it comes to arts and culture, Frisco has that going on as well. The city’s growing public art trail includes the nationally recognized Texas Sculpture Garden and the Bronze Cattle Drive Depictions, the longest continuous-themed bronze sculpture collection in the United States. And no visit to Frisco would be complete without learning about Frisco’s rich history at the Frisco Heritage Museum, standing alongside “Big Boy” at the Museum of the American Railroad or playing Pong on the world’s largest home Pong console at the National Videogame Museum.
No matter your age or interest, there’s plenty of fun to find in Frisco!
Everyone knows that the best part of traveling is the food. With that in mind, when it comes to truly experiencing a destination, one of the best ways to do so is to eat where the locals eat. From small town cafes to fine dining experiences, Frisco features a variety of locally owned and unique to Frisco eateries to discover.
If you really love food and lots of it, head to EG Steak. Owners David Jeiel and Alex Nunes brought churrasco, the Gaúcho style of roasting meats, with them from southern Brazil to Frisco after more than 20 years of hard work and experience. Sample amazing flavors created by combining family recipes and cultural traditions with the finest, freshest, gourmet fare. This isn’t just dinner. This is a celebration.
Tucked away just south of Main Street in historic downtown Frisco, you will find a quaint, casual dining experience set in a converted wood-frame home. 5th Street Patio Café offers a relaxed atmosphere, creative menu and is a popular local spot for brunch. Stop in and try their “oh, so yummy” Captain Crunch French Toast or Chicken and Waffles. Be sure to not get too overwhelmed by all of the menu choices handwritten on the chalkboards.
Texas dining is all about flavor and family. That’s exactly what you’ll find at BarnLight Eatery. Owners Philip and Christina Doyal are sixth generation Texans who have been cooking since they could reach the stove. That passion, along with the tradition of sharing hearty, wholesome food with family and friends, is what you’ll find here. So, pull up a chair and savor the soul of Texas cooking.