Established in 1842 and known variously as the Peters Colony or Mustang Branch, the settlement later was named Farmers Branch for the rich agricultural soil that existed there. The population grew slowly with the first church built in 1845 followed by a gristmill, cotton gin, and blacksmith shop. A brick school was constructed in 1916 and the community continuously expanded through the twentieth century. Recognizing the significance of local heritage, the City established Farmers Branch Historical Park in 1981, which opened five years later.
Extending south of the modern town center along the meandering Rawhide Creek, the 27-acre rural park interprets the period from the 1840s to the 1950s. Two restored original buildings and several rehabilitated structures relocated from other locations are intermingled with contemporary interpretive features. The Gilbert House, constructed in 1856 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, is the oldest rock structure on its original foundation in Dallas County. A newly introduced arbor and rose garden planted in the 1980s with historic varieties front the Queen Anne Victorian cottage relocated to the park from nearby. Brick walkways laid in a traditional running bond motif connect many of the structures with occasional paths comprised of fieldstone. Plant materials include post oaks, crape myrtles, and boxwood scattered across the mostly flat expanse. A nature trail skirts the southern perimeter to follow the creek, winding through dense riparian woodland. The Park’s master plan was completed by Schrickle, Rollins and Associates in 2007 to include a connection to the DART light rail.