Built: ca. 1850s-1860s
Location: 2933 Farm House Way, Fort Worth, Texas
Residents: Scoggin and Van Zandt families
Builders: unknown

The Van Zandt Cottage is owned by the City of Fort Worth's Park and Recreation Department and operated by Log Cabin Village. It is Village's only off-site facility. The Cottage is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a local historic landmark as the oldest home in Fort Worth on its original foundation, and as one of the early homes of Major K.M. Van Zandt. It is recognized on a national level as an example of an early restoration project. The Cottage was first restored by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1936 as a project for the Texas Centennial. The Cottage has been restored through a partnership between the City of Fort Worth and the Van Zandt Cottage Friends, Inc.

Use the buttons below to learn more about the Cottage and our ongoing re-restoration work. 

Visionary: $25,000-$40,000

Louise B. Carvey

Gretchen, Andrea and Alex Denny 
     -In memory of Samuel A. Denny

Mariann Wilson Lyon

Anne Marion

The Ryan Foundation

William E. Scott Foundation

Roberta and Jack Williamson

The City of Fort Worth and the Van Zandt Cottage Friends, Inc., extend their deepest gratitude to the generous supporters who donated to the capital campaign for the Van Zandt Cottage re-restoration. 

Preservationist:
$1,000-24,999

Bob and Gail Barham

Olivia D. Bernabei

David Bonderman

Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation

Barbara and Ralph Cox

Edmund P. Cranz

Lucy Darden

Alex Denny

DuBose Family Foundation

Jill & Charles Fischer Foundation

Ben and Kay Fortson

Shirlee J. and Taylor Gandy

Garvey Texas Foundation, Inc.

Clare Attwell Glassell

Mr. and Mrs. Theodore B. Gupton

Shari and Frank Harris

James M. Harrison

Sally Hoglund

Earl and Paula Hoover

Edward Hudson, Jr. & W. A. Hudson, II

The Rt. Rev. and Mrs. Sam B. Hulsey

Murray Armstrong James

Linda and Harold V. Johnson, III

Marsha and John Kleinheinz

Mollie & Garland Lasater Charitable Foundation

Martha Leonard

Lummis Asset Management, L.P.

Luther King Capital Management

MPL

John and Annie Mason

Nancy and John McClane

Mr. & Mrs. Foster Nelson
    (Nelson Charitable Fund)

Susan Morgan and Hank Price

GWR Foundation

Jean and John Roach

Rockbrook Family Trust
     -Debbie, Capera and Willing Ryan

Tarrant County Historical Society

Anna Belle Price Thomas

Pioneer:
$1-$999

Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Allie

Khleber V. Attwell, Jr.

Suzanne and Kevin Avondet

F. Robert and Mona Tull Ball

Cornelia and James Blake

A. J. Carter Bowden

Lucy M. Brants

Dr. Chris & Jo McGinley Gupton Brooks

Robert W. Brown, M.D.

Ellie Burdette

Ambler Cantey

Sam B. Cantey, IV

Dr. Robert and Joyce Pate Capper

Lee F. Christie

Nina Marie and Gary Cole

Gunnie Corbett

Will A. Courtney

Marty and Mike Craddock

Emily Crosswell

Dennis and Malinda Crumley

Justine C. Deison

Courtney C. and Raymond G. Dickerson

Lisa W. and David M. Diffley

Martha and David Dowler

Nancy H. Dozier

Sally M. Ehrhart

Mildred H. Fender

Nancy Fisher

Dana and Lee Freese

Mrs. Bayard Friedman

Cami and John Goff

Gail Aronoff Granek

Andrèe and Gary Griffin

Crawford Gupton Family

Mrs.  William L. Gupton, Jr.

Doug and Judy Harman

Mrs. Bert Honea, Jr.

Ashley Hulsey

Byron Hulsey

Judy and Price Hulsey

Morgan and Marc Jansing

Harold B. Jennings

Mark and Tricia Jennings

Houston and Charlotte Kauffman

Mary Kathryn and Todd P. Kelly

Ann B. Kinscherff

Ted and Wini Klein

Rose Ann Kornfeld

Teri Kramer

Gail and Bill Landreth

Kathryn C. and L. Russell Laughlin

Frances Lawrence

Bill and Pam Lawrence

Virginia Leonard

Lynn M. Ligon

Olivia G. Mason

Mr. & Mrs. William A. Massad

Pat and Clyde S. McCall, Jr.

Barbara McCandless McColm

John W. McMackin

Berkeley S. Merrill, M.D.

Carolyn C. Munn

Jerry and Susan Nanna

Darin M. Norman

Jim and Marty Norman

Lee and Holly Norman

Kimberly and Dustin Payne

Betsy and George Pepper

Elizabeth and Paul Ray, Jr.
 

Patricia H. Schutts

Mr. and Mrs. Gary M. Silman

Flavious and Melanie Smith

Chad and Mimi Stephens

Mrs. Jack Sutherland

Barbara and Douglas Tatum

Jerre and David Tracy

Dr. and Mrs. Robert J. Turner, III

Neil and Cheryl Van Zandt

Arthur Weinman, AIA

John F. Williams –  In Memory of Anne McLean

Vivienne Wilson

Diane and George M. Young

K.M. Van Zandt Early Life & Family

KM Civil War.jpg

Khleber Miller (K.M.) Van Zandt was born November 7, 1836 in Franklin County, Tennessee. His father Isaac moved the family to Harrison Co. Texas in 1839. Three years later, Isaac was appointed charge d’affaires to the United States to help achieve the annexation of Texas. At the age of 15, K.M. headed east to attend Franklin College in Tennessee. He had turned 16 by the time of his arrival. He graduated from college on July 4, 1854 and returned home to Marshall, Texas.

KM College.jpg

K.M. married Minerva Peete on April 19, 1857. He was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Marshall until the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1861, K.M. helped organize and became the leader of Company D, Seventh Texas Infantry. After the war’s end, Major K.M. Van Zandt set out for Fort Worth, carrying out his childhood ambition of moving to “West Texas.” This journey changed not only his and his young family's future, but also altered the course for this desolate town of 250.

K.M. would marry two more times. After Minerva's death, he married her sister Mattie V. Peete on July 22, 1869. After Mattie’s death, K.M. married a young teacher named Octavia Pendleton on October 8, 1885. K.M. and Octavia were married until his death on March 19, 1930. These three marriages produced 14 children for Van Zandt.

K.M. Van Zandt during the Civil War

K.M. (on the right) during college years. Scan of original daguerreotype

KM with family.jpg

K.M. Van Zandt with his 14 daughters and sons

Top row, standing, left to right: Alice Van Zandt Williams, Edmund Pendleton Van Zandt, Virginia Van Zandt Diboll, Elias Beall Van Zandt, Ida Van Zandt Smith, Richard L. Van Zandt, Annie Van Zandt Attwell, Isaac Van Zandt, Frances Cooke Van Zandt Sloan.

Bottom, row, sitting, left to right: K.M. Van Zandt, Jr., Florence Van Zandt Jennings, K.M. Van Zandt, Albert Sidney Johnston Van Zandt, Mary Louisa Van Zandt Hendricks, Margaret Colville Van Zandt Miller.

Fort Worth Life & Contributions

“Fort Worth, as I saw it on an August afternoon in 1865, presented a sad and gloomy picture… I think there were not over 250 people – counting men, women, and children.”

--Major K.M. Van Zandt on Fort Worth, 1865 

Birds eye view of fort worth 1875 THC.jp

When Major Khleber Miller Van Zandt arrived at what was left of Fort Worth in 1865, he found a small hamlet on the verge of extinction.  By the time of his death in 1930, Fort Worth was a bustling community well on its way to becoming a major center of commerce and culture in north Texas.  This success was due largely to Major Van Zandt’s dedication to service, community, and collaboration to create a brighter future and a better way of life for Fort Worth citizens.

 “My business was prospering, and I had the opportunity of becoming a wealthy man; but I was interested in other values before money.  Fort Worth was growing, and there was much to be done.”

--Major K.M. Van Zandt on Fort Worth, 1871

K.M. Van Zandt’s Major Contributions to Fort Worth:

  • 1866 - Helped start first post Civil War school in Fort Worth

  • 1872 - Part of a group that negotiated to bring the Texas and Pacific Railroad to Fort Worth

  • 1875 - Organized Tarrant County Construction Company to grade final 30 miles of railroad

  • 1876 - First train pulled in to Fort Worth (July 19)

  • 1876 - Helped organize the Fort Worth Street Railway Company; first car on the tracks December 25

  • 1877-1930 – Served as a school trustee for more than 25 years, and President of the board of the First Christian Church until his death

  • 1883 -1930 - Organized Fort Worth National Bank with partners and was president until his death

  • 1885-1891 – City Treasurer

  • 1894-1896 – Fort Worth City Council

  • 1913-1915 – Park Board Commissioner

Fort Worth Skyline 1884 THC.jpg

The Farm & Cottage

In 1871, Major Van Zandt purchased a large farm on the edge of Fort Worth.  The landholders owed a debt to K.M.’s mother, Frances Cooke Lipscomb Van Zandt, and his mother told him that if he could collect the debt, the land was his. The court ordered the land sold at auction and K.M. was awarded the bid. Major Van Zandt started the process of purchasing the farmland from A.G. Scoggin and his family in 1869. He completed the transaction in 1871 by paying off the $1500.00 note. His growing family lived in the Cottage until 1878 when they moved to a new home on Penn Street.

Exterior of VZC before 1936 restoration-

Van Zandt Cottage exterior before 1936 restoration
Courtesy Star-Telegram Collection, University of Texas Arlington

The small cottage that stood on this farm served as the Van Zandts’ home for almost ten years.  The extent of this farm extended approximately to the modern-day boundaries of Fifth St. to the north, Montgomery St. to the West, and just beyond the Trinity River to the east, and Interstate 30 to the south. All that remains of this historic farm is the Van Zandt Cottage, the oldest home in the City on its original foundation. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Trinity Park, Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter, Museum, Farrington Field, and the Seventh St. developments currently occupy Van Zandt’s former farm.

Re-Restoration Work

Since 1996, the City of Fort Worth/Log Cabin Village and the Van Zandt Cottage Friends, Inc. (VZCFI, founded in 2005), have worked together to re-restore the Cottage to its 1936 configuration as closely as possible.  The VZCFI have raised almost half a million dollars to date to make this restoration a reality. While this work is still ongoing, the re-restoration efforts have resulted in the improvements seen on at the site today. 

Van Zandt Homestead