Built: ca. 1850s-1860s
Location: 2933 Farm House Way, Fort Worth, Texas
Residents: Scoggin and Van Zandt families
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.
Louise B. Carvey
Gretchen, Andrea and Alex Denny
-In memory of Samuel A. Denny
Mariann Wilson Lyon
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.
Bob and Gail Barham
Olivia D. Bernabei
Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation
Barbara and Ralph Cox
Edmund P. Cranz
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
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
Lummis Asset Management, L.P.
Luther King Capital Management
John and Annie Mason
Nancy and John McClane
Mr. & Mrs. Foster Nelson
(Nelson Charitable Fund)
Susan Morgan and Hank Price
Jean and John Roach
Rockbrook Family Trust
-Debbie, Capera and Willing Ryan
Tarrant County Historical Society
Anna Belle Price Thomas
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.
Sam B. Cantey, IV
Dr. Robert and Joyce Pate Capper
Lee F. Christie
Nina Marie and Gary Cole
Will A. Courtney
Marty and Mike Craddock
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
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.
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
Gail and Bill Landreth
Kathryn C. and L. Russell Laughlin
Bill and Pam Lawrence
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
Diane and George M. Young
K.M. Van Zandt Early Life & Family
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.
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
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
Bird's Eye View of Fort Worth, 1876
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
Courtesy Texas Historical Commission, The Portal to Texas History
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.
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.
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.