Over 125 people showed up for the Anna Area Historical Preservation Society’s First Annual Collin McKinney Texas Independence Day luncheon on March 3 before making the trip over to Van Alstyne to check out historic artifacts.


Even though the Saturday event was for raising money to go towards the Anna Train Depot, Gary Hughes of the AAHPS said it was way more than that.


“The First Annual Collin McKinney Texas Independence Day Luncheon was a double barrel success last Saturday,” Hughes said. “In addition to the fundraising, it highlighted the fact that Anna is the home of Collin McKinney and showed a model of the McKinney Statue.”


The event also had a replica of McKinney’s home that will be built at Sherley Park alongside the Depot.


Hughes said he is still trying to wrap his brain around all that happened at the event. “Over 100 people showed up for this event,” Hughes said. “The luncheon raised right at 4,000 dollars for the renovation of the original Anna Railroad Depot from 1882.”


The event started with a welcome speech by President of the AAHPS Betty Ann Morriss. The invocation and benediction was performed by Pastor Scott Harkless of the First Christian Church of Anna.


Scout Troop 293 of Anna did the flag ceremony, and Collin County Judge Keith Self recited the “Pledge of Allegiance” to the United States and Texas flags.


After lunch was served by volunteers, the Joe K. Bryant Texas Stars performed three musical numbers. All the songs were to celebrate the great state of Texas. Anna Mayor Nate Pike also addressed the guests with a special presentation.


Once the luncheon was over, guests had the opportunity to see other landmarks, with a significant amount of them residing in Grayson County.


“Guests were able to go see the site of Collin McKinney’s home, and go over to the Van Alstyne Museum to see other McKinney artifacts,” Hughes said. “Many people took advantage of the opportunity, including me. If you haven’t been over there, you need to go check it out.”


Some of the artifacts and treasures located inside the museum include furniture and other artifacts from the Collin McKinney home; items from a typical 1890’s country home; ephemera from early Van Alstyne businesses; histories of many of the homes in the area; a replica of a country store in the early 1900s, complete with a coal stove, a spittoon from the Interurban and apothecary containers; photos of the towns’ early people and places — a must-see for those interested in local genealogy and history.


The Van Alstyne Historical Museum is located at 277 E Jefferson St in Van Alstyne.