Residents living in downtown Forney should be delighted to hear that the large white, Queen Anne - East Lake style home located at 306 Center Street will finally be restored to its original beauty by residents new to our community, Danny and Shellie Sellers.
A true piece of Forney’s history, the home was purchased by former Forney mayor Darrell Grooms and his wife Cheri in 2010, and at that time it seemed the Grooms’ intentions were to restore the 133 year old home to its original glory.
However, after gutting the interior of the home, the couple changed their minds about restoring the home and in early 2017 they listed the property for sale with a local realtor.
In October 2018, longtime Grand Prairie resident Shellie Sellers discovered the realtors’ listing online and instantly fell in love with the style, character and architectural beauty of the old home.
Certified by the Texas Historical Commission as a Texas landmark, the house was built in 1886 by Duncan Graham McKellar and his wife Emma McCullough McKellar. It was one of the first high-style residents built in town, and its large backyard now abuts the parking lots of both the FISD Early Learning Academy and the Kaufman County Sub-courthouse.
Making an offer, the Sellers purchased the 3.8 acre property for only slightly less than the initial asking price without ever meeting their new next door neighbor’s Darrell and Cheri Grooms.
Very excited to restore the old home to a historically acceptable replica of its original design, after buying the home the Sellers immediately began clearing debris and preparing the home for repairs.
Now six months later the old house has all new interior walls, electrical wiring, plumbing, central air and heat, and although the entire restoration project is expected to take up to a year to complete, it’s absolutely heartwarming to see new life being breathed into this very old home.
I was honored to be invited to tour the McKellar house and property. It’s a magnificent old house that reeks of Forney’s history. It’s worth saving and its exciting that anyone would want to move to Forney and spend upwards of $350,000 to restore a piece of this community's history.
Local business owners and individuals alike will not be surprised to hear that this couple is currently experiencing a wide variety of issues with Forney’s city administration.
Forney City Manager Tony Carson, city attorney Jon Thatcher, the Forney Architectural Review Board and the P&Z Commission are collectively, intentionally and with malice giving the Sellers the run-around to appease the former property owner, Darrell Grooms.
Three meetings of the Architectural Review Board and P&Z Commission, and one with City Manager Tony Carson and city attorney Jon Thatcher have already transpired, and sadly it appears that the deck is politically stacked against this very nice couple who simply sought out to invest in a piece of Forney’s history.
The new owners of the McKellar property, Danny and Shellie Sellers will again attempt to present the plans for their homes restoration to the Forney Architectural Review Board on Wednesday night March 6, 2019.
Written by: Denise Bell