BAYLESS-SELBY HOUSE MUSEUM IN DENTON
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN HISTORY
Denton's Bayless Selby House Museum is a Victorian-era house that sits in Denton's Historical Park and provides a beautiful backdrop to the Denton Community Market. The interior of the house itself is furnished with items and artifacts that give a glimpse in to what life was like in Denton County during the turn-of-the-century, from a music room featuring a Gabler & Bro. grand piano to an old-fashioned doctor's office that includes antique pacemakers, rib cutters, and more. The property is also home to the Bayless-Selby Victorian Garden. This project, maintained by the Denton County Master Gardener Association, is another educational piece in Victorian living, showcasing period-authentic herbs, flowers, and vegetables that were commonly found around North Texas homes in the early 1900's.
The Bayless-Selby house was originally a two-room farm house located at what we now know as 1301 Myrtle Street in Denton. Samuel and Mary Bayless purchased the house from M.J. Long in August of 1884 and added the two-story Victorian addition beginning in 1898 to house their five children. Mr. Bayless operated a truck farm and grew vegetables, plants, and flowers on their large acreage. The story goes that on November 22, 1919, Joseph Speers, a tenant farmer on the Bayless property, got in to an altercation with Bayless and was struck in the head with a board. Speers reacted by delivering a fatal stab to Bayless. Saddened by the loss, Mrs. Bayless and her children sold the property to the Selby family in 1920. The house stayed in the Selby family until 1970 until it was sold to the City of Denton in 1997. In February of 1998, the house was sold at auction to Mildred Hawk who in turn donated it to the Historical Commission for restoration as a museum. The Bayless-Selby House was moved to its current home in Denton's Historical Park in June of 1998 and opened as the Bayless-Selby House Museum in September of 2001.
Even today, there are claims that Mr. Bayless haunts his old home. The story is that after he was stabbed, Mr. Bayless attempted to collect his gun from the house, but collapsed and died instead. Visitors have reported paranormal activity such as mysterious footsteps from the second floor, misplaced items, and strange voices. Another theory is that items within the house itself might be haunted. Descendants of the Daugherty family, who were early pioneers in Denton, donated many of the objects within the museum such as furniture, china, and a haunted painting of the early Daughertys that follows you with their eyes.
Denton Historical Park is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am to 2pm
317 West Mulberry Street, Denton, TX 76201