The Oldest Business in Historic McKinney

The Oldest Business in Historic McKinney

Can you guess...what is the oldest business in Historic McKinney?   A bank?  A tailor?  A feed store or livery stable?  No…but if you suggested a barber shop you answered correctly. 


The Palace Barber Shop located at 204 E. Louisiana in Historic Downtown McKinney has been in business since 1892.  That means congratulations are in order in 2012 as they celebrate their 120th birthday. In the early days the Palace offered not only a shave and haircut, but thanks to two artesian wells in the back you could also enjoy a hot bath.  While the artesian wells have long fallen out of use, the personal service and interest in customers remains consistent.  I know this for a fact because my 93 year old father will go no place else.  After 90+ years of experience with a variety of barbers across the globe, he has discriminating tastes in who cuts his hair.  He heartily endorses The Palace and specifically Bryan. 


What makes the Palace special?  It’s the people, of course.  And they are rightfully proud of their history and their historic record of being the oldest business in Downtown McKinney.


They should be proud.  The McKinney Square and Historic District is a pretty special place.  According to the website, “McKinney has one of the oldest authentic and thriving downtown historic downtowns in Texas.”  Unique specialty shops, antique stores, art galleries and excellent restaurants (some with live entertainment) are hallmarks of the square.  It’s a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon (or any time for that matter) browsing and shopping or you can grab a delicious meal any day of the week.


Downtown McKinney also boasts some pretty incredible historic homes.  A few of them are even for sale.  Consider these brief descriptions of some of the properties available in or near McKinney’s Historic District:  


519 W. Hunt Street was built in 1901 and has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  This 3000+ square foot home has a beautiful staircase, 4 fireplaces and 13 foot ceilings.  It is situated on nearly ½ acre, has a wrap-around porch, mature trees and a fish pond.


For those who love renovating and remodeling, 208 College Street is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home built in 1905 with lots of potential.  It has 2360 square feet with original wood floors, doors and staircase.  This Victorian Style home also features an inviting wrap-around porch.


At 504 W. Virginia Street is a 5600+ square foot home with 6 bedrooms, 6 baths and 3 living areas. This property was operated as a B&B for many years so each bedroom has its own bath.  There have been beautiful renovations, including an updated kitchen with tons of cabinets, and the wrap-around style porch that is characteristic of many homes in the historic district.


At 401 Louisiana Street you’ll find a 5 bedroom, 3 bath home with over 5600 finished square feet.  It has 5 living areas, 5 fireplaces, solid wood floors, original tapestry on the entry wall and a basement.  Exterior features include wrap porches with stone tiles, a pool, spa, huge trees, sprinklers and storm windows and doors.


If you’re looking for both a business and living opportunity you’re in luck.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places is The Tartan Thistle Bed and Breakfast and it’s available for sale at 513 W. Louisiana Street.  Built in 1880 this registered Texas landmark features 6500+ square feet of living space with 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 2 living areas, 2 fireplaces, window seats, beveled glass and beautiful fretwork.  In 1983 it was completely restored as modern conveniences were carefully added.  The property is located on 1 acre and includes a separate carriage house.  The 3rd floor offers separate living quarters for the owners.


If you love historic style but prefer new construction, Jered Custom Homes has specialized in building new homes in the Historic Tradition in the Historic District of McKinney since 1997.  Jered Custom Homes was voted “D Home” Best Builders in the Dallas Area in 2011.  Their new custom homes fit the historic style yet offer all the modern amenities such as energy efficient appliances, Hardie siding, vinyl windows and blown in insulation while meeting all the requirements for building in the Historic District.   


So whether you’re looking for a Historic Home, a Historic Bed and Breakfast Business, or a custom built home of new construction you can find it in Downtown McKinney...along with a good haircut by great people at the oldest business in McKinney - The Palace Barber Shop.  


Sandy Setliff is a Realtor with JP and Associates Realtors. She specializes in residential real estate sales in McKinney, Allen, Frisco, Anna and Melissa, Texas. She can be reached at 214 620 1615, via email at or visit her website at

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Phone: 214-620-1615
Dated: January 5th 2012
Views: 3,205
About Sandy: Sandy Setliff, a longtime resident of North Texas, specializes in residential real estate sales in N...

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