Grayson County’s fabled Glen Eden plantation is long gone, its large log home dismantled and accidentally burned; its verdant fields and red-brick mausoleum drowned under several hundred feet of Lake Texoma water. But the place in history for the 1842 piece of the area’s past lives on, and part of that history is currently on display at the Bullock Texas State Museum in Austin.

Grayson County’s fabled Glen Eden plantation is long gone, its large log home dismantled and accidentally burned; its verdant fields and red-brick mausoleum drowned under several hundred feet of Lake Texoma water. But the place in history for the 1842 piece of the area’s past lives on, and part of that history is currently on display at the Bullock Texas State Museum in Austin.


"To my knowledge, this is the first time that they have used any of our materials," said Sherman Museum Director Dan Steelman. "They called and said, ‘This is what we’re looking for, do you have anything?’ They were looking for early plantations, and there’s no question Sophia Porter has a great story."


Glen Eden was the longtime home of Porter, a thrice-widowed social fixture on Preston Bend for decades in the mid- to late-1800s. Porter earned the moniker "Confederate Lady Paul Revere," for her role in alerting Col. James Bourland, the "Defender of the Texas Frontier" to the intentions of Union troops. Porter is said to have wined and dined a group of Yankee scouts, apocryphally locking the inebriated soldiers in her wine cellar before fording the river and sounding the alarm.


Bullock Exhibit Planner Tom Wancho said Glen Eden was a prime example of pre-Civil War cotton farming in North Texas.


"(The Exhibit) is about how cotton more or less provided a means, as a cash crop, for those who had enslaved African Americans to have some of the finer things," said Wancho. "The reason we approached the Sherman Museum is Glen Eden was fairly close (to Sherman) and they had some really great artifacts. They look super on display; we’re really pleased with how it turned out."


The plantation house was dismantled prior to the creation of Lake Texoma, which drowned the Glen Eden grounds. Before the building could be reassembled at Denison’s Frontier Village, however, it was mistaken for scrap wood and burned for heat while in storage at Perrin Field.


The Sherman Museum purchased the plantation’s guest bedroom furniture set — including the two porcelain vases and wash basin on display in Austin — in the late 1970s. Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were said to have stayed in Glen Eden’s "Blue Room."


"What we sent down to Austin was a bowl, a wash stand and another bowl," said Sherman Museum Coordinator Chris Rumohr. "The furniture was purchased through an endowment. The Blue Room was a bedroom, and that’s where most of the guests stayed."


Steelman said the museum was happy to provide visitors to the state capital with a view from the north of the South.


"They got first-hand knowledge of some of the history of this area," he said.