It was an evening to remember Thursday when residents and city officials gathered in front of Greer’s Ranch Cafe to witness a moment in history, literally. 

The celebration included recognizing the old First National Bank building’s induction into the 

National Registry of Historic Places, then moved to the former Dawson Saloon, which is now Greer’s, where a Texas historical marker was unveiled. 

Calling it a “historic day for this community,” Stephenville Mayor Kenny Weldon talked about the importance the historical designations have for preserving local history and spurring economic growth. 

“Stephenville is a place real Texans call home,” Weldon said. “The spirit that created this community is the spirit that inspires Texans.” 

The Dawson Saloon was built in the 1890s and was first owned by Billy Dawson.

Over the years it has been a restaurant and confectionary and stationary store among other businesses that inhabited it.

The building was purchased by Michele Dunkerley in 2011.

Dunkerley saw its historical value, set out to restore it and then began working towards getting a distinction as a recorded Texas historic landmark.

The marker was placed right outside the front door of Greer’s.

Dunkerley, who also owns the old First National Bank building, which is now Julianne’s, addressed Thursday’s crowd. 

“People ask me what I do,” Dunkerley said. “I tell them I have a portfolio of activities. And bringing new life to these two old buildings has been a large part of that portfolio.

“These old buildings are a record of past lives lived. Preserving them is one more tool in the economic tool belt.”