New Homes in Celina from the $500s to $3.5 Million+
October 20, 2023

The History and Heritage of Celina, TX

Posted In: Area News

Celina, TX, a charming town in Collin and Denton counties, is more than just a picturesque suburban community. It is a place deeply rooted in history and rich in heritage, with a story that stretches back to the mid-19th Century. In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the captivating history and heritage of Celina, uncovering the tales and landmarks that have shaped this thriving Texas gem.

Early Settlement and Founding

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the history of Celina dates back to the 1870s when the area was initially settled by pioneers seeking fertile land. The town was officially founded in 1879 and named after Celina, Tennessee – the hometown of Celina’s first postmaster, John T. Mulkey. This rich agricultural land was ideal for farming and attracted families looking for a promising future.

Agriculture and Prosperity

The town’s early years were marked by agriculture, with cotton and corn being the primary crops. In 1902, a new railway opened about a mile north of the town’s location, so citizens used rollers to move buildings and homes closer to the new transportation hub. Celina was thus nicknamed “Rollertown!”

Historic Downtown Celina

One of the most cherished aspects of Celina’s heritage is its historic downtown district. Main Street, lined with well-preserved buildings, offers a glimpse into the town’s past. The bustling square features locally-owned shops, restaurants, and events that maintain the city’s unique character.

Education and Community

Education has always been a cornerstone of Celina. The town’s first school was housed in a Methodist church built in 1880. Today, two acclaimed Texas school districts serve the fast-growing community: Celina ISD and Prosper ISD. Additionally, Collin College opened their Celina campus in 2021.

Heritage Preservation

While Celina has experienced significant growth in recent years, the community takes great care in preserving its legacy. Historical landmarks are integrated into the city’s modern culture, including the Historic Square, established in 1910 by a local businessman influenced by the “City Beautiful Movement” of the era, and the Nelson Hotel, built in 1914 as a grocery store before becoming a family-owned hotel for railroad travelers.

Festivals and Events

Celina is known throughout the Metroplex for its lineup of beloved festivals and events. The city’s signature Cajun Fest began in 2013 as a way to bring visitors out to the Square. Today, Cajun Fest has grown into one of the largest crawfish boils in Texas, drawing thousands of visitors for a fun-filled day of food, live music, kids’ activities, and much more.

Another popular festival, Beware! the Square, is coming up on Oct. 28. Dubbed the “Halloween Capital of North Texas” thanks to this popular event, families can gather in the Historic Square for trick-or-treating, haunted houses, live music, a vendor market, kids’ zone, and more.

More events include the Friday Night Market, Movies on the Square, Splash and Blast 4th of July Celebration, and Christmas on the Square.

Make Your Move

Celina, Texas is a town deeply connected to its history. From its early days as an agricultural hub to its vibrant present as one of DFW’s fastest-growing suburbs, Celina’s story is a testament to the enduring spirit of a small Texan town.

Eager to join this vibrant city? Mustang Lakes is an award-winning master-planned community located in Celina just moments from Prosper and McKinney. Situated on the site of a famous thoroughbred horse ranch of the past, Mustang Lakes showcases beautiful rolling hills, lakes, and mature trees lining the entry road.

The Club at Mustang Lakes, winner of the 2019 Best National Community Amenity award, offers resort-style pools, an expansive fitness center, competition tennis courts, a 20-acre park with a private lake and island, and so much more. Our community offers a remarkable lineup of DFW homebuilders and custom builders with homesites ranging from 40’, 50’, 60’, 65’, 74’, 86’, 100’, and 1-acre+ homesites.

Want more information about new homes in Mustang Lakes or the lifestyle? Visit our Information Center at 2682 Roseland Parkway, Celina, TX 75009 or call 972-993-6737 to learn more.


Photo: Celina Area Heritage Association & Museum