Denison, Texas was built by hearty people determined to develop a better place for themselves and their families and to establish a railhead into the state for the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. Throughout Denison's existence, it has been known as the city of "Firsts" as well as a trend setter: Some of these include: "First Ice Cream Soda", "First Ice Factory in North Texas", "First Free Public Graded School in Texas", "First Women's Club in Texas", "First interurban line in Texas", "First with the tallest building in Texas" and where the Marx Brothers "First got their start at the Denison Opera House."
It was the railroad that brought Ida and David Eisenhower to Denison in the Late 1880's where a son born here that would put the town in the spotlight many years later. Dwight David Eisenhower, Denison' favorite son, was born in a modest two story white frame house and from this humble beginning would rise to become a five star general and ultimately the 34th President of the United States.
Few small towns can boast of a downtown district as vibrant and exciting as Denison's. Tourist can enjoy everything from fine art and antiques to trendy boutiques and cozy restaurants. One end of downtown is the Katy Depot, former Missouri-Kansas & Texas Railroad station.
The other end includes the site of the first free public graded school and in between sits the renovated historic Rialto Theater which now offers Branson-style entertainment. Downtown Denison is a true shopper's paradise from fine home furnishings to art galleries. For everyday needs visitors can find everything from a pharmacy to a florist shop with several banks, CPAs, lawyers, and financial advisors in between. Downtown Denison has a little bit of everything!
Downtown Denison is a viable market for affordable fine art. Many of the downtown artists have working studios and/or live on-site. Callers are encouraged to interact with the artisans first hand, view the art on display, then visit the studio. Here visitors are able to watch the artists as they work, ask questions and be part of the creative process. Experience The Art! The artistic offerings in Downtown Denison are many and varied. From canvas, ceramic, metal, wood, paper, photographic, film and glass presentations, to functional art furniture and handicrafts, the master level techniques are all "Direct-From-The-Artist," to you.
The word "best" has been used time and again in publications from across the nation to describe Denison's grand Lake Texoma. The lake, located 75 miles north of Dallas and 121 miles south of Oklahoma City, is the 12th largest lake in the United States. This magnificent water playground was created with the construction of the Denison Dam with the purpose of power generation and flood control. With approximately 89,000 acres of water surface, Lake Texoma truly is a mecca for those seeking outdoor recreation of every type, including boaters, water-skiers, golfers, campers, hunters, hikers, bikers, bird watchers, and anglers. Lake Texoma is one of the regions most popular lake destinations because it offers it all. Dock at one of the marinas. Stay at one of the hundreds of campgrounds. Visit two state parks and two wildlife refuges. Take a cruise on a luxury yacht. No matter what season you visit Lake Texoma, this water playground provides all of your recreation and vacation needs.