Sometime in the early hours of June 25 someone broke into the Dulaney Cottage and the Dulaney House at Chestnut Square Historic Village. In addition to stealing several items from the Dulaney House and grounds, the Dulaney House was vandalized from the first floor to the attic.
"I guess the best description is that it was 'plundered," said Cindy Johnson, Executive Director of The Heritage Guild of Collin County. "They broke items and released the fire extinguisher throughout the house. Every drawer and box was opened and emptied. It's heartbreaking to see the damage that was done."
The perpetrators gained access by breaking glass on an external door to the Dulaney House and by prying open a door to the Cottage.
"Luckily there was very little damage to the Cottage and nothing was taken from that house," said Johnson. "They may have been scared away."
Chestnut Square's dwarf Nigerian goats, Collin and McKinney were let out of their pen but were not injured.
"They were happily munching away on the south side of the property when volunteers arrived to prepare for our Prairie Adventure Camps at 7:30 on Tuesday morning," said Johnson. "We're thankful that they didn't wander farther and weren't hurt."
This is the first break-in at Chestnut Square Historic Village since it's inception in 1973. The McKinney Police Department is actively investigating the break-in and believe they have some suspects.
"It's an affront to the whole community," said Pat Rodgers, Board Chair of the Heritage Guild of Collin County. "Chestnut Square belongs to everyone. When someone does something like this to Chestnut Square they hurt everyone."
It will be business as usual for the Farmers Market and the weddings at Chestnut Square, according to Johnson.
"We've removed the Dulaney House from our Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday tours for the next few weeks, but otherwise, we're open for business," said Johnson. "We have a restoration company starting the clean up on Monday and they promise to restore the Dulaney House to its original state."
Donations to offset the cost of the restoration and replacement of stolen items can be sent to:
Chestnut Square Historic Village
315 S. Chestnut St.
McKinney, TX 75069
Donations may also be made online at: http://chestnutsquare.com/donate/submit_donations.asp
"Luckily we have great museum insurance to cover the damage, but help with the deductible would be appreciated," said Johnson.