Four Easy Winter Weekend Getaways From Dallas, D Magazine, January 7, 2020

The Wright House

Royse City, Texas

Cabins on Bearpen Creek, 9588 CR 2422, Royse City  |  469-260-6450  | 1 hour

When you ask Shawn Risinger to tell you how he came to build the Cabins on Bearpen Creek and he asks, “Do you want the really, really weird story or just the semiweird story?” tell him you want the really, really weird one. This is only the half of it.

Three years ago, when Risinger got a call from a judge in Oklahoma asking him if he wanted to acquire the plot of land adjacent to his hardware store in Royse City, he assumed it was a scam. He came to find out that the woman who had lived there had become a ward of the state, and the court was trying to liquidate her assets and pay off her debts. Risinger says he didn’t really know the woman, but he had run a hose out to her mobile home once when her water was cut off. Apparently she remembered the act of kindness and gave the judge his name.

Risinger was ultimately able to purchase the 10 acres in exchange for paying some back taxes and miscellaneous debts, obtaining a $10,000 burial policy for the woman, and keeping enough money in her commissary account to cover her soda and candy needs.

“The day after Thanksgiving, I walked the property for the first time in my life,” he says. “And I thought, Holy poo-poo, what have I done?

He quickly decided the land would be perfect for a warren of wooded cabins. For the first one, he took inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, New York. He even tracked down the brick manufacturer in Kansas City, Kansas, which still had the original molds and re-created the bricks for him. Thanks in part to its proximity to several wedding venues, the cabin immediately rented out. Risinger has since added three unique designs and has plans for more, including a treehouse.

“It’s simple and secreted,” Risinger says of the property’s appeal. “There’s trees all around. You can see the other cabins, but you can still feel by yourself. I tell people don’t worry about locking the doors. Just chill and relax.” —K.W.

Cost Per Night: $229+
The Specs: 1 bedroom/1 bath, sleeps 4 (the largest cabin on the property sleeps 8)
Extras: Hot tub, fireplace
Dinner and A Stroll: The Dallas-based Matt’s Rancho Martinez has an outpost within walking distance of the property, and the Sweetwater Grill, with live music on weekends, is just up the road.

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