Fairhaven Denton: A Tradition of Community Returns

  • The Fairhaven Denton family is serving families again
  • Honoring the past in the present
  • Grand reopening set for Summer 2020
  • Senior living at its best

In Denton, Texas, a miracle is happening.  One of the city’s most historic buildings is returning to life to serve the Denton community.  Fairhaven Denton, a senior assisted living community, is reopening this summer, and we couldn’t be more proud.

It Began With Mom

Back in 1957, there weren’t a lot of options available to moderate-income families whose loved ones were suffering from the effects of aging.  They could keep their family member at home, with family taking care of family, or they could send their mom or dad to a nursing home, which, at the time, was basically a hospital, with little interaction or care.

Enter Myrtle Richardson, president of the Denton Business and Professional Woman’s Club.  Her mother was getting older and she could no longer care for Mom in her own home, as she was owner of the Vanity Fair Clothing Store in Denton.  Running a business meant long hours, leaving Mom home by herself for much of the time.

Myrtle went in search of a good quality, affordable option for her mother.  Unfortunately, none were to be had in Denton.  But Myrtle was a businesswoman.  She found a business solution – if there isn’t the kind of care available that she wanted for her mother, she would make sure one would exist, both for her own mother and that of others in the Denton area.

Myrtle joined forces with Bessie Shook, a former North Texas State University professor.  Together, they put together their plan for senior living that was affordable on a pension, or “fair,” and that would be a safe, loving space, or “haven,” for older ones in Denton.  Fairhaven Denton was born.

A Community for the Community

It didn’t take long before the entire community joined in the project.  Everyone wanted to play a part, including the architect and designer of one of Denton’s most beautiful buildings, the First Christian ChurchO’Neil Ford, designer of the church, soon joined the project, along with architect, Arch Swank.

Funding a project of this size in Denton wasn’t easy, but the whole city got behind the project, with bake sales and fundraisers.  Raising the money to build their dream took Myrtle and Bessie almost ten years, but along the way, the sense of community they were looking for was building.

As construction began, the community pitched in, with everything from furniture and kitchen equipment, to the beloved flowering bushes and shrubs from the homes of those who would be joining Fairhaven when it opened in 1967.

Fairhaven Denton was born.

Tradition and community return

Over the years since Fairhaven Denton opened, senior living has changed, but Denton’s sense of community hasn’t.  When the time came to rebuild Fairhaven, the community pitched in once again, to make sure Denton still has affordable, caring senior living for Denton’s most precious citizens.

We’re so proud to say we’ve retained what was so special about Fairhaven, while bringing Fairhaven into the 21st Century.  

In redesigning Fairhaven Denton and bringing it back to life, we’re honoring those who came before us.  Back in 1967, Fairhaven was named the most beautiful senior living in north Texas, and in 2019, it was listed to the National Register of Historic Places.  There’s no need to mess with Texas perfection when it comes to senior living.

The new Fairhaven Denton still includes those antique rose bushes that came from an early resident’s home.  We’ve retained the feel of the original community while offering more modern rooms, more comfortable furnishings, and better lighting.  

Serving the Denton family once again

We’re so proud of the work that has gone into rebuilding Fairhaven Denton into Myrtle and Bessie’s vision, but with a 21st Century sense of love and community.  

It started with the idea of providing a loving, caring home for the most precious members of our community, our older loved ones.

The tradition continues in Summer 2020.

Join us for our Grand Reopening!  Check back often, as we’ll have more information on the celebrations as we get closer to the day.