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SECRET DALLAS A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

Author Mark Stuertz Presents His Book: Secret Dallas: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

FREE to the public, this lecture is presented by Dallas Heritage Village

 

Author Mark Stuertz will present his book Secret Dallas: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure on Thursday, May 17, in Browder Springs Hall at Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood.  Doors open at 6:30, and the program begins at 7 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

Take an excursion through the weird, the wry, and the wonderful idiosyncrasies that comprise the Big D. From the Playboy Marfa bunny-with-a-muscle-car sculpture, to the ceaseless failed attempts to navigate the Trinity River, to the invention of the computer chip and German chocolate cake, Dallas is the birthplace of the whimsical, the wistful, and the profound.

Secret Dallas answers questions about Big D you never knew you had, catapulting you through a portfolio of little-known but fascinating people, places, episodes, and artifacts,” said Mark Stuertz.  “Think of it as a scavenger hunt travelogue, providing insights into hidden rhinestones and diamonds in the caliche. Secret Dallas is a riveting excursion into the city’s odds and ends, where the rare and the phenomenal express the big, the bold, and the brash in everyone.”

A nationally award-winning journalist and author, Mark Stuertz has been a Dallas-based writer for more than two decades. His investigative reporting, features, criticism, and business process articles have appeared in a variety of publications including the Dallas Observer, Modern Luxury Dallas, the Dallas Business Journal, Dapper, and Texas Monthly. He has also contributed to national publications including American Way, Spirit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Business Monthly, Private Air, and American Driver.

“Dallas Heritage Village is excited to welcome Mark Stuertz,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “Mark your calendar and join us for this fun and entertaining evening.”

 A book signing will follow his talk. For more information, visit www.dallasheritagevillage.org

 

 

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Renner School and Dallas Skyline

Dallas Heritage Village invites families to share in a fun day exploring architecture at this year’s History Quest: “We Built This City” on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., 1515 S. Harwood Street.  This event will also feature the opening of a preservation photography exhibit by four of Dallas Heritage Village’s Junior Historians.

“It is not uncommon for our visitors to comment about the unique visual of the historic buildings at the Village with the modern skyline in the background,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “This year we thought it would be fun to focus on architectural elements and give our guests the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, giving them a glimpse into what is involved in becoming architects.”

Stations throughout the Village will allow guests to participate in hands-on activities related to architecture. Activity stations will focus on style, materials, structure, ornaments, and livability: Style: character and appearance - create your own 2-D building by pasting various architectural styles together; Materials: matter and substances - touch and learn about different materials; Structure: weight supporting building elements - create your own or help build a community structure with toilet/paper towel rolls; Ornaments: decoration and details - touch and learn about different ornamentals, design your own; and Livability: health, safety, accessibility and wellness information station including details on greenhouses/gardening.

In Browder Springs Hall, the Village will showcase various architectural pieces from the museum’s collection as well as a preservation photography exhibit put together by four of Dallas Heritage Village’s Junior Historians. The historians selected preservation efforts in their own neighborhoods as the subjects of their photos:  Sarah Rutherford of Dallas photographed Old Frankford Church; Lydia Radke of Duncanville photographed The Music Room; Kara Simmons of Mesquite photographed the Opal Lawrence Home; and Kabilan Murugan of Lewisville photographed Nash Farm.  The photography exhibit will remain open at Dallas Heritage Village through July 4.

“We are so proud of our historians and their hard work on their individual photography projects,” added Prycer. “We hope you can join us for a fun day of learning, exploring, designing and appreciating architecture and preservation efforts across the area.”

History Quest discount tickets ($5 each) are available online through May 2. At the gate prices are $10/adult, $6/child and $8/senior, 65+.

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Author E.R. Bills will present his research and his book Texas Far and Wide: The Tornado with Eyes, Gettysburg’s Last Casualty, The Celestial Skipping Stone, and Other Tales on Thursday, March 22, in Browder Springs Hall at Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood.  Doors open at 6:30, and the program begins at 7 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.

E.R. Bills is a freelance writer and journalist who received a degree in journalism from Texas State University. Born in Fort Worth and raised in Aledo, he is the author of Texas Obscurities: Stories of the Peculiar, Exceptional and Nefarious (The History Press, 2013), The 1910 Slocum Massacre: An Act of Genocide in East Texas (The History Press, 2014) , Black Holocaust: The Paris Horror and a Legacy of Texas Terror (Eakin Press, 2015), and most recently, Texas Far and Wide: The Tornado with Eyes, Gettysburg's Last Casualty, The Celestial Skipping Stone, and Other Tales (The History Press, 2017). His work has appeared in Fort Worth Weekly, Fort Worth Magazine, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Austin American-Statesman and numerous other publications. He also recently co-edited Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers (Eakin Press, 2016).

In Texas Far and Wide, the sheer volume of remarkable Texan exploits creates a dizzying tally for the proudest of its citizens. So it happens that inexplicable marvels slip past an entire state of storytellers, and world-famous legends live as anonymous neighbors. Ever hear the story about the escaped ape in the Big Thicket? Or the “Interplanetary Capital of the Universe” that sat on the Gulf Coast? Does the cowboy hat that warmed U.S.-China relations ring a bell? From the Staked Plain Quakers to the Kaiser Burnout, E.R. Bills delves into some of the most fascinating chapters of overlooked Texas lore.

“Dallas Heritage Village is excited to welcome E.R. Bills,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “Mark your calendar and join us for this fun and entertaining evening.”

 A book signing will follow his talk. For more information, visit www.dallasheritagevillage.org

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Dallas Jazz Age Sunday Social Costume Contest at 2:30.

Don your best ’20s attire or walking whites and get ready to Charleston the afternoon away at the 5th Annual Dallas Jazz Age Sunday Social, at Dallas Heritage Village on  Sunday, March 18, noon – 5 p.m., 1515 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas 75215. Gates open at noon.    Music begins at 12:30 p.m. at the bandstand. This jazz age-inspired lawn party, presented by Dallas Heritage Village and the Art Deco Society of Dallas,  will surround the Van Cleave Bandstand with an afternoon of live music by the 18-piece The Singapore Slingers and The Matt Tolentino Band, playing a repertoire of traditional jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. Guests may enjoy dancing, picnics, games, antique cars, photo booth, vintage vendors, ice cream, a costume contest, and more. 

Amelia Fox Trot will spin 78 rpm records on vintage phonographs, and an array of Model A Fords will be on display from Vintage Coach (also available for rides).  Guests may enjoy classic games such as croquet and horseshoes and tour the historic structures of the Village.  The Victorian Fencing Society will also be on site, and Elaine Hewlett from the Rhythm Room will be teaching vintage dance steps in front of the bandstand. There will be a costume contest at 2:30 p.m. for best “Lawn Party attire.”

Picnic, blankets and lawn chairs are welcome.  The Easy Slider Food Truck will be on site as well as Dallas Heritage Village’s vintage popcorn wagon, which will also be selling water. Vintage vendors to feature clothing, jewelry and antiques and include Ahoy! Cruises, Radio Dismuke, Savannah Hoffman Designs, and Old Fashioned Sweet Shoppe.

“One of our favorite events every year, the Jazz Age Sunday Social is the brainchild of our good friend Matt Tolentino of the Singapore Slingers,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village.  “It transforms the Village into a 1920s lawn party and picnic – fun for the whole family. Even if you choose not to dress up, half the fun is seeing everyone else’s costume choices. The costume contest is definitely a highlight for me every year.”

“Both New York and Los Angeles host huge and amazing Jazz Age-inspired lawn parties, and it’s my hope for Dallas to be on the same page,” added Matt Tolentino. “Dallas Heritage Village is the ideal setting with its lush greens, new bandstand and historic setting.  The Jazz Age Sunday Social offers something for everyone – couples, families, and all lovers of things vintage. “

For the Jazz Age Sunday Social, kids 12 and under free.  All others: $12. Tickets can be purchased online at www.dallasheritagevillage.org or at the gate.

 

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Games!

 

Take a trip back in time and see what life was like in the 19th century

Dallas Heritage Village hosts Spring Fling: A Day in the Life, beginning Saturday, March 10 – Saturday, March 17 (excluding Monday, March 11-the Village is closed all Mondays),at 1515 S. Harwood. Times for Tuesday-Saturday are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and for Sunday, noon-4 p.m.  

During “A Day in the Life,” children will discover the significant differences when comparing the way people lived in the 19th century as opposed to today.  There will be many fun hands-on activities during the day. Participants will have the opportunity to send a coded message through a telegraph – very different from using a cell phone.  They will also have a chance to clean a rug by beating the dust out of it instead of using a vacuum cleaner. Penmanship was also an important skill taught in school as there were no computer keyboards. Kids will get to see if they would score an “A” during a penmanship lesson and can also participate in a spelling bee. Additional activities include chopping wood, clothes washing, gardening, weaving, horseshoes, jacks, and hoops and graces. These are just a few of the many activities offered during Spring Fling, transporting young guests back to a different time.

“This is a perfect week to learn a bit of history, enjoy the great outdoors, and have lots of fun,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village.  “Our guests will surely leave more appreciative for the modern conveniences they have today after spending a day in the life of a 19th century family!”

Guests may also tour the Village throughout the week. Young shopkeepers, shoppers, and postal workers can have fun role playing at The Blum Brothers store.  Everyone enjoys stopping by to see Mammoth Jack Donkeys Nip and Tuck and Willie and Waylon as well as the sheep, who also like the attention.

Additional events occurring during Spring Fling are Barnyard Buddies Preschool Story Time (March 10 and 14) and Girl Scout Badge Workshop Day (March 10).  Barnyard Buddies will feature Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.  Following story time and a hands-on activity, attendees may enjoy time in the Village’s new early childhood interactive playspace, The Parlor, until 1 p.m. The cost for Barnyard Buddies is $5/child, aged 2+, $5/adult. Also beginning at 11 a.m. on March 10 is Girl Scout Badge Workshop Day. Daisies will earn their Gloria Petal, Brownies will earn their Making Friends Badge, and Juniors will earn their Social Butterfly Badge.  There will be special activities for scouts throughout the day, culminating with their own tea party.  Girl Scouts must be pre-registered by March 3. Badges are including in the price for the workshop: $15/scout; $5 adult; $5 siblings.

“March is an extremely busy time at Dallas Heritage Village, and we anticipate seeing a lot of families during these special events,” added Prycer. “Come see us, and make some memories with your family during this week!”

For Spring Fling, tickets are $9/ adults; $7/ seniors; $5 / kids 4-12, children 3 and under are free. For more information, go to www.dallasheritagevillage.org or call 214-421-5141.  Check in at Spring Fling via Facebook.  Leave your tips and reviews and let others know about all the fun things happening.

 

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Candlelight at Dallas Heritage Village Take a carriage ride pulled by Mammoth Jack Donkey brothers Willie and Waylon

 

A historic celebration for all ages, featuring Victorian carolers, carriage and hay rides, entertainment, St. Nicholas, home tours, American Flyer model train exhibit,

and treats and food trucks, with over 600 candles lighting the paths - Discount tickets available through Dec. 7

 

“Cultures of Candlelight,” the theme of the 46th annual Candlelight celebration will highlight the many cultures of 19th century families featured at Dallas Heritage Village, on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10, 3 – 9 p.m., 1515 S. Harwood St. This annual holiday event – the largest public fundraiser for Dallas Heritage Village – features carriage and hay wagon rides, holiday storytelling, Victorian carolers, musical entertainment, crafts, St. Nicholas, hand-weaving, blacksmithing, and many other festive activities such as the American Flyer model train exhibit in the Depot.

New this year in Browder Springs Hall will be a “Santas of the World” exhibit, including figurines and a selection of Victorian postcard interpretations of Santa.   A variety of historic buildings, circa 1840 to 1910, will be decorated for the holidays, and festive foods will be available for purchase from food trucks as well as a bake sale, traditional kettle korn, nuts and more.

The Village’s popular fall exhibit “Neighborhoods We Called Home” is also available to tour and will remain open through the end of December. A collaborative effort with the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, and Remembering Black Dallas, Inc., the exhibit explores the historic neighborhoods of Dallas that served as strong, supportive communities for Jewish, Hispanic, and African-American Dallasites from the early 1900s and beyond.

“Neighborhoods We Called Home was the inspiration for this year’s Candlelight theme, highlighting the diverse cultures featured in historic structures throughout Dallas Heritage Village,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “Attendees will enjoy exploring the three featured structures in this exhibit as well as all of our buildings, circa 1840-1910, which will be traditionally decorated for the holidays by area garden clubs and feature various activities such as cooking demonstrations.”

During Candlelight, pioneer and Victorian Texas is brought to life with costumed interpreters. At the 1860s Farmstead, attendees may see how early Dallas pioneers enjoyed a modest Christmas as the country approached the Civil War.  At the bonfire, Cowboys tell tales, and at the Alamo Saloon, root beer and games of dominoes are available. The candlelit paths provide a perfect opportunity to take a stroll and experience the many Cultures of Candlelight along the way. At the Depot, kids may tell St. Nicholas their Christmas wishes and see the American Flyer model train exhibit, operated by Ron Siebler. Village Donkeys Nip and Tuck will be posing for pictures, and our newest Mammoth Jack donkey team Willie and Waylon will offer guests carriage rides on the candlelit paths ($5).  Hayrides, pulled by a vintage tractor, are also available ($3 per rider).  Local musicians, dancers, bands, choirs, and storytellers will entertain at the Renner School (circa 1888), on the Main Street (circa 1900) stage, in the Pilot Grove Church (circa 1890).

“This event is a perfect opportunity to see and experience history while making special holiday memories,” added Prycer.  “One of the best things about Candlelight is that is offers something for all ages.  I love hearing grandparents share childhood memories and watching children enjoying activities and couples celebrating a cozy evening together – all in such a magical backdrop. With beautiful candlelit paths and activities across 20 acres, Candlelight offers a holiday experience like no other.”

All proceeds benefit museum programs at Dallas Heritage Village.  General admission (gate) is $12/adults, $10/seniors 65+ and $8/children, ages 4-12. Children under 4 are free. Tickets purchased online at www.DallasHeritageVillage.org by December 7 are $10/adults, $8/seniors 65+ and $6/children.  Visit http://www.dallasheritagevillage.org/candlelight for more details or call 214-421-5141. Self-parking is available for $5.

Sponsors include: Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, Baylor Scott & White, Ron Siebler, Mrs. Charlotte Test, Mrs. Barbara Lake, Sue John, Primrose School of Preston Hollow, Ann Phy, McMurray Metals, Dr. Ken Hamlett, Dallas County Medical Society, Don Baynham, and KRLD 1080.

Sponsorships start at $500.  Contact Preston Cooley at 214-413-3662, pcooley@dallasheritagevillage.org.   

The Village’s historic structures are open for touring during regular museum hours throughout December.  Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sunday, 12-4 p.m. (Closed on Monday). With the exception of December 9 and 10, parking is free throughout the season.

Watch these videos produced by Mark Birnbaum to see Candlelight and the Trains exhibit by Ron Siebler in 2016: https://vimeo.com/244871419  and https://vimeo.com/243593681

 

 

 

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Author Myra Hargrave McIlvain Free lecture at Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Heritage Village presents Author Myra Hargrave McIlvain, speaking about her historical fiction novel Stein House, for the fifth annual Nancy Farina Lecture Series, a FREE event, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m. (reception); 7 p.m. (presentation), honoring the late Farina, a 20-year employee of Dallas Heritage Village. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A and book signing, in Browder Springs Hall, at Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood, 75215.  Admission is free.

The Stein House reveals the history of a real Texas town through the lives of fictional characters. German immigrants are thrust into the bustling nineteenth century Texas seaport of Indianola, a lively town in 1853 that sat on Matagorda Bay, 40 miles from Victoria. German and other European settlers came in droves, and the town grew into a thriving seaport.  Unfortunately, two hurricanes almost exactly 10 years apart and a fire wiped the once-prosperous town off the map.  McIlvain’s novel follows the life of Helga Heinrich and her four children as they arrive from Germany and make a new life for themselves.  Helga, recently widowed, seeks the help of her sister’s husband to operate his boarding house and provide for her children.   Through her family’s point of view, readers learn about the diverse people who came through the boarding house and the community that served as the primary entry port for immigrants.  The story highlights the cruelties of yellow fever and slavery, the wrenching choices of Civil War and Reconstruction, murder, alcoholism and the devastation wrought by the hurricane of 1886.

“I am looking forward to speaking at Dallas Heritage Village and sharing “Stein House,” in which fictional characters come alive within the history of a real Texas town,” said McIlvain.  “Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres!”

McIlvain has been sharing her Texas tales for many years as a lecturer at The University of Texas OLLI Continuing Education Program and as a freelance writer for various newspapers and magazines such as “Texas Highways.”  Her books have won several awards.  “Stein House” was selected the winner of the 2014 General Fiction Award by the Texas Association of Authors; received a Kirkus Star Review in 2014; was one of four Indie books selected for the Kirkus Indie Book of the Month in the 9/15 Kirkus Reviews magazine; was named one of Kirkus Best of 2014; Best Adult Fiction, North Texas Book Festival in 2015; and a 2015 finalist for the Historical Fiction International Book Awards.

“We are so excited to welcome Ms. McIlvain to Dallas,” added Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “Little did we know at the time we invited McIlvain to Dallas Heritage Village, we would be experiencing so many hurricanes this year.  We can certainly relate to the tragedy experienced by the characters in her novel, devastated by two hurricanes 10 years apart.  We encourage the community to join us for this very special evening.”

The Nancy Farina Lecture Series honors Farina, who was a 20-year employee of Dallas Heritage Village. She served as vice president for development and capital giving for much of her tenure, which ended with her death in 2012. 

McIlvain lives in Austin with her husband Stroud. Her children are grown, and she enjoys the company of a houseful of grands.

Light refreshments and beverages will be served the event, which is free and open to the public.  Copies of McIlvain’s books will be for sale after the talk. For more information, visit www.dallasheritagevillage.org

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Neighborhoods We Called Home Exhibit Collaborators Pictured are all collaborators at the grand opening of the exhibit which runs until Dec. 30: Debra Polsky, Executive Director, Dallas Jewish Historical Society; Melissa Prycer, President and Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village; Dr. George Keaton, Jr., Founder, Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.; Evelyn Montgomery, Curator, Dallas Heritage Village; Juanita Nañez, president, Dallas Mexican American Historical League.

Have you seen the new exhibit at Dallas Heritage Village?  Come enjoy a discussion about it and then tour!  (Free)

“Neighborhoods We Called Home” Round Table Discussion – Thursday, Oct. 19, 6:30 reception, 7 p.m. program.  

Discussion features representatives from each "Neighborhoods We Called Home" exhibit collaborator:  Albert Gonzalez, board member, Dallas Mexican American Historical League; Debra Polsky, Executive Director, Dallas Jewish Historical Society; and Dr. George Keaton, Jr., founder, Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.; and Evelyn Montgomery, Curator, Dallas Heritage Village. Tours of the exhibits will immediately follow the round table discussion. 

Dallas Heritage Village recently opened a new fall exhibit “Neighborhoods We Called Home,” which is a collaborative effort with the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, and Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.   The exhibit, which runs through December 30, 2017, explores the historic neighborhoods of Dallas that served as strong, supportive communities for Jewish, Hispanic, and African-American Dallasites from the early 1900s and beyond.

 Materials from the three co-sponsoring organizations will be installed in three corresponding structures at Dallas Heritage Village. The Jewish Historical Society will display materials in a Victorian house that the Village has dedicated to the presentation of Jewish history; the Dallas Mexican American Historical League’s materials will be featured in the railroad section house, as railroad work attracted many workers of Tejano or Mexican Heritage; and Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.’s materials will be exhibited in the Shotgun House, originally located in Dallas’ largest freedman’s town. All three organizations will also provide volunteers to staff their buildings during special events and field trip days.

In addition to the physical exhibits, which include stories and images of these historic Dallas neighborhoods, this project includes an interactive map of Dallas neighborhoods and their historic communities, created by Anita Palmer of GISetc: Educational Technology Consultants, as a donation to the project.

“This new exhibit will certainly be a highlight of the fall at Dallas Heritage Village and something the community will want to see,” added Evelyn Montgomery, curator, Dallas Heritage Village. “Our three collaborators have been hard at work on their respective exhibits, and it is very exciting to watch this come together.  Additionally, the interactive map will link to all four organizations’ websites and provide a more comprehensive look at what life was like for these communities in the 1900s.”

Each collaborator has accumulated material by collecting oral histories and digitizing family memorabilia from Dallas citizens. Materials also include artistic renderings, images of costumed celebrations, fashions and artifacts. In each case they tell the stories of people who faced challenges regarding their places in Dallas society. They found strength through community, including institutions such as churches, stores and social organizations, and through community events and celebrations in neighborhood parks.

Remembering Black Dallas, Inc., is redeveloping the Shotgun house with 1930’s décor. The main entry living area will be transformed into an informational area to highlight local Dallas African-Americans.  The other two rooms (kitchen and bedroom) will have artifacts and furniture to reflect the average urban family during that time.

“I hope this exhibit will be an ongoing project that will continue to evolve and be an educational and informative tool that will reinvent itself and grow,” said Dr. George Keaton, Jr., founder, Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.  “For example, I would like to eventually see the addition of an outhouse to the shotgun house building as well as videos that show vintage footage of the African-American life and people in Dallas.”

The three temporary installations will complement Dallas Heritage Village’s existing exhibit on the history of the Cedars Neighborhood, Dallas’ first residential enclave.  In its long history, the Cedars has been home to Dallas’ elite as well as mills, warehouses and the homes of their employees.  It housed Dallas’ first Jewish community, a thriving Hispanic barrio, and a community of African-American Dallasites.  Throughout that history, the city park where Dallas Heritage Village now stands was the center of life in the Cedars. 

“This collaboration not only gives us a chance to showcase where we each fit into the history of Dallas, but it also helps us find more ways the three communities were and are connected,” said Debra Polsky, Executive Director, Dallas Jewish Historical Society. “Mexican-Americans succeeded Eastern European Jews in Goose Valley, black Dallasites owned much of the land on which the Orthodox Jewish community now resides, and all three ethnic groups suffered the effects of bigotry and flourished alongside the city of Dallas through its growth.” 

This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dallas Heritage Village is located at 1515 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas  75215-1273. The exhibit is free with general admission: $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and $5 for children ages 4 through 12 years.  Children under 4 and members of Dallas Heritage Village are admitted free of charge.  For information call (214) 421-5141 or visit www.dallasheritagevillage.org.

“Dallas is a multicultural city, and Dallas Mexican American Historical League commends Dallas Heritage Village in developing a simultaneous opportunity to share those stories with the general public,” said Juanita Nañez, president, Dallas Mexican American Historical League. “What will be gained from this exhibit is not only learning of the uniqueness of the different cultures, but also seeing that there are more similarities than differences between all groups.  These are the same stories of aspirations, hard work and allegiance to country shared by many different cultures across the U.S.”

A public scanning day to preserve images and documents held by private individuals will take place on Sunday, November 5, 12:30-3:30 p.m., in Browder Springs Hall.  These images will be sent to the appropriate corresponding exhibit collaborator for historic preservation in their permanent collections.

 

The “Neighborhoods We Called Home” exhibit collaborators share their thoughts:

WHAT WERE NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN, JEWISH, AND HISPANIC PEOPLE IN DALLAS IN THE 1900S?

 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS:

Remembering Black Dallas, Inc. – DR. GEORGE KEATON, JR., FOUNDER:

During this era, much like today, there were examples of African Americans that lived and existed in segregated neighborhoods, varying from low income to high income status. During the 1930s, the Great Depression brought new challenges to already difficult situations. Despite Dallas historically being a city of high Klan activity and influence, African Americans faced several constant struggles that included colored laws, segregation, unfair housing, job discrimination, poor health services, and lack of proper and unequal funding for public education. Dallas was affected by the Great Depression but did not suffer as badly as many other larger cities. The emerging oil boom of East Texas was helping Dallas become a financial district. Some key African-American leaders in Dallas included Juanita Craft, a civil rights pioneer and member of the Dallas City Council, who in 1955, organized a protest of the State Fair of Texas against its policy of admitting blacks only on “Negro Achievement Day.”  A. Maceo Smith moved to Dallas and taught business courses in Dallas ISD; became editor of the Dallas Express; promoted black economic and political empowerment; and became the first executive secretary of the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce as well as deputy director of the Hall of Negro Life at the Texas Centennial Exposition.

 

HISPANIC NEIGHBORHOODS (BARRIOS):

Dallas Mexican American Historical League – JUANITA NAÑEZ, PRESIDENT:

From 1910-1917, the Mexican Revolution was in full force, and immigrants were fleeing to the U.S. for jobs and settling into different barrios (neighborhoods).  The neighborhoods were places to connect, reminisce, dream and plan the future for next generations.  The first and largest of the Mexican barrios, Little Mexico, consisted of ten city blocks bordered by McKinney Avenue, Akard Street, Griffin Street and Stand Pipe Hill on the northwest and the MKT railroad on the southwest.  There were many mom and pop grocery stores, restaurants, some bakeries, tortilla and tamale factories, and stores. Weekend celebrations were held at Pike Park, and Sundays were for church followed by picnics or family dinners. Education was the key to the future, and many became first generation high-school and college graduates. Men began serving in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, and women began working outside the home to fill the worker void left by the deployed soldiers. The Trinity River spilled over in The Great Flood of 1908, leading to new levees and borders connecting Dallas to West Dallas and Oak Cliff, where new, Mexican barrios developed. Approximately 19 other barrios formed throughout Dallas.  Many community, civic, and business leaders emerged from these barrios.

 

JEWISH NEIGHBORHOODS:

Dallas Jewish Historical Society – DEBRA POLSKY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:

By that time, although some still lived near or above their businesses, most of the earliest Jewish residents were living near their synagogues in the area called “The Cedars” on the streets around City Park.  Newer immigrants lived more modestly in the area known as Goose Valley or North Dallas, and generally attended a more Orthodox congregation.  By the 1920s, as the city of Dallas expanded, residential neighborhoods blossomed south of downtown.  In the 1920s & 1930s City Park (the site of Dallas Heritage Village) was the center of the Jewish Dallas, with homes surrounding the park, the Columbian Club, the Jewish Community Center, Temple Emanu-El, and Congregation Shaareth Israel.  Dallas residents, in general, and Jews, in particular, continued to move farther south to South Boulevard, Park Row and Forest Avenue (now ML King Boulevard). Blocks full of businesses, many Jewish-owned, opened in the 1920s and 1930s, mixed with many residential streets.  Some lavish homes were built on South Boulevard and Park Row by established Jewish businessmen.  It was South Dallas that continued to nurture and coalesce the various Jewish groups (German & Eastern European, Reform to Conservative to Orthodox), and became a real community. 

 

 http://www.dallasheritagevillage.org/exhibits

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Ribbon Cutting Event at The Parlor Jessica Carrier, Director of Children’s Programs, Vogel Alcove; Matthew Mitzner, Attorney, Thompson & Knight, LLP; Melissa Prycer, President and Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village; Mandy Olsen, Curator of Education; Trey Pugh, President, Board of Directors, Dallas Heritage Village; Katie Grimes, former Assistant Director, Enrichment, Vogel Alcove.

 

This new permanent play space features areas for manipulatives and dramatic play as well as

a reading nook, weaving station, and oversized chalkboard

 

Dallas Heritage Village opens a new permanent early childhood interactive play space this fall called “The Parlor” in the previous Law Office building on the Village’s Main Street, located at 1515 S. Harwood.  Inspired by Dallas Heritage Village’s smallest next door neighbors, the children from Vogel Alcove, this 924 sq.-ft.-transformed space features a reading nook; a dramatic play area where children can dress up and interact in a faux parlor setting with a tea set, food, and more; a hands-on manipulatives area with blocks, cars, animal figurines, and more; a weaving station; and a chalkboard across the back wall. 

The Village’s desire for an early childhood learning space accelerated in the spring of 2014 when Vogel Alcove moved into the City Park School across the street from Dallas Heritage Village. As soon as Dallas Heritage Village President and Executive Director Melissa Prycer learned the nonprofit was coming to the neighborhood, she contacted Vogel’s Executive Director Karen Hughes, asking her to please consider the museum as an extension of their classroom, and a special friendship began. Since then, the two nonprofits have partnered in numerous ways, while working together to create experiences that accommodate Vogel Alcove’s specialized needs of trauma-informed care while providing developmentally appropriate cognitive, physical, social, and emotional learning opportunities for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

“Vogel’s toddlers and infants are the busiest users of Dallas Heritage Village,” added Prycer. “Some classes come at least once a week while others make impromptu visits. It soon became clear that it was time to create a special space for our smallest learners. We wanted a space that could be the home base for Vogel children when they visit, providing a familiar starting point before they explore other parts of the museum complex. We hope to have at least one weekly class in The Parlor for the Vogel Alcove kids, and our family visitors will also be able to enjoy the space. Kids will have a place to play and explore and parents, a place to relax.”

“The homeless children we serve do not have a true community to belong to – but because of Dallas Heritage Village, they have a wonderful place to call their own,” said Karen Hughes, president and CEO, Vogel Alcove.  “We are so excited to partner with Dallas Heritage Village to provide exciting enrichment activities for our children.  The new Parlor will add a new way for our children to enjoy the visits across the street.  We are blessed to have Dallas Heritage Village as our neighbor and our partner in serving these children who are working to overcome the traumatic effects of poverty.”

The Parlor became a reality in 2016 when Dallas Heritage Village received a Community Anchor grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS) for $93,033 over a period of three years. Additionally, Thompson & Knight Foundation is providing $25,000 over a period of three years, and The Hoglund Foundation has made a $10,000 gift.

“The IMLS grant and the support of our generous donors have enabled us to create this exciting new space which increases our ability to provide effective early childhood education programs,” added Prycer. “No other history organization in the area provides preschool programming, and it is our hope to continue to expand our offerings. Since we began Barnyard Buddies Story Time program over a decade ago, our stroller traffic has increasingly grown with about 33 percent of our child visitors age 5 and under. The building will be incredibly active, both with children from Vogel Alcove and family visitors.”

In addition to Vogel Alcove, The Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Southern Methodist University is also a partner in the exhibit. CORE is creating surveys for visitors to evaluate the programs while establishing tools, guidelines, and best practices for early childhood education within museums.

“Museums have much to offer young children, but their unique learning needs can be at odds with traditional museums,” added Yetunde Zannou, Ph.D., Evaluation Project Manager, CORE, SMU. “Since starting our evaluation of the Community Anchors partnership between Dallas Heritage Village and neighboring Vogel Alcove in 2016, CORE has greatly anticipated completion of The Parlor, a dedicated space for The Village’s youngest visitors. In the short run, CORE hopes to see The Parlor become a home-base for quality early learning activities at this unique history museum; in the long run, we anticipate The Parlor being an example within the larger museum community of what’s possible when need and partnership opportunity are met with creative solutions and commitment to bring an idea to life.”

The space will open to the public during all Barnyard Buddies preschool story time programs as well as at all educational events. Please refer to http://www.dallasheritagevillage.org/the-parlor to confirm dates The Parlor will be open.

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Blum House Featuring materials from the Dallas Jewish Historical Society

Dallas Heritage Village announces the opening of a new fall exhibit “Neighborhoods We Called Home,” which is a collaborative effort with the Dallas Jewish Historical Society, the Dallas Mexican American Historical League, and Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.   The exhibit, which runs from September 1 through December 30, 2017, explores the historic neighborhoods of Dallas that served as strong, supportive communities for Jewish, Hispanic, and African-American Dallasites from the early 1900s and beyond.

Materials from the three co-sponsoring organizations will be installed in three corresponding structures at Dallas Heritage Village. The Jewish Historical Society will display materials in a Victorian house that the Village has dedicated to the presentation of Jewish history; the Dallas Mexican American Historical League’s materials will be featured in the railroad section house, as railroad work attracted many workers of Tejano or Mexican Heritage; and Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.’s materials will be exhibited in the Shotgun House, originally located in Dallas’ largest freedman’s town. All three organizations will also provide volunteers to staff their buildings during special events and field trip days.

In addition to the physical exhibits, which include stories and images of these historic Dallas neighborhoods, this project includes an interactive map of Dallas neighborhoods and their historic communities, created by Anita Palmer of GISetc: Educational Technology Consultants, as a donation to the project.

“This new exhibit will certainly be a highlight of the fall at Dallas Heritage Village and something the community will want to see,” added Evelyn Montgomery, curator, Dallas Heritage Village. “Our three collaborators have been hard at work on their respective exhibits, and it is very exciting to watch this come together.  Additionally, the interactive map will link to all four organizations’ websites and provide a more comprehensive look at what life was like for these communities in the 1900s.”

Each collaborator has accumulated material by collecting oral histories and digitizing family memorabilia from Dallas citizens. Materials also include artistic renderings, images of costumed celebrations, fashions and artifacts. In each case they tell the stories of people who faced challenges regarding their places in Dallas society. They found strength through community, including institutions such as churches, stores and social organizations, and through community events and celebrations in neighborhood parks.

Remembering Black Dallas, Inc., is redeveloping the Shotgun house with 1930’s décor. The main entry living area will be transformed into an informational area to highlight local Dallas African-Americans.  The other two rooms (kitchen and bedroom) will have artifacts and furniture to reflect the average urban family during that time.

“I hope this exhibit will be an ongoing project that will continue to evolve and be an educational and informative tool that will reinvent itself and grow,” said Dr. George Keaton, Jr., founder, Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.  “For example, I would like to eventually see the addition of an outhouse to the shotgun house building as well as videos that show vintage footage of the African-American life and people in Dallas.”

The three temporary installations will complement Dallas Heritage Village’s existing exhibit on the history of the Cedars Neighborhood, Dallas’ first residential enclave.  In its long history, the Cedars has been home to Dallas’ elite as well as mills, warehouses and the homes of their employees.  It housed Dallas’ first Jewish community, a thriving Hispanic barrio, and a community of African-American Dallasites.  Throughout that history, the city park where Dallas Heritage Village now stands was the center of life in the Cedars. 

“This collaboration not only gives us a chance to showcase where we each fit into the history of Dallas, but it also helps us find more ways the three communities were and are connected,” said Debra Polsky, Executive Director, Dallas Jewish Historical Society. “Mexican-Americans succeeded Eastern European Jews in Goose Valley, black Dallasites owned much of the land on which the Orthodox Jewish community now resides, and all three ethnic groups suffered the effects of bigotry and flourished alongside the city of Dallas through its growth.” 

This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dallas Heritage Village is located at 1515 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas  75215-1273. The exhibit is free with general admission: $9 for adults, $7 for seniors 65+ and $5 for children ages 4 through 12 years.  Children under 4 and members of Dallas Heritage Village are admitted free of charge.  For information call (214) 421-5141 or visit www.dallasheritagevillage.org.

“Dallas is a multicultural city, and Dallas Mexican American Historical League commends Dallas Heritage Village in developing a simultaneous opportunity to share those stories with the general public,” said Juanita Nañez, president, Dallas Mexican American Historical League. “What will be gained from this exhibit is not only learning of the uniqueness of the different cultures, but also seeing that there are more similarities than differences between all groups.  These are the same stories of aspirations, hard work and allegiance to country shared by many different cultures across the U.S.”

Upcoming related events include a round table discussion on Dallas community history featuring Dr. George Keaton, Jr., Remembering Black Dallas, Inc.; Albert Gonzalez, Dallas Mexican American Historical League; and Debra Polsky, Dallas Jewish Historical Society, on Thursday, Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program (no admission required). Evelyn Montgomery, Ph.D., curator of Dallas Heritage Village, will serve as the moderator. Tours will immediately follow discussion. Additionally, a public scanning day to preserve images and documents held by private individuals will take place on Sunday, November 5, 12:30-3:30 p.m., in Browder Springs Hall.  These images will be sent to the appropriate corresponding exhibit collaborator for historic preservation in their permanent collections.

 

 

 

The “Neighborhoods We Called Home” exhibit collaborators share their thoughts:

WHAT WERE NEIGHBORHOODS LIKE FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN, JEWISH, AND HISPANIC PEOPLE IN DALLAS IN THE 1900S?

 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOODS:

Remembering Black Dallas, Inc. – DR. GEORGE KEATON, JR., FOUNDER:

During this era, much like today, there were examples of African Americans that lived and existed in segregated neighborhoods, varying from low income to high income status. During the 1930s, the Great Depression brought new challenges to already difficult situations. Despite Dallas historically being a city of high Klan activity and influence, African Americans faced several constant struggles that included colored laws, segregation, unfair housing, job discrimination, poor health services, and lack of proper and unequal funding for public education. Dallas was affected by the Great Depression but did not suffer as badly as many other larger cities. The emerging oil boom of East Texas was helping Dallas become a financial district. Some key African-American leaders in Dallas included Juanita Craft, a civil rights pioneer and member of the Dallas City Council, who in 1955, organized a protest of the State Fair of Texas against its policy of admitting blacks only on “Negro Achievement Day.”  A. Maceo Smith moved to Dallas and taught business courses in Dallas ISD; became editor of the Dallas Express; promoted black economic and political empowerment; and became the first executive secretary of the Dallas Negro Chamber of Commerce as well as deputy director of the Hall of Negro Life at the Texas Centennial Exposition.

 

HISPANIC NEIGHBORHOODS (BARRIOS):

Dallas Mexican American Historical League – JUANITA NAÑEZ, PRESIDENT:

From 1910-1917, the Mexican Revolution was in full force, and immigrants were fleeing to the U.S. for jobs and settling into different barrios (neighborhoods).  The neighborhoods were places to connect, reminisce, dream and plan the future for next generations.  The first and largest of the Mexican barrios, Little Mexico, consisted of ten city blocks bordered by McKinney Avenue, Akard Street, Griffin Street and Stand Pipe Hill on the northwest and the MKT railroad on the southwest.  There were many mom and pop grocery stores, restaurants, some bakeries, tortilla and tamale factories, and stores. Weekend celebrations were held at Pike Park, and Sundays were for church followed by picnics or family dinners. Education was the key to the future, and many became first generation high-school and college graduates. Men began serving in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, and women began working outside the home to fill the worker void left by the deployed soldiers. The Trinity River spilled over in The Great Flood of 1908, leading to new levees and borders connecting Dallas to West Dallas and Oak Cliff, where new, Mexican barrios developed. Approximately 19 other barrios formed throughout Dallas.  Many community, civic, and business leaders emerged from these barrios.

 

JEWISH NEIGHBORHOODS:

Dallas Jewish Historical Society – DEBRA POLSKY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:

By that time, although some still lived near or above their businesses, most of the earliest Jewish residents were living near their synagogues in the area called “The Cedars” on the streets around City Park.  Newer immigrants lived more modestly in the area known as Goose Valley or North Dallas, and generally attended a more Orthodox congregation.  By the 1920s, as the city of Dallas expanded, residential neighborhoods blossomed south of downtown.  In the 1920s & 1930s City Park (the site of Dallas Heritage Village) was the center of the Jewish Dallas, with homes surrounding the park, the Columbian Club, the Jewish Community Center, Temple Emanu-El, and Congregation Shaareth Israel.  Dallas residents, in general, and Jews, in particular, continued to move farther south to South Boulevard, Park Row and Forest Avenue (now ML King Boulevard). Blocks full of businesses, many Jewish-owned, opened in the 1920s and 1930s, mixed with many residential streets.  Some lavish homes were built on South Boulevard and Park Row by established Jewish businessmen.  It was South Dallas that continued to nurture and coalesce the various Jewish groups (German & Eastern European, Reform to Conservative to Orthodox), and became a real community.