Dallas Historical Society Newsletter  


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In This Issue:
2009 Brown Bags
Photo Archives
2009 City Tours
Annual Meeting
Tribute/Memorial Gifts
AFE StarA tribute or memorial gift to the Dallas Historical Society is a meaningful way to honor a friend or loved one. For more information, please contact Development Director
Betty Brownlee at 214.421.4500.
 The Dallas Historical Society's 2009 Brown Bag Lecture Series

Generously sponsored by
CLAMPITT PAPER: The Paper People

Due to the renovation of the Hall of State, all eight lectures will be held in the Clampitt Paper's Creative Center. The Creative Center is located at Clampitt Paper's headquarters, 9207 Ambassador Row, Dallas, TX 75247. Click here for directions.
June 10th
Oral History and the JFK Assassination.
Presented by: Stephen Fagin, Oral Historian at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.  

Join us at 12 PM (noon) on the second Wednesday of every month as the DHS explores a variety of different topics about local and state history.  All lectures are open to the public and there is no cost to attend.
Don't forget to bring your lunch! Groups should RSVP by calling us at 214.421.4500 x 104 or emailing Booking@dallashistory.org. 
Because of the current Hall of State restoration, the archives have been moved to a temporary location for continued access and care. This was done with the best of results, but the process did arrange many of the artifacts in "new" locations, at least to the eyes of us who work with them on a daily basis. This was a good thing, as we now can see many of our precious items in fresh surroundings and rediscover them anew. One artifact that I found particularly interesting was a photo album from the 1920s. Maybe I am getting jaded in my old age, but I have come to not expect much from photo albums. They are usually full of photographs of unidentified children standing in front of unidentified houses, and pictures that are labeled simply "Mother". This one is different.  
The album was given to us in 1983 by Mrs. Earl Trager. If my research is correct, Mr. Trager was a geologist of some note back in the early part of the 20th century. He focused his work in the Southwest and in Mexico. He also did some survey work for the National Park system.  
The album is an inexpensive 11x14 version made of plain black paper and cardboard, but many of the photos look like old movie stills. MARDI GRASThe album tells the story of a young oil company engineer and his wife and their many adventures during the oil boom of the 1920s. Some of the shots are quite romantic.  A handsome young man shaving in the rearview mirror of a Model-T somewhere deep in the woods, while his pretty wife does up her hair. A happy couple sharing a campfire breakfast. If this were a movie, I would cast Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz as the couple. Other photographs are more dramatic.  A group of men on an old railroad hand car, some with rifles making their way through a desolate Mexican dessert. This would be a job for Clint Eastwood or Gary Cooper.  
My photo-album movie also has a lot of action in it. There are several shots of jubilant men covered in crude oil from a recent gusher. In one photo, oil soaked men are pushing a WWI biplane, a JN-4 "Jenny", into a clearing. Maybe someone had to fly to Mexico City to report on the latest strike! I like Harrison Ford and Karen Allen for this scene.
The adventure goes on for several pages with images of Mrs. Trager on horse back and of cars stuck in remote, mud clogged roads.MARDI GRAS There are images of steam powered oil well drilling equipment and erupting derricks. There are several shots of oil tanker cars that have jumped the track. Sometimes it is a Texas prairie and sometimes it is a Mexican jungle, but they all look very "There Will Be Blood". You can smell the adventure.   
Toward the end of the album, the photos change to images of a young son playing in the yard with a German Sheppard puppy, of dinner with friends, and sail boating. The photographs begin to look more and more like family vacation shots. I get the impression that Mr. and Mrs. Trager really enjoyed their trips to Mexico because there are many photographs of street markets, colonial buildings, and Aztec pyramids. The Tragers age a little, and there are no more photos of drowsy girls crawling out of sleeping bags, instead we see a dignified, well dressed woman standing at attention atop of a giant pyramid. We no longer see Mr. Trager covered in oil, but standing around in a large hat directing others while they work. I guess the last photograph in the book tells what the Tragers considered important. After all that adventure, the last shot is of a small boy, probably their son, standing on the running board of a car dressed in his Sunday best and wearing an Indian headdress. A nice happy ending to my album movie.  
-Ed Owens
The Spring 2009 Historic City Tours

Date:  Saturday, May 23rd, 2009
Tour Leaves:  9 AM
Tour Returns:   3 PM
Tour Guide:  Francis James (a.k.a. "The Cemetery Lady")
Cost: $50/non members, $40/members
Pick up/Drop off Location:  The Hall of State in Fair Park (3939 Grand Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210)
Lunch:  TBA
Whether they scare you or fascinate you, cemeteries hold our past - and, ultimately, our future. Join us as we light upon some of the area's most historic and obscure burial grounds to visit the pioneers who came before us. 

Date:  Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th, 2009
Tour Leaves:  9 AM
Tour Returns:   2 PM
Tour Guide:  John Neel Phillips.
Cost: $50/non members, $40/members
Pick up/Drop off Location:  The Hall of State in Fair Park (3939 Grand Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210)
Lunch:  Olive Garden

 Uncover the lives of those famous outlaw lovers from Dallas, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. This adventure includes stops in West Dallas, Oak Cliff, Dallas, and the now modern ambush highways of Dallas's "backdoor." See the last remaining building in Dallas where Bonnie worked as a young "porcelain skinned" waitress; where Clyde was hustled away daily by the "Laws" and the location of an attempted ambush of Bonnie and Clyde at Esters Road and Highway 183. The tour Participants will also visit a "safe house" where a gunfight broke out between Clyde Barrow and six officers in 1933, the site of the Barrow's Star Service station as well as the graves of both Bonnie & Clyde. 2009 is the 75th Anniversary of the Ambush! 

Space is limited on all tours, so book today by calling Nora Lenhart at (214) 421-4500 x101 or by dropping her an email at Nora@dallashistory.org.  
A complete list of our Spring Historic City Tour offerings can be found on our

Dallas Historical Society
87th Annual Meeting of the Membership

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Due to HOS renovations the meeting will be held at:
The Women's Museum @ Fair Park
3800 Parry Avenue
Dallas, Texas  75226

Guest Speaker
Donald Cullum Clampitt
Chairman and CEO
Clampitt Paper Company - Dallas, Texas

To register please contact Nora Lenhart at (214) 421-4500 Ext. 101.
  If we may be of service to you in the future with discovering our past, please feel free to contact, visit or join the DHS. 
Dallas Historical Society