Saturday, October 31st, 2009, 9 AM-3 PM
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.
Tour Guide: Francis James (a.k.a. "The Cemetery Lady")
Dallas Historical Society Members: $40
Working in the archives of the Dallas Historical Society I have seen literally thousands of photographs. They mostly have the same general themes - family members, houses, or office buildings. I also find a lot of photos of snow. I realize that we are weeks away from seeing our first snow, but maybe these photographs will help you put another hot Texas summer behind you.
Our Northern friends laugh at us, but if you grew up in the South, like I did, you might remember what an event snowy days were. I remember my mother dragging me out of a warm bed and pushing me to the front door so I would not miss the light dusting of snow we got over night. Mom knew that, by the time the school bus got to our house, the snow would probably be gone. Apparently, parents have been doing this forever.
Way back in 1897 Mr. Frank Bartlett, a Dallas lawyer, took several photos of his family and home, on Swiss Avenue, on a snowy day. Mr. Bartlett's equipment was primitive, but that did not keep him from being a very prodigious photographer. There is another photo, probably made on the same day of his two daughters and a friend, which also caught my attention. The girls did not seam any happier to be standing in the cold than I did some sixty years later when my mother drug me out of my warm bed. You can almost hear three, whiny little girls complaining "Daddy, I'm cold". The photos of the Victorian houses are charming, but I have this image of him hauling his heavy camera around in the snow to record this rare occurrence.
Now, come forward to March 7, 1947, to Mr. Marion E. Boyd's house on Salmon Drive in Oak Cliff. The passage of fifty years does not seem to have changed things much. This was hardly a blizzard but, once again, snow in Dallas was rare enough that it needed to be recorded for all time.
From the late 1940s until the mid 1990s Mr. Boyd took over 1,400 photographs. He took photographs of everything in his world, and he never missed a snow day. This photo is from the bathroom window of his apartment on Richmond Avenue in Old East Dallas on February 17, 1978.
As you read this you might get the impression that I am making fun of people who do this; I am not. My own box of photos has dozens of shots of snow days. They are like highway markers in my life. As I think back, I believe I have more vivid memories of snow days than I do birthdays.
A Word From the Director
The 2009 State Fair of Texas is quickly heading to a close. Yes it has been a wet one. But the weather is clearing for the final few days and we hope you will come to the State Fair and stop by the Hall of State.
Now that renovations are complete and the State Fair is ending, the DHS will finally have the Hall of State back for exhibits and special programming. As the Hall of State reopens and the DHS ramps up again, start looking for announcements about special programs as well as special "member only" events for an enhanced membership experience!
Thank you for your support of the Dallas Historical Society.
The Dallas Historical Society