BRANCH BULLETIN: eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER

Historical groceriesMGRMEMO


 As thousands of lights were illuminated around the Farmers Branch Historical Park last December, we were also opening the Farmers Branch General Store as the newest gem in our collection of stately structures that make the past come to life again.

Gary 2013

   Frozen in time, the store is set in the 1920s when establishments like it were not only centers of commerce for the local residents, but social gathering spots where some folks traded stories around the stove while others traded recipes. 

   What also began that grand opening night in the park was the effort to stock those shelves with historically accurate products that would have been staples of everyday life in the 1920s. And while authentic goods donations are appreciated, most items from the 1920s are no longer in display condition.

   That's why the Historical Park is encouraging its patrons and visitors to "sponsor" specific goods that will then be purchased from a company that specializes in replica products from different eras. The end result will be a General Store that looks and feels like it would have 90 years ago when folks from Farmers Branch were dropping by to pick up a pound of flour, maybe mail a letter and 

tell a story or two.

Farmers Branch 1920s General Store

   Come on by the Historical Park and take a look at what is still needed to fully stock the General Store, or call them at 972.406.0184 and they'll be happy to speak with you.

   You can even tell them a story.


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Traffic ALERT
Southbound I-35E to close Wednesday-Friday nights


INTERSTATE 635 ~ Ongoing work as part of the five-year makeover of LBJ freeway will result in closures of all main lanes of southbound Interstate 35E at LBJ Freeway on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, July 24-26.
   These are scheduled closures and are subject to change. Lanes are typically not closed before 8 p.m. on designated evenings and are reopened by 6 a.m. the following morning.

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Featured STORIES
Dr Gilberts Journal now at home in Farmers BranchHISTORICAL PARK ~ Whether he was recording information about a patient or remarking on the happenstance of the day, Dr. Samuel Gilbert kept a journal that today gives 21st century historians a portal through which to view life in Farmers Branch in the late 19th century.
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   Now, more than 130 years later, that journal is home in the rock-walled house in the Farmers Branch Historical Park that Dr. Gilbert built and where he wrote about life in 1880.
   The Gilbert House still sits on its original foundation in the northeast corner of the 28-acre park and is reputed to be the oldest existing house in Dallas County, built in 1856.
   It was during a visit to the Historical Park earlier this year that Ann Griffin told Park staff that she was one of Dr. Gilbert's great-great-granddaughters. More than that, though, she explained that her sister, Mary Catherine Lewis of Portland, Oregon, was in possession of a portion of their ancestor's journal from 1880.
Gilbert House
Derrick Birdsall
Dr. Gilbert's house still stands on the foundation it was built upon in 1856. 
   Historical Park Superintendent Derrick Birdsall said that in the flurry of phone calls and e-mails that followed, Mrs. Lewis agreed to donate the journal to the Park. Shortly thereafter, 
Park Curator, Jamie Rigsby, was on a plane to Portland to assess the condition of the journal and bring it home to Texas.
   "The journal is in fragile condition and will require some conservation work before it can be used as part of the Historical Park's collection," he explained. "Staff hopes to learn more about day-to-day life for Dr. Gilbert and Farmers Branch in 1880 and 1881 as this is the primary source document we have from that time.
   "It's like waiting to open a treasure box that's been buried for more than a century."
   Dr. Gilbert died in 1890 and is buried in the Webb Chapel Cemetery in Farmers Branch, but now his words, written in his own hand, will help reinforce the heritage of Farmers Branch and lead to a better understanding of the era and its people.
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Manske Library to award traveling trophy for Summer Reading Club


MANSKE LIBRARY ~ There are only a few days left to turn in completed reading logs for the Summer Reading Club at the Farmers Branch Manske Library. Library Trophy

   This is the first year of the Summer Reading Outstanding Readers traveling trophy. The school with the highest number of completed reading logs will be awarded the trophy to keep for the 2013-2014 school year.

   Completed reading logs for kids and teens should be turned in by July 31. Prizes for a completed log include a completion certificate, a variety of tickets and coupons for local businesses, and a free book.
   Participation in Summer Reading Club is free and open to the public. For more information call the Library at 972.247.2511.
Rec Center Art University camp invites kids to 'muddle in the mediums'


REC CENTER ~ Kids can experience several artistic mediums including watercolor, acrylic, mosaic, frieze and collage as part of the latest Art University camp coming up August 5-8 at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center.
   The camp will go from 12:45 to 2:30 p.m. for ages 6-10 and from 2:30 until 4 p.m. for ages 11 and up.
   Cost for the camp is $50 for Rec Center members and $54 for non-members, plus a $15 supply fee.
   For more information, call the Rec Center at 972.247.4607.
Library Gallery features Skylight Artists & Bill Hoyt, through August 2


MANSKE LIBRARY ~ "Photo Escapes: On the Road Again" is an exhibition, featuring travel-related photography by Ed Auger, Ron Marabito, Sarah Scott and Carol Stum and is on display at the Manske Library Art Gallery, through August 2
   At the same time, Bill Hoyt is exhibiting "Little Jewels, or How to Collect Art on a Tight Budget and No Space for It." This display contains pieces that are either an original piece of art or a print of an original artwork, using any media, the size of a sports trading card.
   For more information, call the Manske Library at 972.247.2511. 
Firehouse Theatre's 'Rumplestiltskin' coming to Manske Library August 3 & 10


MANSKE LIBRARY ~ The age-old fable of the miller's daughter who must turn straw into gold will be retold by the Firehouse Theatre in "Rumplestiltskin" with performances August 3 & 10 in the theater at the Farmers Branch Manske Library.
   Shows will be at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. each day. For more information and ticket prices, visit
Volume 3 | Edition 30 | Number 126
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the  Communications Office
of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Two-time TAMI Award Winner for Best eNewsletter in Texas 
Given by the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers 

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News You Can USE
Residents can recycle chemicals at Dallas drop off truck


DALLAS ~ Farmers Branch residents will soon be able to participate in a city of Dallas mobile truck drop off program that will dispose of batteries, oils, such as motor oil and oil filters, latex paint and antifreeze, known collectively as BOPA (Batteries, Oils, Paints, Antifreeze). 

    As a participating city in the Dallas County Household Hazardous Waste Program, Farmers Branch residents will be able to recycle these items free of charge wherever the Dallas BOPA truck stages drop off events. The truck will also give away household cleaning products which have been donated for reuse, while supplies last.

   The program begins August 24 and will include drop off at Southwest Center Mall, 3662 West Camp Wisdom Road in Dallas, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., on the fourth Saturday of each month. Proof of residency may be required and the truck may be available only until filled.

   Residents may also take household hazardous waste items to the Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center at 11234 Plano Road in Dallas.

   For more information, other drop off locations and collection schedules, call 214.670.4475 or visit

Community Rec Center recommends
General Store


REC CENTER ~ The Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center is partnering with the Historical Park this summer to raise awareness of the General Store project.

   The 1920s-era Farmers Branch General Store is a new exhibit at the park. Opened in December of 2012, the design of the General Store is modeled after several different Farmers Branch stores that were in operation in the 1920s. Rec Center General Store Project

   Though construction is done, the park is still raising money to buy the 1920s-era inventory that will stock the shelves. 

   A display about the General Store has been installed in the lobby of the Rec Center to illustrate the project. Visitors can stop by and see the "Daily Specials" to find out what items are still up for sponsorship. For questions about the General Store project, call the Historical Park at 972-406-0184. 

Coming UP  
Council to meet August 6 & 20


Farmers Branch Logo
FARMERS BRANCH ~ After a single meeting in July, the Farmers Branch City Council is set to return to the traditional first and third Tuesday schedule in August with meetings on the 6th and 20th, at the new start time of 6:30 p.m.

   Regular meetings of the Farmers Branch City Council are held at Farmers Branch City Hall, 13000 William Dodson Parkway. Replays of the most recent meeting air at 6:30 p.m. seven days a week on FBTV. For more information, call 972.247.3131.

Citizen Police Academy seeking applicants for Fall


JUSTICE CENTER ~ Focusing on the inner workings of law enforcement, rarely seen by outside eyes, the Farmers Branch Police Department Citizen Police Academy is now accepting applications for its Fall session.

   The 11-week course meets once a week and offers everyday citizens both classroom and hands-on learning experiences on all aspects of law enforcement and the operations of the Farmers Branch Police Department.

   The class is open to adult residents of Farmers Branch. For more information, contact Lt. Mike Blum at 972.484.3620 or

Alert Series
Beware anyone writing a check for more than amount 


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Although there has not been a substantial increase in reported scams, Farmers Branch Police want to be sure citizens are educated on the work done by con artists, in hopes of avoiding victimization.

   Farmers Branch Police Lieutenant Jay Siegel said scams come in a variety of guises but usually have some common patterns. Every week, in this space, a different type of scam will be profiled in hopes of raising awareness.  

Scammers seek you out through a classified ad or online auction postings and offer to pay for the item with a check. The scammer then comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price of the item and provides instructions for you to wire back the difference after the check is deposited. The check ultimately bounces and you are left liable for the entire amount. 

   Notify the Farmers Branch Police Department at 972.484.3620 if you or someone you know is being scammed. If you are called by someone who you suspect is a telemarketing scammer, hang up. If they continue to call you in a harassing manner, call the police.

   Please visit the resources listed below for more information on scams and what you can do to defend yourself against these practices:


More Info on Scams
NILE Watch

Farmers Branch Environmental Health officials have

 posted information online 

 that can help local residents and business people guard against

the West Nile threat by eliminating potential mosquito breeding areas.

West Nile Watch



For more information,  

visit these online resources  

BRANCH BULLETIN: eNews from Farmers Branch
The inventory on the shelves of the Farmers Branch General Store in the Historical Park is slowly growing as patrons sponsor period-products for the 1920s era structure. Find out more in this week's Memo from the Manager
  Photo  by Tom Bryson
Parting SHOT
Up Front at the Park
Derrick Birdsall
Up front at the Park
Courtesy of a wide-angle lens, Historical Park Superintendent Derrick Birdsall captured the approaching weather front as it arced across the meadow this morning.


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LBJ Express
877 days to project completion
FARMERS BRANCH ~ The weekly update on the Interstate 635 expansion project has been made available by LBJ Express, the construction team responsible for the five-year project that will completely renovate the freeway from the Dallas North Tollway to Interstate 35E. This update is for Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
LBJ Express Finished Project Animation 
LBJ Express Finished Project Animation

Valley View (at IH35E): There will be various off-peak lane closures along Valley View between the IH35E frontage roads for several weeks to facilitate construction of a new IH35E northbound entrance ramp over Valley View.  

IH 635/IH35E Interchange: Southbound IH35E will be closed on the nights of July 24-26. 

Denton Drive:  Denton will be closed for bridge work from July 29 through August 1. The westbound frontage road from Josey to Denton will be closed nightly through September.        

Josey Lane: Construction of the sidewalk on Josey will require various lanes closed through July. The eastbound frontage road is closed between Josey and Bankway until August 30. Frontage road traffic is detoured via Forest Lane to Webb Chapel.  Josey will be closed for bridge work on the night of July 25 and August 2. The eastbound Josey exit will reopen on August 2.

Webb Chapel: The Webb Chapel exit ramp will reopen on August 19.

Marsh Lane: The westbound Marsh entrance ramp is closed through August 19. The westbound frontage road from Marsh to Webb Chapel will be closed nightly through July 26.

Valley View at IH635: Valley View will be closed for bridge work on the night of August 9.

Midway Road: The southbound left turn lane on Midway Road at LBJ and both U-turn lanes are closed indefinitely. Expect various additional lanes to be closed on Midway at LBJ during off-peak hours. The eastbound Midway exit is scheduled to be closed on the nights of July 31 and August 1. Midway Road will be closed for bridge construction on the nights of July 26 and 27 as well as August 5. The eastbound frontage road east of Midway will be closed during off-peak hours daily through August.

Welch Road: Welch is narrowed to one lane in each direction south of LBJ through July for drainage work.

Other Locations: Various main lanes of LBJ will be closed frequently during night-time hours. There will also be intermittent night-time closures of various LBJ entrance and exit ramps. All scheduled work is tentative as permitted by weather conditions and other factors.

About the City of Farmers Branch Farmers Branch Logo
An historic community in the geographic center of the DFW Metroplex, Farmers Branch boasts a residential population of 28,800 and a daytime employment population of 66,000. Located on the northwest border of the City of Dallas, the City's 27 parks and lush greenbelts feature nationally-acclaimed, award-winning soccer fields, football facilities as well as baseball and softball complexes. The city's location in the center of the Metroplex and only 15 minutes away from both DFW Airport and Love Field, along with the 2,200 hotel rooms within the city, make Farmers Branch an ideal location for residents and for business. For more information on the City of Farmers Branch, visit,, or call 972.247.3131.
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