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Dallas Historical Society 
March 2013
Hall of State
In This Issue
Historic Dallas Tours
Brown Bag Lecture Series
From the Collection
DHS Membership
Quick Links




The DHS is proud to announce its 2013 Historic Tour and Free Brown Bag Lecture schedule. This year DHS is offering some old favorites along with a few surprise topics. 

We hope you will join us for these programs and remember if you are or become a member, you can take advantage of special discounts on all our paid programs. Click here for more membership information.

Be sure to check out "From The Collection" highlighting some of the newest additions to the DHS' collection of Dallas and Texas history. 

Over the next months you will begin to see changes in the DHS e newsletters. We will be sending a longer version once a month with short articles of interest and updates on activities. At other times we will e mail out shorter program and calendar or event updates keeping you informed.

We also want to have your ideas and input. Let me know any ideas for programs, exhibits or tours. Input from you who are interested in Dallas history is always our best source for new ideas!

Jack Bunning
Executive Director
Dallas Historical Society

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Bus for tours
Take a ride through history and join the Dallas Historical Society on one of our Historic City Tours. We are pleased to announce the tour schedule for 2013 which includes many of your favorite tours!

Native Dallasites and newcomers alike will learn little known facts about their hometown and see parts of the city they may have never visited  by participating in the Dallas Historical Society's City Tours.


"Our city tours are a fun way to get acquainted or re-acquainted, as the case may be, with Dallas," explained Jack Bunning, executive director.  "Local historians have created each excursion and share the 'back story' about particular neighborhoods or sites.  Often, there is a funny story or bit of history that makes the location of interest." 


Starting our exciting season of tours is:


 HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS - March 16, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ride along with Historian Mike Hazel as he takes you through many historic neighborhoods and preservation districts, telling how, when and why they came into existence. This year's tour will include neighborhoods in the Park Cities, to honor the 100th anniversary of Highland Park as well as the Cedars, Deep Ellum and lakewood. Lunch at the Dixie House in historic Lakewood is included. 



To reserve a seat on any tour, click here 



The  remaining 2013 schedule includes:  


DOWNTOWN DALLAS, THEN AND NOW -  April 6 , 1:00 p.m.-4 p.m. 

Here's your chance to see downtown Dallas with fresh eyes and a historic perspective provided by local historian and author Mike Hazel. Learn how the area has evolved over time with special stops at Dealey Plaza, Klyde Warren Park and the Arts District. 


HIDDEN OAK CLIFF - April 20, 1:00 p.m.-5 p.m.

 No one knows Oak Cliff like native daughter Rose-Mary Rumbley. Visit neighborhoods and sites you've never heard of and laugh along with Rose Mary's historically accurate tales. Special stops include Dallas Baptist University, the Trinity River Audubon Center and the DFW National Cemetery.


HISTORIC  DALLAS HOTELS - April 27, 1:00 p.m.-4 p.m.

  In the early days of the city, hotels played an important role in the life of Dallas. Local historian and author Sam Childers will guide you through downtown and point out hotels, past and present, of significance to the life of the city. Brief visits inside two hotels are highlights of the tour.


CEMETERY TOUR - May 18, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Whether they scare you or fascinate you, cemeteries hold our past and are some of the best examples of local folk art outside museums.  No one knows more about Dallas cemeteries that Frances James (a.k.a. "The Cemetery Lady") as she will guide visitors as they walk through the Pioneer Cemetery next to the Dallas Convention Center. Tour participants will meet at the cemetery.


RUNNING WITH BONNIE AND CLYDE - May 27 , 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. -

Always one of the Society's most popular tours, spend your Memorial Day learning about Dallas' most famous outlaw lovers. Author John Neal Phillips has written extensively about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow and guides the tour. Lunch at Olive Garden is included.     


To reserve a seat on any tour, click here 


Brown Bag  

From Bonnie and Clyde to JFK, Free Talks

At The Dallas Historical Society To Begin Next Week 


Wild Women of the West, JFK at 50: Preserving Dallas History and the ever popular saga of Bonnie and Clyde are just a few of the topics to be covered during the Dallas Historical Society's FREE Brown Bag Lecture Series.


Held the second Tuesday of each month at noon at the Hall of State in Fair Park (3939 Grand Avenue), the free talks feature local historians and authors.  Visitors can bring their own lunch to enjoy while learning stories about Dallas' past. Each Brown Bag talk is completed within the hour.


Scheduled for the 2013 year are:


March 12 - Little Known Histories and Scandals from Dallas Parks - Author and coordinator for Dallas Parks and Recreation, Sally Rodriguez tells hidden histories and stories about area parks.


April 9 - Wild Women of the West - Author and former librarian, Ann Shelton will focus on some of Texas' most notorious naughty ladies, bad girls and wild women.


May 14 - Dealey Plaza, Then and Now - Former president and trustee of the Belo Foundation, Judith Segura is a local expert on Dealey Plaza's history and renovation plans.


June 14 - Bonnie and Clyde - Dallas' most notorious outlaws are the subject of author/historian John Neal Phillips' extensive research.


July 9 - Devout Dallas - The Methodists arrived a few years after John Neely Bryan and the Baptists and Presbyterians were not far behind. Noted local author/historian, Rose-Mary Rumbley looks at the first church, cathedral and synagogue in the city.


August 13 - JFK at 50: Preserving Dallas History - City of Dallas Archivist John Slate will give an illustrated lecture on the history and contents of the City's 11,400 documents and photographs related to the assassination. 


 For a complete Brown Bag Lecture schedule, click here


   Lake Cliff Park                The Lake Cliff neighborhood is Dallas' 15th historic district, bounded by Marsalis, Beckley, West Davis, Zang. In 1888 construction began on Lake Cliff Park, an amusement park intended to draw attention and visitors to the area. The doors to Lake Cliff Park finally opened on June 16th, 1906. President Mr. E.W. Morten and manager/director Charles A, Mangold helped conceive and organize the park. Construction of the Park conservatively registered at $150,000.00; additions and improvements to the park brought the final total to $250,000.00 in 1906. Lake Cliff Park offered visitors entertainment in the form of swings, a rollercoaster, a casino band, boating, swimming skating, sports, and restaurants.

               Perhaps one of the most popular features of the Lake Cliff Park was the 30 acre lake itself. The lake offered hundreds of visitors the opportunity to cool off from the Texas summer heat. For less than a 5 cent fare and a twenty five minute ride over the Northern Texas Traction tracts, anyone in the Greater Dallas area could soak up some sun and fun.


              New to the photographic collection of the Dallas Historical Society: Photograph of Lake Cliff swimming pool. Photo shows swimmers on a dock, pool with slide in the middle, and the back of the stadium. The donor's father worked for the Dallas Parks Department and was supervisor for all Oak Cliff parks when he retired. The photograph was found among his things. 



Join DHS or Renew Your Membership Today! 


The Dallas Historical Society's members value the unique history of Dallas and Texas and believe it should be shared with others. Membership in DHS helps provide the additional funds to offer educational programs and to help preserve and build the collection of The Society. 


Your membership helps strengthen The Society and also offers you direct benefits. Members receive various discounts and previews to exhibits and events as well as special "member only" events.    


For more information on becoming a member of the DHS or to pay by credit card please Click Here or call Nora Lenhart at
(214)421-4500 ext 101.