Blog

Zelda: The Curatorial Truck

Published on Sunday, February 05, 2017 By Caitlin Hughes
Blog post by our Curator, Dr. Evelyn Montgomery. Allow me to introduce a key member of the DHV curatorial department-Zelda, my Dodge Ram. Some people think that being a curator must be a glamorous job-and it probably is if you work for the Guggenheim, but I work in a historical village. Among my qualifications, I have a doctorate, shelves full of books, and a talent for public speaking, but more importantly, I have a miter saw, painting experience, a hammer, and Zelda. Zelda had every reason to expect the easy life of an urban truck when sold to someone living a mile from downtown Dallas. She was soon disabused of that notion. DHV is Dallas’ only downtown working farm, and every farm needs a farm truck. Zelda has hauled hay and countless 50-pound bags of feed for a ..

The spark

Published on Friday, July 01, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
Come with us now and catch a glimpse of exciting behind-the-scenes action at Dallas Heritage Village. The setting: Gary Smith’s Office, about a year ago. Executive Director Gary Smith, Curator of Exhibits and Collections Evelyn Montgomery, and Director of Education Melissa Prycer are talking about The Future. Gary: Attendance is holding steady, but income just isn’t. We’ve got to figure out new ways to fulfill our mission. Melissa: We need to focus on children. They’re just so darn cute! Evelyn: But what about our precious artifacts? We have to protect our artifacts, and children might accidentally destroy things. Gary: You know, we’re finishing up restoring the General Store. What if we rethink the e ..

The Lonely Frontier

Published on Saturday, May 07, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
My corset was hot!—because it was summer, in Texas, what did you think I meant? I was fully embedded in my role as Mrs. Hedgecoxe, a rude antebellum liar trying to convince naïve dupes to buy land here. The naïve dupes were played by modern visitors, who did not believe me when I said “the weather in Texas is perfect, never too hot, never too cold, and always just the right amount of rain.” They did admire the Village’s retail opportunities, a general store that I assured them stocked both dress fabric and plows. Since we were inhabiting a year decades before the train reached Dallas, I explained the Depot as a proactive construction by a town confident of its future growth. And then I asked if they were ready to make the arduous journey o ..

How to Enjoy your Visit During Field Trip Season

Published on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 By Caitlin Hughes
April and May are always hectic months for any museum that hosts field trips. We see 1/3 of school children for the year in these months alone. The gift shop is constantly reordering “kid friendly” souvenirs. Bathrooms are monitored around the clock. All frontline staff put in extra shifts and eagerly await some vacation time in June and July. While these days are extremely busy, they are also some of our favorites. At Dallas Heritage Village students participate on self-guided field trips in small groups with an aid of a History Hunt and a chaperone. This History Hunt can be one of five possible themes which are designed to engage the students at a deeper level within our houses, asking them to interpret what they are seeing. At the Village we also have 13 acres a ..

False Fronts

Published on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/2-stores.lr_.jpg) Why must beauty be more than skin deep? Why be genuine when fake is more appealing? I’m just talking about buildings here. Modest little buildings occupied by business owners who want their establishments to appear impressive, professional and well-established, so they “put up a front,” literally, to claim that image. What would you do if you found yourself the first storekeeper to arrive with a wagon full of goods at a new frontier town growing near the latest gold strike? Celebrate, because you would be destined to make a lot more money off of that gold than most of the miners, who lacked the foresight to bring adequate tools and food. They will have to buy from you, at any price you choose. First,  ..

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