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 ..
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 ..
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 ..
(/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, ..
Confederate gold refers to hidden caches of gold lost after the American Civil War. There are stories that some of the Confederate treasury was hidden to keep it out of the Union’s hands. When Union troops were on the verge of invading New Orleans, Confederates quickly removed millions of dollars of gold to a “safer” location. What became of the gold is a mystery. I have often thought of Dallas Heritage Village as a hidden treasure in the middle of downtown Dallas, hidden in plain sight. The village is located on 13 acres of beautiful green space with one of the best views of the Dallas skyline around. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Where is the village located?” or “How long has it been there?” This year w ..