Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

1611 Main Street — Another One Bites the Dust

1611-main_clogenson_1909_degolyer_detThe 1600 block of Main St. in 1909, from Ervay (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Yesterday (Sept. 21, 2014), a 129-year-old building — one of the oldest buildings still standing downtown — built in 1885! — was demolished. Today it’s a pile of rubble. Yeah, I don’t understand it, either. Dallas has a real problem with preserving its history. In the 1909 photo above, it is the one at the right, behind the three men in white shirts who are standing above the crowd. And now it’s gone. And so is the Praetorian, the tall white building on the corner of Main and Stone. Maybe someone should make sure the Wilson Building has armed guards on 24-hour wrecking-ball watch.


Photo is a detail from “Parade Day, Military Tournament, Dallas, Texas” by Clogenson (1909), from the collection of the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. It can be viewed here.

The original photograph is the subject of a previous post, “Parade Day — 1909″ which can be viewed here.

A Dallas Morning News article by Robert Wilonsky on the surprise demolition of 1611 Main Street (which, until 1911, was actually 369-371 Main Street) can be read here.

Interestingly enough, there was an effort of sorts to declare the building a city landmark back in 1981, when it was a mere 96 years old. A list of buildings eligible for landmark status back then can be seen here; a few on the list didn’t make it nearly as long as 1611. RIP.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Parade Day — 1909

parade-day_1909_clogenson_degolyerMain Street looking west from Ervay, 1909 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

“Sun-bronzed, khaki-clad soldiers representing the three important branches of the army, paraded through the city evoking the admiration of 60,000 persons who lined the streets all the way from Fair Park to the end of the downtown business district.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Aug. 24, 1909)

This is a GREAT photograph, looking west on Main Street from Ervay, with the Wilson Building in the foreground at the right, and, a few doors down, the tall white Praetorian Building at Stone Street. With so much going on in this photo, it’s a great opportunity to zoom in on the crowd and look a little more closely at the details. (All photos are much larger when clicked.)

parade-day_1909_det1My favorite “vignette” from this photograph.

parade-day_1909_det2Dedicated parade-watchers. The Elk’s Arch welcoming visitors spans Main Street, a holdover from the 1908 Elk’s convention.

parade-day_1909_det3The dark-colored three-story building behind the three men in white shirts standing above the crowd (1611 Main) was demolished yesterday, Sept. 21, 2014. (A better view of the full building can be seen in the post “1611 Main Street — Another One Bites the Dust,” here.)


parade-day_1909_det4aWorkers in the Wilson Building with a pretty great, unobstructed view.

parade-day_1909_det5When this photo was taken, Labor Day was fast approaching — that guy had two more weeks to wear those shoes.



Original photo by Clogenson, titled “Parade Day, Military Tournament, Dallas, Texas,” taken August 24, 1909; in the collection of the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. The photo can be viewed here.

Newspaper articles describing exactly who was involved in the parade and why it was happening can be read in the easily digestible report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, here, and the drier, more comprehensive report from The Dallas Morning News, here (each opens as a PDF). (This photo accompanied the DMN article.)

See other photos I’ve zoomed in on, here.

All photos much larger when clicked.



Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Go Away! Can’t You See I’m Listening to WFAA?” — 1947




Cartoon/ad/PSA by “Peach” from The Dallas Morning News (owner of WFAA), September 1, 1947.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“The Chute”

chute-roller-coaster_c1908_tshaThe Chute and The Tickler, Texas State Fair, 1908 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Construction began in 1906 on a new entertainment area at Fair Park called The Pike.

“What is known as ‘Smokey Row’ has been set back against the fence on the south side of the grounds, and the space between it and the race track, all the way to the grandstand, will be occupied by exhibits. Two streets through this part of the grounds lead to the grandstand and the Pike. The Pike will be located beyond the grandstand, occupying a space 250×1125 feet. Here are being constructed the scenic railway and the shoot the chute, which will represent an investment of $75,000. The State Fair has agents in the East booking the remaining attractions for this department. These agents have instructions to pay the money and get the newest and best things to be had.” (Dallas Times Herald, June 24, 1906)

The new Pike meant that visitors to the State Fair of Texas would be able to ride “The Chute,” an amusement park attraction that had been popular in other parts of the country (and which automatically brings to mind the log ride at Six Flags Over Texas). In 1908, a roller coaster with the delightful name of “The Tickler” joined the rides in the area that was referred to as the “Pleasure Plaza” in at least one newspaper account. The Chute/Shoot the Chute/Chute the Chutes lasted a relatively short time — only until 1914 when it was torn down to “make room for the new shows known as the ‘World at Home,’ to be open to the public at the State Fair next fall” (DTH, Aug. 18, 1914).

Rides such as The Chute and The Tickler were enormously popular, and one wonders how all those hats managed to stay on all those heads of all those pleasure-seekers.


The Chute, head-on (all photos are larger when clicked):


A view of The Pike, with The Chute to the right, above the sideshow banners.


In action:


At “night” (the second photo above, glamorized, with postcard magic applied):



Top photo from the collection of the Texas State Historical Association.

Second photo, a 1908 postcard, from eBay.

Third and fourth photos from the book Fair Park by Willis Cecil Winters (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2010). Photo of The Pike from the Dallas Public Library; photo of the boat from the State Fair of Texas Archives.

Night scene from a story by Robert Wilonsky on Winters’ book in the Dallas Observer, here.

Dallas Times Herald quotes from the indispensable Dallas County Archives pages compiled by Jim Wheat; these two articles can be found here.

Yes, Wikipedia does have an entry on the history of Shoot the Chute rides, here.

 As always, most pictures are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Fab Four in Big D — 1964

beatles_memorial-aud_091864_ferd-kaufmanThe Beatles at Memorial Auditorium, Sept. 18, 1964 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The Beatles came to Dallas fifty years ago this week. There was pandemonium at Love Field when they arrived. There was pandemonium at the Cabaña Hotel when they got there. There was pandemonium at the press conference. And there was pandemonium at the concert at Memorial Auditorium on September 18, 1964, the last date of their American tour. This event has been pretty well covered over the years, but here are a couple of cool photos of the Fabs’ time in Dallas, and a couple of droll columns from DFW entertainment reporters who seem to be vaguely amused, vaguely annoyed, and vaguely impressed — all at the same time.



Above, the Dallas press conference, with Beatles press agent Derek Taylor (holding microphone), manager Brian Epstein (who, still in Dallas, would turn 30 the following day), and road manager Mal Evans (with glasses). And a Dallas cop (who, over the years, must have told a thousand people about this momentous day).


Below, the always-entertaining Elston Brooks of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes about his “Harried Talk With Hairy 4″ (click article for larger image).


beatles_FWST_092064bFWST, Sept. 20, 1964


Below, the Dallas Morning News’ man-about-town, Tony Zoppi, enlisted the aid of a teenager to explain to him the nuances of Beatlemania. His opening paragraph is pretty good:

“It was Mardi Gras, V-E Day, the Texas-Oklahoma excitement and The Alamo all rolled into one — only louder. It was the Beatles, winding up their American tour deep in the heart of Texas. It was Dallas playing the role of uninhibited host to the hilt.”

beatles_zoppi_dmn_091964smDMN, Sept. 19, 1964 (click for larger image)


And lastly, the short scattershot interview by Bert Shipp of Channel 8, followed by a short clip of the Beatles performing “Twist and Shout” at Memorial Auditorium (which I’d never seen before):


Top two performance photos of The Beatles at Memorial Auditorium by Ferd Kaufman (the one of Ringo is GREAT).

Photo of the press conference by John Mazziotta of The Dallas Times Herald.

More photos of the Dallas visit can be seen here.

And a nostalgic look back at the Beatles’ visit can be read in Bonnie Lovell’s entertaining Dallas Morning News essay, here — Bonnie was there in the thick of it as a Beatle-crazed 13-year old and was one of the lucky few who had a ticket to the show and got to see the boys shake their mop-tops in person.

Click pictures and articles for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Oak Cliff Trolley — 1895

trolley_oak-cliff_stark_1895_hpl“Dallas from Oak Cliff” by Henry Stark, 1895/96 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

As present-day trolley service to Oak Cliff has yet to be realized, here’s a pastoral view of a little trolley chugging through the wilds of Oak Cliff in 1895. In the background, across the river, the new courthouse looms like a mirage. Below are a few details, magnified. (All images are much larger when clicked.) Enjoy!






Photo (labeled by the Houston Public Library as “Trolley moving through the woods”) is by Henry Stark, taken on a visit to Dallas in the winter of 1895/96; from the collection of the Houston Public Library — it can be viewed here.

For more on Henry Stark, see the previous post “Henry Stark’s ‘Bird’s Eye View of Dallas,'” here.

Other photos which I’ve “Zoomed In On the Details” can be seen here.



Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Diez y Seis de Septiembre!

16-sept_pike-park_192816 de Septiembre, Pike Park, 1928

by Paula Bosse

Diez y Seis de Septiembre (the 16th of September) is the day Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate Mexico’s rebellion against Spanish rule, a revolt that began in 1810. Mexican Independence Day has been celebrated in Dallas at Pike Park in the Little Mexico area of the city since the 1920s, an era when local newspapers devoted very little space to covering Dallas’ large Hispanic community. But when thousands of celebrants filled Pike Park each September 16th, the crowd and the fiesta were just too big to ignore. The Dallas dailies dutifully covered it, and their predominantly white readership was treated to reports of the annual celebration of Mexican pride and culture. The Pike Park celebration was a much-anticipated event every year, open to everyone. If you’re celebrating today, Feliz 16 de Septiembre!


The 1926 festivities were among the earliest large-scale Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Dallas; the mayor’s office, city officials, and community leaders were involved in its planning. More than 5,000 people attended. And what’s a big party without a beauty contest? The caption to the story below, “Mexican Colony to Select Queen of Beauty,” reads as follows:

For the first time in history, a Queen of Beauty, selected from among the most attractive young women in the Mexican colony of Dallas, will preside over the Mexican Independence Day celebration here Sept. 16, Mexican Consul R. Cantu Lara announced Wednesday.

The successful of five entrants in the beauty contest will be chosen through the democratic medium of the ballot, however. Those young ladies in the contest, four of whose pictures are shown [below] are Misses Guadalupe Mercado, Maria de Jesus Navarro, Marguerita Castenada, Paulina Salinas and Jesusita Zuniga.

Elaborate entertainments at Summit Play Park, both on Sept. 15 and 16, are planned by the local Mexican colony. Civil authorities have been invited to join the Mexican patriotic committee in observing this day sacred to the neighboring Republic, Senor Lara said.

16-sept_queens_dmn_090926a16-sept_queens_dmn_090926bDMN, Sept. 9, 1926 (click photos for larger images)


16-sept_dmn_091727DMN, Sept. 17, 1927


Below, the report of the 1928 festivities (which would have involved the men and women pictured in the photograph at the top of this post). Even though the park had been re-named “Pike Park” in 1927, people were still referring to it by its original name, Summit Play Park:

16-sept_dmn_091728DMN, Sept. 17, 1928



16-sept_dmn_091730cDMN, Sept, 17, 1930 (click photos and article for larger images)


Top photo appeared in the Dallas Morning News photo blog, here, crediting St. Ann’s Alumni and Friends of Little Mexico.

All other articles and photos from The Dallas Morning News.

More on Diez y Seis de Septiembre from The Handbook of Texas, here, and from diezyseis.org, here.

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The Hamburger Stand with the Revolving Top — 1930

hamburger-stand_dmn_120130Dallas Morning News, Dec. 1, 1930

by Paula Bosse

I’m not really sure what these “sandwich stands” were called, but The Dallas Morning News calls this a “Rice Revolving Roof stand.” By December, 1930, there were five of these interesting-looking things in Dallas. “Invented” in Lubbock, there were plans for a revolving-top sandwich-stand empire.


One of these Rice Revolving Roof $4,000 stands is being erected at 500 East Grand, at Barry, for Ed Eady who operates a string of stands glorifying the American hamburger. These stands are at 1111 North Zang, Greenville at Richmond, Preston at Lover’s Lane, 1718 Addison, with the headquarters at Pearl and Canton.

The invention of C. T. Rice of Lubbock, the Dallas unit will be an experiment looking toward erection of similar units over Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana by Mr. Eady and Mr. Rice. The stands with revolving roofs with neon strips and borders and flood lights bathing the advertising space already are in Big Spring, Colorado City, Sweetwater and Lubbock. The stands are twenty feet in diameter with ten windows and two doors.

Hamburgers made with strictly fresh meat are one of twelve kinds of sandwiches handled at Eady’s stands. He has been in Dallas eleven years, four of which have been devoted to developing his present
business. Quarters of beef are bought and made into hamburger meat at the Pearl and Canton headquarters. A special sauce has been perfected for use on sandwiches. That a strictly quality hamburger sandwich is being produced, Mr. Eady says, can be proven by the increasing volume of business.

Not sure if these “revolving-top” sandwich stands made it any further than the locations listed above, but Charles T. Rice and Charles E. Childs took out a patent on their invention, the main characteristic of which was the multi-faced roof (on which advertisements would be placed) which could be “rotated at any required speed.” Basically, it was a spinning billboard that dispensed hamburgers. I bet this looked really cool at night.



Photo and quote from The Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1930.

Patent drawing for “Revolving-Top Building” from Google Patents; description is here, schematic diagrams are here and here.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

South Ervay & Jackson — 1946

south-ervay_200-block_1946_jim-wheat“Have you had your lemonade today?” (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, the intersection of South Ervay (at left, with cars headed north) and Jackson Street (at right, with pedestrians walking east), about 1946. All those little shops…. And look at that cool Sun Drop Lemonade ad painted on the Jackson Street side of the building! Below, that same corner today.




UPDATE: When I posted this photo originally, I thought it showed the southwest corner of S. Ervay and Commerce, but reader Brian Pranger corrected me on Twitter. He is absolutely correct when he suggested that the view is actually the northeast corner of S. Ervay and Jackson (I have corrected the errors above). Just to verify, I found an aerial photo of the intersection from 1935 that shows the building in question. Here is a detail with my clunky labeling (click for larger image):


Thank you, Brian! (And I ALWAYS welcome corrections!)


Top photo from Jim Wheat’s Dallas County, Texas Archives. Wheat estimates the photo was taken around 1946, with the following businesses identified: Modern Finance Co., 204 S. Ervay; South Ervay Barber Shop, 208 S. Ervay; Apex Hotel (probably pretty dodgy, but who wouldn’t want to stay at the “Apex Hotel”!), 208 1/2 S. Ervay; Perfect Hand Laundry & Dry Cleaning, 210 S. Ervay.

“Today” photo from Google street view.

The last image is a detail from a 1935 aerial view of the “Mid-Town Business District,” taken by Lloyd M. Long; it is part of the Edwin J. Foscue Map Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. SMU’s labeled version of this map can be seen here (the building in question is adjacent to the Allen Building, which on SMU’s map is #38, at the top right — use the zoom function to see all sorts of things!).

Click pictures for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Highland Park High School — 1939

hphs_1939Highland Park High School (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Great photo of the neighborhood around Highland Park High School (its second location — I had no idea), from the 1939 HPHS yearbook. I would have thought Highland Park would have been more built up by then.

The description, from the back of the 1970s-era postcard this image appeared on:

In 1937, Highland Park High School moved to 4220 Emerson from its original home on Normandy. This aerial view — taken from a double-page spread in the 1939 Highlander — shows the entire physical plant of [the] High School. R. C. Dunlap was the President of the Highland Park District Board of Education that year.

Bounded by Emerson, Douglas, Lovers Lane and Westchester — covering five full city blocks — Highland Park High School looks, today, much as it did in 1939. Only the neighborhood has changed as it has continued to develop. Significant additions have been made to the educational facilities in order to keep teaching techniques right up to date.

Today, ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders from both Park Cities attend Highland Park High School — still recognized as one of the best educational institutions in the country.


Photo from the 1939 HPHS Highlander yearbook; later issued as a postcard as part of the Park Cities Bank “Heritage Series” in the 1970s. Thanks to the Lone Star Library Annex Facebook group for use of the image.

A very, VERY large scan of this image can be viewed here.


Here’s an awkwardly cropped photo of the first HPHS, from 1928 (click for larger image):


Another from the same series of postcards, issued in the 1970s. The description on the back:

Sunny days almost always found upperclassmen chatting on the front steps at High School. These photographs were taken from a 1928 copy of The Highlander — the Highland Park High School annual.

H. E. Gable was the superintendent that year. Ben Wiseman replaced E. S. Lawler as principal at the end of the school year.

The front steps at 3520 Normandy are still a gathering spot, but today’s students attend Highland Park Middle School — grades six, seven and eight. Senior High School moved to a new building at 4220 Emerson in 1937. Additions and remodeling have kept both of these educational facilities right up to the minute in technology and equipment.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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