Maple North of Wycliff: The Hinterlands — 1900

by Paula Bosse

Looks a little different these days… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here we see Maple Avenue, somewhere north of the Katy Railroad crossing, circa 1900. A. C. Greene, in his book Dallas, The Deciding Years, estimated it shows Maple “just north of where Wycliff now crosses” (see note at bottom of post wondering if this might instead show Maple just north of the railroad crossing). I have to say, the present-day view of that area has nothing going for it over the one depicted above, except maybe asphalt. …If you like asphalt.

Here’s a detail that shows the little horse and buggy, heading out to the hinterlands. (Click to see a larger image.)


Personally, I’d take the “hinterlands” view to the one we’re subjected to today.

An interesting book about early Dallas history that I would highly recommend is Diaper Days of Dallas, Ted Dealey’s entertaining memories of growing up in Dallas. His family had a house on Maple Avenue at about the turn of the century (his father was George Bannerman Dealey, early founder of The Dallas Morning News), and the Maple-McKinney area was his playground. Here is his description of the city limits at the time this photo was taken:

Dallas, in those early days, consisted of about eight square miles of territory. To the south the city limits ended roughly at Grand Avenue; to the east the city limits ended roughly where Fitzhugh Avenue now runs; to the north it went out Cedar Springs across Maple Avenue to a point where Melrose Hotel stands now. North of this there was practically nothing. On the west the city extended to the Trinity River.

So, at the turn on the century, this wonderful vista was the hinterlands — out in the country and well beyond the city limits.


Photo from Dallas, The Deciding Years by A. C. Greene (Austin: Encino Press, 1973), with the caption: “In 1900 Maple Avenue was mainly a rural lane. This photograph was taken just north of where Wycliff now crosses Maple. Courtesy Dallas Public Library.”

Text quoted is from Diaper Days of Dallas by Ted Dealey (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1966), p. 23.

EDIT: I don’t know if this photo does show Maple around what is now Wycliff. The curve is very similar to the one Maple used to make before it was straightened in 1918 or 1919 — right around the railroad crossing, which also included a bridge across Turtle Creek, as seen in this detail from a 1905 map. Just a thought.


Click photos for larger images.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.