Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: Oak Cliff/West Dallas

Oak Cliff, The Beautiful Suburb — 1888

oak-cliff_1888_degolyer_SMU_illus_lgOak Cliff, early days… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The above view of Oak Cliff is taken from an 1888 broadside advertising land opportunities in Dallas’ most beautiful, healthful, and picturesque suburb. The text:


This beautiful suburb of Dallas is situated on the south side of the river, on a chain of hills from 200 to 250 feet above and overlooking the city, and about three-fourths of a mile from the MERCHANTS’ EXCHANGE, being from any part of it within ten to twenty minutes’ walk from the business center, or eight to fifteen minutes’ drive, or five to ten minutes’ ride by the suburban cars, which run all the time from the court house, from 6 o’clock in the morning to 11 o’clock at night. Fare, five cents.

Oak Cliff has a first-class water works system, furnishing clear, pure spring water; good schools; broad, macadamized avenues and streets; lovely lakes and parks (from the pavilion, surrounding towns can be seen). Owing to its great altitude and topographical formation, perfect drainage is insured, and it is unexcelled in the Southwest as a healthful and picturesque residence site and educational center. 

Its superior accessibility to business, makes it the most desirable portion of the city to live in for the citizen of Dallas, whether he be poor, rich or of moderate means.

Within the past seven months, residences approximating in value one million dollars, costing from $1,000 to $45,000 each, have been built and contracted for in this popular suburb. A few choice lots remain unsold, and persons desiring a site for a home on easy terms will please call on or address

Knepfly Building
Dallas, Texas, October 1, 1888



Sources & Notes

Images taken from a promotional broadside, which may be seen in full in a downloadable PDF here, from the collection of Texas Promotional Materials held by the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University.

This drawing is similar to another Oak Cliff promotional piece (also from SMU’s vast collections) which I wrote about in the post “Thomas Marsalis’ Spectacular Oak Cliff Hotel: 1890-1945,” here.

Top image is much larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Flashback Dallas on the Radio: La Reunion

la-reunion-marker_today_bigdhistoryThe La Reunion marker today… (photo by Big D History)

by Paula Bosse

Today a short and informative radio piece on the La Reunion French colony was aired across the state on the public radio program Texas Standard. The story was produced by Stephanie Kuo of KERA News, who was nice enough to invite me to participate as one of the interviewees (along with Dallas historian and storyteller Rose-Mary Rumbley and developer John Scovell). Listen to the 5-and-a-half-minute story here on the KERA site, or here on the Texas Standard site, via Soundcloud.

I’ve written about La Reunion before, but here are a few photos I took last year when I trekked over to all that remains of the original colony, its cemetery (known as both “La Reunion Cemetery” and the less romantic “Fish Trap Cemetery”). It’s fenced off to protect the few remaining historic grave markers, which have been eroding in the elements for over 160 years. Somehow I walked away having taken photos only of grape leaves and flowers and not the cemetery. (There are several photos online of the cemetery, including this one, from the Dallas Parks department; read the Texas Historical Commission marker here. You’ll note that 20th-century headstones can be seen: the cemetery was an active cemetery well after the colonists had moved away; in fact, Bonnie Parker was originally buried there until her remains were moved to the Crown Hill Cemetery.)

There are surprisingly few monuments or plaques in Dallas recognizing the historically important colony. In April, 1924, the Jane Douglas Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated the very first monument to the La Reunion settlement. The site of this granite marker was originally at Westmoreland and Fort Worth Avenue, but the marker (seen at top) was moved at some point to its current home, on the golf course of Stevens Park.





Sources & Notes

Photo of the 1924 marker, relocated to Stevens Park, is used with permission of Big D History.

All other photos were taken at La Reunion Cemetery/Fish Trap Cemetery in West Dallas by Paula Bosse on May 21, 2016. The location of the cemetery can be seen on Google Maps here.

An interesting tidbit about the grapevines: when the French colonists prepared to venture to Texas, several took cuttings of plants to take with them, with the intention of planting them in their new home and being able to enjoy wine made from the grape varieties of their homeland. When the colonists arrived in Texas, they planted/propagated the cuttings in Houston, unsure if the plants would survive the month-long walk (!) to Dallas after the lengthy ocean crossing. The flourishing plants were uprooted and transported to La Reunion by later arrivals. It is not inconceivable that the grape leaves seen growing today at the colony’s old cemetery might be descendants of the colonists’ imported grapevines.

The location of the La Reunion land was, more or less, 2,000 acres in West Dallas, with modern-day boundaries being Westmoreland on the west, N. Hampton on the east, the south bank of the Trinity on the north, and W. Davis Street on the south.

In a 1933 letter to The Dallas Morning News, Dallas resident George Cretien — who was born in 1856 in La Reunion (“Frenchtown to the native”) — disputed the location of the colony being near Westmoreland, where the old Delord ruins still stood at the time:

“The village of the colonists was located about a mile northeast of the Delord place on the bluff that the cement company has mostly destroyed for the making of its product.” (DMN, Sept. 17, 1933)

So there. In other words, Cement City: The Early Years.

Thanks again to Stephanie Kuo of KERA for inviting me to participate!

Click photos to see larger images.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Titche’s Discovers the Suburbs — 1961-1968

titches_dallas-stores_1969-directoryTitche’s has you covered… (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Edward Titche and Max Goettinger founded the Titche-Goettinger department store in Dallas in 1902, and in 1904 they moved into the new Wilson Building. In the late 1920s they built their own George Dahl-designed building at Main and St. Paul, which was greatly enlarged and expanded in 1955. The store was popular with downtown shoppers, and profits continued to rise. The next logical step was to open additional stores. It took a while (59 years), but in October, 1961 they opened three — three! — new suburban stores. How was that possible? Because Titche’s (or their then-parent company) purchased the Fort Worth department store chain The Fair of Texas, and several of its stores were re-christened as Titche’s stores (the others eventually became Monnig’s stores).

The ad above is from the 1969 Dallas city directory and shows that by 1969, there were seven Titche’s stores in the Dallas area. Titche’s bit the dust decades ago, and I have to admit that the only Titche’s store I actually remember ever being in was the one in NorthPark (and I might mostly be remembering Joske’s…). I had no idea about any of these other stores (other than the one at Main and St. Paul, which I wish I had been to!).


The oldest store in the ad above was the one on Main at St. Paul, still standing, still looking good (but, sadly, with that fab logo gone forever).



The second store was located in North Dallas in the Preston Forest Shopping Center, at the southeast corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane. When this opened as Titches’ first suburban store, the paint must still have been wet. It was originally built as a Fair of Texas store, with its opening scheduled for August, 1961. It was opened in October, 1961 as a Titche’s store — remodeled from the original Amos Parrish Associates of New York design (seen here, in a rendering). (The Fair version was much more interesting!)



One week later (!), the next two stores opened on the same day: in the Wynnewood Shopping Village in Oak Cliff, and in the Lochwood Shopping Village on Garland Road in far East Dallas. These two stores had been Fair stores and had opened at the same time in August, 1960. The two drawings below look pretty much the same as the rendering of the pre-remodeled Preston Forest store (all designed by Amos Parrish Assoc.). (An interesting tidbit about the Lochwood location: when this store was built by The Fair of Texas — a department store with Fort Worth roots going back to the 1880s or 1890s — it was the first Fair store in Dallas. In honor of this hands-across-the-prairie moment of business expansion, a truckload of Fort Worth dirt was brought over and “mixed symbolically” with Dallas dirt at the 1959 Lochwood groundbreaking.)




The Arlington store was also a former Fair store; it opened as Titche’s in July, 1963.



The NorthPark store — which occupied a quarter of a million square feet — was one of the first five stores to open in the brand new mall, in July 1965. NorthPark Center is known for its wonderfully sleek, clean, no-nonsense modern architecture (as seen below), but an early proposed Titche’s rendering from 1962 (seen here) looks a little fussy.



And, lastly, in this 1960s wave of expansion, a second downtown Dallas location was opened in the new One Main Place in December, 1968 in the form of “Miss Titche,” a concept-store created to appeal to “career girls” who worked downtown and enjoyed shopping during their lunch hours. It was located on the “plaza level” which sounds like it might have been part of the then-new underground tunnel system of shops. If newspaper ads are anything to go on, it looks like Miss Titche managed to hang on until at least 1975.



Titche’s continued opening new stores into the 1970s, but in August, 1978, it was announced that Titches’ parent company, Allied Stores Corp., was changing the names of all Dallas-area Titche’s stores to “Joske’s.” The nine Titche’s stores operating until the changeover were the flagship store downtown, Preston Forest, Lochwood Village (which became The Treehouse in 1974), Wynnewood, Arlington, NorthPark, Town East, Irving, and Red Bird.

And, just like that, after 72 years, the name of one of Dallas’ oldest department stores vanished.



Sources & Notes

Ad and details from the 1969 Polk’s Greater Dallas City Directory.

More on Titche-Goettinger can be found at the Department Store Museum, here.

Images larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Our Lady of Good Counsel, Oak Cliff — 1901-1961

our-lady-of-good-counsel_1944-yrbkOur Lady of Good Counsel, 1944… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Talking to my aunt today reminded me that she briefly attended Our Lady of Good Counsel, the all-girls Catholic high school in Oak Cliff next to the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, at the northwest corner of North Marsalis (originally named Grand Avenue) and 9th Street. I’m still not sure why she went there (our family isn’t Catholic), but she seems to have enjoyed her time there for a year or two before she transferred to Crozier Tech.

The school building was the former palatial home of wealthy businessman James T. Dargan, a one-time partner of Thomas L. Marsalis. The house was built about 1888, and according to Dallas Rediscovered author William L. McDonald, it was designed by the Dallas architectural firm of Stewart and Fuller.

dargan_1889-directory1889 Dallas directory

The church was holding services in Oak Cliff as early as 1901, and an affiliated school was established by Rev. Francis P. Maginn in September of that year. It appears that the Dargan house was acquired in 1902, the same year that the (new?) church building was dedicated in ceremonies officiated by Bishop E. J. Dunne.

Below, the new church can be seen in a photo which appeared in The Dallas Morning News on the day of its dedication in June, 1902 (all images are larger when clicked):

church-of-blessed-sacrament_dmn_061502_photoDMN, June 15, 1902

The neighboring school can be seen in these two early photos:

Our Lady of Good Counsel, ca. 1902

Our Lady of Good Counsel, ca. 1905

The school’s founder, Rev. F. P. Maginn:

DMN, June 15, 1902

OLGC_dmn_042302DMN, April 23, 1902

And an early ad for the school, from 1903 (“Discipline mild, yet firm”):


Here it is in 1942:


And here are some of the LGC high school students from 1944, looking bobby-soxer-y (with another view of the augmented house in the lower left corner):


The newest additions to the building can be seen in the 1959 yearbook:


In 1961, Our Lady of Good Counsel was a fast-fading memory: a new 32-acre campus had been acquired and on it had been built the new (coed) Bishop Dunne High School. Mr. Dargan’s old house-turned-school-building was torn down a few years later, and the land became a parking lot for the Blessed Sacrament church next door (which had also seen many changes and a new building over the years). Today, the view of the land the Dargan house sat on 130 years ago looks like this. (The church looks like this.)

The church in 1930:


And in 1958 (from the LGC yearbook):


This visual aid will help give an idea of the acreage of both the school (circled in red) and the church (circled in blue), via the 1905 Sanborn map:


I’m still not sure why my aunt went there….


UPDATE: For those who might have wanted to see some interior photos, I didn’t find many, other than typical classroom shots, but here are some additional photos, a couple of which show the hallway.

Between classes, 1959:


Girls lining up to go into class, 1960:


Girls outside playing volleyball, 1960:


I had erroneously assumed that LGC was an all-girls 4-year high school; I believe it was a 12-year school, with boys and girls up to high school level, when it became girls-only. This photo appeared in the 1960 yearbook with the following caption: “The safety of all LGC students is the responsibility of the school as long as the students are on campus. For this reason, Officer H. A. Baxtley is available every day as a gracious escort for our little ‘Lions’ across the busy Ninth and Marsalis intersection.”


And finally, because I’m such a movie nerd who loves character actors, I was happily surprised to see that the actress K Callan was a 23-year-old drama teacher (etc.) at the school in 1959. (Callan was born in Dallas as Katherine “Kay” Borman and attended Ursuline and North Texas.)




Sources & Notes

All photos of the school (except the one from 1905) are from various editions of Reveries, the yearbook for Our Lady of Good Counsel.

The 1902 photo was posted in the Dallas History Guild Facebook group.

The 1905 photo is from Dallas Rediscovered by William L. McDonald (p. 215), with the following credit: “Courtesy of Sister M. Adelaide Mars.”

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church still stands, at 231 N. Marsalis; their website is here.

All images are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Zang and Beckley

oak-cliff_zang-and-beckley_dfw-freewaysGulf’s “No-Nox” gas just 18¢/gallon… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This photo shows the Oak Cliff intersection of N. Zang Blvd. and N. Beckley Ave. The 1953 Dallas directory shows L. B. Poche’s Oak Cliff Tire Co. at 1101 N. Zangs and K. R. Hollis’ Gulf service station at 1102 N. Zangs (this was before that “s” in the street name was eliminated).

The photo comes from the exhaustive tome Dallas-Fort Worth Highways, Texas-Sized Ambition by Oscar Slotboom. His caption for this photo (found on page 98 of the PDF here):

This undated view shows the predecessor of IH 35, US 67, aligned on Zang Boulevard through Oak Cliff just south of downtown at the intersection with Beckley Avenue. The three highway shields show that this alignment also served US 77 and US 80. The narrow streets leading into downtown were unable to handle increasing traffic after World War II, making freeway construction a top priority.

Zang Boulevard was originally called “Zang’s Boulevard” (later just “Zangs Boulevard”) after J. F. Zang. When it opened in 1900 it was the only direct road between Dallas and Oak Cliff.

Dallas Morning News, Oct. 26, 1900


Sources & Notes

Oscar Slotboom’s Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways website is pretty amazing. If you’re interested in the evolution of Dallas’ highway system, you will be glued to this site which is full of incredibly detailed information.

Photo and clipping are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved

Ewing Avenue, Oak Cliff

oak-cliff_ewing-avenue_flickr_colteraStately and serene Oak Cliff… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Another lovely hand-colored postcard from the C. Weichsel Co. — this one shows a sleepy, gauzy-looking Ewing Avenue in Oak Cliff, probably around 1910. According to the 1910 Dallas directory, Ewing Avenue stretched from S. Jefferson (now E. Jefferson) to 18th Street (it may have extended beyond that, but 18th Street was, apparently, the city limits).

If anyone knows the location of this view or the owner of this house, please let me know. I don’t think any part of Ewing — North or South — looks like this anymore!


Postcard found on Flickr, posted by Coltera (sorry, did not note the link).


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Roth’s, Fort Worth Avenue

roths_cook-collection_smuSign me up, Mr. Roth… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

When I see a building like this, I always hope I can find a photo of it somewhere, but all I’ve been able to come up with is this energetic rendering from a 1940s matchbook cover. Roth’s (which was advertised variously as Roth’s Cafe, Roth’s Restaurant, and Roth’s Drive-In) was in Oak Cliff, on Fort Worth Avenue. It opened in about 1940 or ’41 and operated a surprisingly long time — until about 1967. When Roth’s opened, its address was 2701 Fort Worth Avenue, but around 1952 or ’53 the address became 2601. (I think the numbering might have changed rather than the business moving to a new location a block down the street.)

During World War II, Mustang Village — a large housing development originally built for wartime workers (and, later, for returning veterans) — sprang up across Fort Worth Avenue from the restaurant. It was intended to be temporary housing only, but because Dallas suffered such a severe post-war housing shortage, Mustang Village (as well as its sister Oak Cliff “villages” La Reunion and Texan Courts) ended up being occupied into the ’50s. Suddenly there were a lot more people in that part of town, living, working, and, presumably, visiting restaurants.

As the 1960s dawned, Mustang Village was just a memory, and Roth’s new across-the-street neighbor was the enormous, brand new, headline-grabbing Bronco Bowl, which opened to much fanfare in September, 1961. I don’t know whether such close proximity to that huge self-contained entertainment complex hurt or helped Roth’s business, but it certainly must have increased traffic along Fort Worth Avenue.

Roth’s continued operations until it closed in 1967, perhaps not so coincidentally the same year that Oak Cliff’s beloved Sivils closed. Ernest Roth, like J. D. Sivils, most likely threw in the towel when a series of “wet” vs. “dry” votes in Oak Cliff continued to go against frustrated restaurant owners who insisted that their inability to sell beer and wine not only damaged their own businesses but also adversely affected the Oak Cliff economy. The last straw for Sivils and Roth may have been the unsuccessful petition drive in 1966/1967 to force a “beer election” — read about it here in a Morning News article from Aug. 17, 1966).

As far as that super-cool building seen at the top — I don’t know how long it remained standing, but when Roth’s closed, a mobile home dealer set up shop at 2601 Fort Worth Avenue, and mobile homes need a lot of parking space….

The building on the matchbook cover above is, unfortunately, long gone (as is the much-missed Bronco Bowl); the area today is occupied by asphalt, bland strip malls, and soulless corporate “architecture” (see what 2701 Fort Worth Avenue looks like today, here).


The man behind Roth’s was Ernest W. Roth, a Hungarian immigrant who had worked for many years as maître-d’ at the Adolphus Hotel’s tony Century Room. He decided to go out on his own, and around 1940 he and his business partner Joseph Weintraub (who was also his brother-in-law) opened the Oak Cliff restaurant which boasted two dining rooms (with a seating capacity of 350, suitable for parties and banquets), fine steaks, and a live band and dancing on the weekends. Ernest’s wife Martha and their son Milton were also part of the family business. When the restaurant opened, there wasn’t much more out there on the “Fort Worth cut-off,” but the place must have been doing something right, because Roth’s lasted for at least 27 years — an eternity in the restaurant business. It seems to have remained a popular Oak Cliff dining destination until it closed around 1967.


The real story, though, is the Roth family, especially Ernest’s mother, Johanna Roth, and even more especially, his older sister, Bertha Weintraub.

Johanna Rose Roth was born in 1863 in Budapest, where her father served as a member of the King’s Guard for Emperor Franz Josef. She and her husband and young children came to the United States about 1906 and, by 1913, eventually made their way to San Antonio. In the ’40s and ’50s she traveled by airplane back and forth between San Antonio and Dallas, visiting her five children and their families — she was known to the airlines as one of their most frequent customers (and one of their oldest). She died in Dallas in 1956 at the age of 92.

Johanna’s daughter Bertha Roth Weintraub had a very interesting life. She, too was born in Hungary — in 1890. After her husband Joe’s death in the mid ’40s, a regular at her brother’s restaurant, Abe Weinstein — big-time entertainment promoter and burlesque club empresario — offered Bertha a job as cashier at the Colony Club, his “classy” burlesque nightclub located across from the Adolphus. She accepted and, amazingly, worked there for 28 years, retiring only when the club closed in 1972 — when she was 82 years old! It sounds like she led a full life, which took her from Budapest to New York to San Francisco to San Antonio to Austin and to Dallas; she bluffed her way into a job as a dress designer, ran a boarding house in a house once owned by former Texas governor James Hogg, hobnobbed with Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liberace, was a friend of Candy Barr, and, as a child, was consoled by the queen of Hungary. She died in Dallas in 1997, a week and a half before her 107th birthday. (The story Larry Powell wrote about her in The Dallas Morning News — “Aunt Bertha’s Book Filled With 97 Years of Memories” (DMN, Nov. 17, 1987) — is very entertaining and well worth tracking down in the News archives.)

Bertha Roth Weintraub

I feel certain that the extended Roth family found themselves entertained by quite a few unexpected stories around holiday dinner tables!


Sources & Notes

Matchbook cover (top image) is from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more info is here.

Photo of Bertha Weintraub is from The Texas Jewish Post (Feb. 15, 1990), via the Portal to Texas History, here.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Ruin of La Reunion — The Delord House

la-reunion_ruins_tx-centennial-brochure_belo_1935_portalRuins of the Delord house… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

I’m the first to admit that my knowledge of the La Reunion colony — an 1850s European utopian settlement which was located a little west of the Trinity River, later the site of Cement City — is not as thorough as it should be. There are a few photos of ruins of the “Old French Colony” which one sees fairly regularly, but I don’t think I’ve seen the one above before. It appeared in a Texas Centennial brochure printed in 1935. The date of the photo is not provided, but it was probably taken in the 1930s. The caption: “Texas Landmarks Series. No. 12. RUIN OF ‘LA REUNION,’ OLD FRENCH COLONY, Dallas, Texas.” (I’m not sure what landmarks 1-11 were, but this was an interesting choice to illustrate Dallas to potential out-of-town visitors coming for the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936.)

This is the Delord house, the last survivor of buildings directly connected to members of the utopian colony. Here’s another photo of the house — it appeared in the WPA Dallas Guide and History, with the caption “Delord House, Last of Reunion.”


Below, a description of the house, built shortly after the La Reunion colony had sputtered its last breaths, and its location, from The Dallas Journal in 1936:

Constructed [in 1859] by Francois, Joseph and Pierre Girard, Jr., sons of Pierre Girard, one of the colonists. This house faced on North Westmoreland Avenue near the intersection of Highway 80. It was built for and occupied by Alphonse Delord, a banker who came to the colony from Paris, France, with his wife, daughter, and son in the year of 1856.

This differs from the account of the WPA Dallas Guide and History:

The house was built in 1859 for the widow of Alphonse Delord shortly after the colony had ceased to function as a Fourierist phalange, or self-contained, cooperative community, as its founders had intended. Madame Delord had invested heavily in the short-lived La Reunion Company, and when it dissolved, received forty acres of land as her share of the communal property. On this tract Pierre, Joseph, and Francois Girard, three brothers who had come to Texas with their father in 1856 and had taken up the occupation of architects and builders, constructed a house for her. She resided here until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 when she returned to France with their children.

The La Reunion settlement was not far from this house. According to George Cretien, who was born in the La Reunion colony, “The village of the colonists was located about a mile northeast of the Delord place on the bluff that the cement company has mostly destroyed for the making of its product” (Dallas Morning News, Sept. 17, 1933).

The most recent photo I found of the house still (sort of) standing was the one below (click to see a larger image), from a 1943 Dallas Morning News story about emergency war-time housing built by the Federal Public Housing Authority for North American Aviation workers (see “View War Housing Site,” DMN, Sept. 12, 1943). They had to build a LOT of housing (800 dwellings on the same tract the DeLord house was crumbling onto), and that quaint stone house built in the 1850s might have been bulldozed to make way for cheap housing which was meant to be temporary (which actually  ended up not being temporary).

Just a guess on my part that this was when the old stone house bit the dust. If it managed to survive the FPHA bulldozers, please let me know.

It would have been nice to have preserved such an early relic of an important era in Dallas’ history — and there was a move to do that very thing. But, well, there you go.



Sources & Notes

Top photo from a Texas Centennial brochure printed by the A. H. Belo Corporation in 1935; the brochure can be viewed on the Portal to Texas History site, here.

Bottom photo appeared in The Dallas Journal on March 27, 1935; I found it on the Dallas History Facebook group.

More on the Delord (or DeLord) house can be found in the informative (if short-lived) blog, La Reunion History, here.

La Reunion page on Wikipedia is here.

Previous Flashback Dallas posts on La Reunion (or, La Réunion for the sticklers) can be found here.

Click photos to see larger images.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Sunset High School on Film — 1970

sunset-pt-2_3_pep-rallyPep rally in progress… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Thanks to the heads-up from UNT media librarian and film/video archivist Laura Treat, I now know about “Spotlight on North Texas,” a collaborative project between the University of North Texas Libraries and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) to preserve North Texas film history. The bulk of the collection centers on Denton County, but there are the occasional glimpses of Dallas, such as the 3-part “Sunset on Film” which was shot by student James Dunlap in and around Sunset High School in 1970 on Super-8 film (without sound). It’s definitely a student effort — nerdy and charming — but it has lots of great footage, and if you are a Sunset alum, you’ll probably see a lot of familiar sights from your Oak Cliff school days. And for those who missed the era when high school students dressed like extras from The Partridge Family or The Brady Bunch — and who swarmed to get their bikes after school (when was the last time you saw that?!) — this will be almost exotic.

PART 1 (running time 7:55) is here (click image on UNT site, then click the “play” arrow — don’t forget to watch in full-screen). The images below are screenshots from the digitized film; they are larger — and grainier — when clicked.



Vogue Theater alert!


PART 2 (running time 11:51) is here.


sunset-pt-2_2Pep rally alert!


PART 3 (running time 10:43) is here.

sunset-pt-3_1Groovy mini-skirt alert!

sunset-pt-3_2AMC Gremlin alert!



Sources & Notes

More about last year’s “Spotlight on North Texas” project can be found here. You can see what’s been uploaded here. They also have a Facebook page, here.

All images in this post are screenshots taken from the film(s) “Sunset on Film,” which was donated by Blaine Dunlap to the Spotlight on North Texas collection, University of North Texas Media Library; accessible on the UNT-hosted Portal to Texas History website.

More on filmmaker Blaine Dunlap can be found in “Spotlight on Dallas Filmmakers: Blaine Dunlap” by Laura Treat, here.

See a related Flashback Dallas post about another of Blaine Dunlap’s films, “Sometimes I Run: Dallas Noir — 1973.”

Thanks, Laura!


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


West Jefferson and Tyler — 1913

mallorys-drug-store_ca-1913_cook-collection_smuWhy, yes, we ARE accessible by streetcar… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Every time I pass the northwest corner of West Jefferson and Tyler in Oak Cliff, I admire this building. Actually, I love this building. And I’m always surprised it’s still there.

This photo shows Tyler St. to the right and Jefferson Blvd. heading off to the left. See what it looks like today on Google Street View, here.

It appears to have been built in 1911 or 1912. And it still looks pretty good.

Thank you, Oak Cliff!


Sources & Notes

Real photo postcard titled “Mallory’s Drug Store” from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; see the card front and back and read more information here.

A couple of other photos can be found in the post “Dallas in ‘The Western Architect,’ 1914: Businesses,” here (scroll down to number 7). Seems the building was designed by architect C. A. Gill, the man behind the famed Gill Well.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


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