Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: White Rock Lake

Old Lake Highlands

white-rock-lake_old-lake-highlands_1956_don-jones1956, Room to spread out…

by Paula Bosse

The photo above — taken in 1956 — shows an aerial view of Old Lake Highlands, looking southwesterly toward White Rock Lake. The street in the foreground is Kirkwood Drive.

But for even older Old Lake Highlands, we need to cast our minds back to 1927, when W. H. Brouse began to advertise for one of his many East Dallas developments. One of the ads from the Lake Highlands Co. (W. McCarty Moore, President and H. W. Brouse, Director of Sales) read:


Another High-Class Residence  Section For Dallas on White Rock Lake

Believing in Dallas — believing in the continued rapid absorption of territory to the north and east for homes — and especially that beautiful terrain surrounding White Rock Lake, Lake Highlands was conceived and made possible by the owning company.

The tract — some 117 acres — is especially advantageously located in that it is right on the lake itself — just a short drive from the dam, and is bounded by water on three sides. A peninsular piece of ground, in fact.

The ad also noted that “lots will be large — prices low”: $1,100 and $1,200 (about $18,000-$19,500 in today’s money).



And, in a Dallas Morning News real estate advertorial were these additional deets:

Lake Highlands is situated just beyond Dixon’s Branch, on the east shore of the lake, and is accessible directly from the downtown section by Swiss and Gaston avenues and the old Garland road, leading into the lake road. This, in turn, gives access to the 100-foot boulevard, which will circle the whole development, and from which lead streets seventy feet in width, reaching every lot in the development. Roadways and streets will be surfaced with white gravel, while curbs and sidewalks will be installed in advance of building development, as will all utilities, lights, water, gas and sewer facilities….

Construction will be restricted to homes to cost $5,500 to $7,500 minimums [$90,000-$122,000 today], depending on the location of the lots on which they are built. Materials will be limited to brick, hollow tile and stucco, so as automatically to eliminate the fire hazard and also to assure permanence.

I’m sure life on the lake in 1927 was worth every penny.

kirkwood_white-rock-lake_googleGoogle Maps


Sources & Notes

I came across the photo at the top of this post several years ago in a photo blog hosted by The Dallas Morning News, but the blog doesn’t seem to exist any longer. The caption noted that the photo had been shared by Lynn Jones who had come across it when going through a collection of color slides inherited by her husband when Don Jones died in 2010.

Quotes from the real estate advertorial, “Plan Homes at White Rock” (Dallas Morning News, Oct. 9, 1927).



Copyright © 2022 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Miscellaneous Dallas #2

rainbow-restaurant_tichnor-bros-collection_boston-public-libraryOpen 24 hours, plenty of free parking…

by Paula Bosse

And now, a bunch of homeless, random images (all are larger when clicked).

Above, the 24-hour Rainbow Restaurant, 1627 N. Industrial at Irving Blvd. Below, its menu.



Thomas Confectionery, 1100 Elm Street. “Largest Confectionery In the State.” Popular date spot with the pre-flapper generation.

thomas-confectionary_postcard_1911_sam-rayburn-house-museum-via-portal1911 (via Portal to Texas History)

thomas-confectionery_0915121912. Dallas Morning News want-ad


Fair Park Church of God in Christ, 1036 S. Carroll Ave.

fair-park-church-of-god-in-christ_1974_USC-libraries 1974 (via USC Libraries)

And it’s still standing! (I love that the curb tiles are still there.)

fair-park-church-of-god-in-christ_google-street-view-20172017 (via Google Street View)


The Knox Street Business District, pre-Central Expressway. …Way pre.

knox-street-business-district_1932-smu-rotunda1932 (via SMU Rotunda)


A. Harris & Co. — Texas Centennial Commemorative Paper (gift wrap?).

tx-centennial_a-harris_gift-paper_elm-fork-echoes_april-1986_portal-tx-hist1936 (via Portal to Texas History)


The Lakewood Country Club (see it before the landscaping in this photo from this post).

lakewood-country-club_postcard_ebay(via eBay)


The McFarland Drug Co., 598 Elm, at Hawkins, in Deep Ellum (later became 2424 Elm).

mcfarland-drug-co_hints-to-housekeepers_degolyer_SMU_19051905 (via DeGolyer Library, SMU)


The Lyric Theatre, 364 Elm, near Stone (later 1602 Elm).

lyric-theater_degolyer-lib_SMU_dallas-theaters_nd1907-ish (via DeGolyer Library, SMU)


Dudley M. Hughes Funeral Home, 400 E. Jefferson Blvd, Oak Cliff.

dudley-hughes-funeral-home_tichnor-bros_boston-public-library(via Tichnor Bros. Collection, Boston Public Library)


“A Drive in White Rock Valley.” Before the lake.

white-rock-valley_postcard_1912_ebay(via eBay)


Sources & Notes

Rainbow Restaurant postcard is from the Tichnor Bros. Postcard Collection, Boston Public Library.

See the first installment of “Miscellaneous Dallas” here.



Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Snow at White Rock Lake: The Bath House and Winfrey Point

snow_white-rock-lake_bath-house_squire-haskins_UTA_ndA snowy Bath House at WRL… (photo: Squire Haskins/UTA)

by Paula Bosse

I’m racing to post this — like many in the Dallas area (or, really, in the ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS!), power availability has been spotty. Mine has been out more than it’s been on over the past few days. I have a brief window here to post a couple of wonderful aerial photos showing a snow-dusted White Rock Lake, taken by ace Dallas photographer Squire Haskins. Both are undated.

Above, a shot of the eastern edge of the lake, with the Bath House seen in the center. (Take a look at a larger image at the University of Texas at Arlington website here — click the thumbnail image on that page  to see the larger image — then click one more time to magnify.)

Below, a shot of Winfrey Point, also on the eastern edge of the lake, a little farther south. (See the larger image at the UTA site here.)


Here’s a map of WRL showing the locations, via Google:



Funny, I used to love snow. It was always such a thrill on those rare occasions when it snowed. …Back when we all had heat and electricity. Ah, those were the days….

Stay warm, y’all. If you need information on “warming stations,” the City is directing people to call 211.


Sources & Notes

Both photos are by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography Inc. Collection, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, Special Collections. More information on these photographs is at the links above.



Copyright © 2021 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

The White Rock Lake District: “Where Life Is Worth Living!” — 1926

white-rock-lake-district_dmn_050226_detThe idyllic view from an East Dallas villa…. (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

In 1926, East Dallas was in a frenzy of development. There were so many new neighborhoods: Gastonwood, Country Club Estates, West Lake Park, Forest Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Parks Estates, Munger Place Heights, Pasadena, Camp Estates, Hughes Estates, Temple Place.


The New East Dallas
Where living is delightful and where life is worth living!



Sources & Notes

Ad from May, 1926. The detail — which shows a heart-stoppingly lovely vision of what might or might not have been a view from a home in the “White Rock Lake District” — is a Dallas I’ve never seen, but it’s one I’ll dream of.

To read a very informative article (or, I think it’s probably more of an “advertorial” written by a real estate company with land holdings in East Dallas), rifle through the Dallas Morning News archives until you find the article/advertisement titled “East Dallas Section Has Fast Growth” (DMN, May 2, 1926). As I said, it’s quite informative — with detailed info on the micro neighborhoods of East Dallas, many of which I’d never heard of.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

4th of July at White Rock Lake — 1946

july-4th_1946_white-rock-lakeSo much going on here! (Click for super-gigantic image!)

by Paula Bosse

I love absolutely everything about this photo of July 4th celebrants relaxing at White Rock Lake near the Bath House (back when people actually swam in the lake!). All that’s needed is a pet monkey on a leash and a few parasols, and you’d have an updated Tex-ified version of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte painting.


This is a photo definitely worth zooming in on. All images here are really big — click ’em! You can practically smell the wienies roasting/croissants baking. Have a happy and safe 4th of July!





Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


White Rock Lake From Above — 1925-1926

white-rock-lake_fairchild-aerial_1925_legacies_fall-2002Fairchild Aerial Survey photograph, 1925 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, a striking view of White Rock Lake, looking north, with Garland Road and the Houston & Texas Central Railroad tracks (becoming the Texas & New Orleans Railroad tracks in 1934) crossing at the lower center of the photograph, just southwest of the lake. Another Fairchild Aerial Survey photo is below — this one is from 1926, and its wider view shows just how undeveloped this area was at the time.

white-rock-lake_fairchild-aerial_degolyer_smu_1926Fairchild Aerial Survey photo, 1926 (DeGolyer Library, SMU)


Here’s a present day view. (Click the image below to see a huge Google Earth image.)



Sources & Notes

Top photo from the very interesting article “From Water Supply to Urban Oasis: A History of the Development of White Rock Lake Park” by Steven Butler (Legacies, Fall 2002), here.

Bottom photo, titled “White Rock Lake Aerial Overview (Unlabeled)” is from the DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; it can be accessed (and magnified greatly) here. The “labeled” version — which identifies roads and landmarks — is here. From the SMU description: “This is one of 38 photographic prints taken by Fairchild Aerial Survey, Inc. of White Rock Lake for Dr. Samuel G. Geiser, SMU.” The full set of the White Rock Lake aerial photos is here. A map here shows where the grid maps are in relation to the lake as a whole.

Thanks to “Not Bob” for linking to the Google Earth image in the comments!

These photos are big. Click them!


Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


“Experimental” Bus Trip to White Rock Lake — 1925

white-rock-bus_dmn_071625Next stop: White Rock Lake

by Paula Bosse

In the 1920s, White Rock Lake was becoming a popular nearby recreation area and beauty spot. It was a bit of a drive to get out there, though. Bus operators were wangling to get the contract to transport tired and pale Dallasites to a nice day out at the lake. The caption accompanying the above photo:

“This city type bus will make an experimental trip to White Rock with city officials, applicants for bus franchise and newspaper men to test adaptability of various routes to bus line operation. Busses [sic] of this type, said C. D. Cain, who has been voted the White Rock franchise informally by the City Commission, will be run on the line when the franchise is formally granted.”


Sources & Notes

Photo and caption from The Dallas Morning News, July 16, 1925.


Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Mars Needs Women” — The Dallas Locations

1-mars-oak-lawnOak Lawn & Lemmon, 1966 (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Chances are, if you’re a native Dallasite and you’re a cult movie buff, you’ve heard of Dallas filmmaker Larry Buchanan (1923-2004), the self-described “schlockmeister” who made a ton of low-budget movies in Dallas, almost all of which are considered to fall in the “so-bad-they’re-good” category. I’ve made it through only three of them, and while they’re definitely not great (or even good, really), there were moments I enjoyed.

Buchanan’s most well-known movie — if only because the title has worked itself into the sci-fi vernacular — is Mars Needs Women, shot in Dallas in a couple of weeks in late 1966, starring former Disney child star Tommy Kirk and future star of “Batgirl,” Yvonne Craig. For me, the worst thing about the movie is its incredibly slow, molasses-like editing (courtesy of writer-director-editor Buchanan who was working on contract to churn out movies that had to be cut to a very specific running time, and he’s obviously padding here with interminably long scenes that drag and drag). And then there’s the dull stock footage and weird background music that I swear I’ve heard in every cheap Western ever made. Still … it has its charm.

But the BEST thing about this movie (and, presumably, his others) is that it was shot entirely in Dallas, using a lot of instantly recognizable locations. (Every time I saw a place I knew, I perked up — it reminded me a bit of seeing Bottle Rocket for the first time — almost shocked to see common every-day places in an honest-to-god MOVIE!) So, if you don’t feel you can sit through the whole thing (available, by the way, in its entirety online — see link at bottom), I’ve watched it for you, with a whole bunch of screen shots. So feast your eyes on what Dallas looked like in November of 1966. (By the way, because the movie revolves around …. Mars needing women, the movie is actually set in Houston, home of the Johnson Space Center. Even though you see the very distinctive Dallas skyline — repeatedly. Houston! You wish, Houston!)

My favorite shot is the one at the top of this page and is seen in the first 90 seconds of the movie: Oak Lawn at Lemmon, with the familiar Lucas B & B sign at the right. This area was used a few more times. One character goes into the old Esquire theater, but, sadly, there was no establishing shot showing that great old neon sign. I think the first interior — showing a couple at a lounge — was shot in the swanky private club, Club Village, at 3211 Oak Lawn (at Hall), just a short hop from Oak Lawn and Lemmon.


Next, we’re off to White Rock Lake.

2-mars_pump1White Rock Lake. Shot day-for-night, with the pump station in the distance.

3-mars-pump2White Rock Lake pump station, where the Martians are headquartered as they search for healthy, single women to take back to Mars to help re-populate the planet.

4-mars_love-field-extLove Field parking lot. Still shooting day-for-night. Badly.

5- mars-southland-lifeThe Southland Life Building, etc., magically transported to Houston.

7-mars-athens-stripAthens Strip — a strip joint on Lower Greenville, one block north of the old Arcadia Theater. I’ve never heard of this place, but I came across the story of a guy who had visited the place back around this time and remembered one of the VERY unhappy dancers who hurled handfuls of the coins (!) that had been tossed onstage back into the audience, with such force that his face and chin sustained minor lacerations.

8-mars-needs-women_athens-strip_bubbles-cashLocal celebrity-stripper “Bubbles” Cash, inside Athens Strip. Plainclothes Martian (standing) ponders whether she has what it takes to birth a nation. (She does.)

9-mars-watchMy favorite example of what a director is forced to resort to when there is no budget. This is some sort of sophisticated communication device. I think those are matchsticks.

10-mars-yvonne-craigYvonne Craig, without a doubt the best actor in the movie. In fact, she’s really good. She had already made a few movies in Hollywood at this point, but the lure of a starring role brought her back to her hometown (where the newspapers reported she was happily staying with her parents during the two-week shoot).

11- mars-band-shellMartian #1 and sexy space geneticist strolling through Fair Park — band shell behind them, to the left.

12-mars-planetariumThe Fair Park planetarium.

13-mars_love-fieldLove Field. I love the interior shots of the airport in this movie. (The stewardess walking down the stairs? Destined for Mars.)

14-mars-cotton-bowlCotton Bowl, shot during a homecoming game between SMU and Baylor. Some shots show a packed stadium, some show this. Word of warning to the homecoming queen, Sherry Roberts: do NOT accept that flower delivery!

15-mars-meadowsSMU, Meadows School of the Arts. I love the pan across the front of the building. Mars Needs Co-Eds.

17-mars_BMOCSMU. BMOC (Big Martian On Campus).

18-mars-collins-radioThe one location I couldn’t figure out. And it’s because it isn’t in Dallas. It’s the Collins Radio building in Richardson, a company that was absorbed by/bought out by/merged with Rockwell International. I think all the interior and exterior shots which are supposed to be NASA were shot here. How did a low-budget director like Larry Buchanan get into a place like that? According to a 1986 Texas Monthly article, Buchanan, in his day-job career as an ad-man, was hired by Collins Radio in 1961 to work in their “audio-visual” department” (the man who hired him was Harold Hoffman, whose later film work with Buchanan was done under the name Hal Dwain).

19-mars-collins-radioSo, yeah — COOL location.

20-mars_fair-parkMore Fair Park, more murky day-for-night.

21-mars_pump3White Rock Lake pump station, aka the Martian lair.

22-mars-saucerFANTASTIC flying saucer. Do the Martians get their five healthy, single women on board the ship and get them back home? You’ll have to watch it for yourself to find out.

23-mars-endYou tell ’em, Konnie.


Check back in a few days for more on Larry Buchanan (including a long-lost photo of him at work back in his advertising days in the 1950s).

UPDATE: Here it is — Larry Buchanan filming a Chrysler spot in the Katy railyard in 1955 for Dallas’ Jamieson Film Company, here.


Sources & Notes

The entire movie is on YouTube in a pretty good print. Watch it here.

Larry Buchanan Wikipedia page is here.

Mars Needs Women Wikipedia page is here.

Collins Radio/Rockwell Collins Wikipedia page is here.

Consult the Dallas Morning News archives to read a somewhat sarcastic Dallas Morning News article by Kent Biffle on the shooting of the Cotton Bowl sequence (I miss his Texana columns!): “That UFO Was a Field Goal” (Nov. 20, 1966).

All images larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.


Lazy Weekends, Cruising White Rock Lake — 1972

white-rock_city-folk_1972_EPACruisin’ ’70s-style…

by Paula Bosse

Back before the days of joggers and bikers, one used to be able to drive around White Rock Lake. All the way around. No dead ends, no detours. People used to cruise it on the weekends — the road would be packed solid. I assume the homeowners grew weary of this and put an end to things by having the road chopped up to prevent continuous cruising. Figures. Here’s a look at one weekend in April of 1972, from a series of photos taken by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of their Documerica project which documented areas of environmental concern. Things all look pretty good here, except for the final photo showing ducks paddling alongside trash at the water’s edge — a scene that might make the Keep America Beautiful Indian shed another tear.

A description of these photos (provided, I think, by the EPA):

City folk come in droves each weekend to once-isolated White Rock Lake. Some come to picnic, sail or fish. Some just want to be where the action is [man].

Another caption:

Once-unspoiled and rather isolated, White Rock has become a city dweller’s weekend mecca, attracting people looking for ‘action’ as much as those seeking relief from urban pressures.











Sources & Notes

These photos — from the EPA’s Documerica project (“to photographically document subjects of environmental concern”) — can be found at the National Archives site, here.

Like outtakes from Dazed and Confused, man…. You can practically hear “Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl” wafting through the air.

Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

%d bloggers like this: