Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

From the Vault: Motorcycles and the Dallas Police Department


by Paula Bosse

For those interested in police motorcycles, here are a few Flashback Dallas posts from yesteryear:

  • “Dallas Motor Cycle Cops — 1910” (featuring the photo above) can be found here
  • “The Dallas Police Department & Their Fleet of Harleys — 1951” is here
  • “Merry Christmas From the Dallas Police Department’s Parking Enforcement Squad” is here

(One suggestion: motorcycle-riding and bowler-hat-wearing may not be the best crime-fighting combination.)


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas’ Twin High Schools: Thomas Jefferson and Bryan Adams

bryan-adams_1961It’s one or the other… (click to see a larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Perhaps everyone knows this, but this is news to me. While compiling recent posts about Bryan Adams High School (named, by the way, after the business manager for the Dallas school system), I discovered that the plans used for the building were the exact same plans originally drawn up for Thomas Jefferson High School. That’s weird, right? TJ opened its brand-spanking-new building on Walnut Hill in North Dallas in January, 1956; BA opened its brand-spanking-new building on Millmar in the Casa View area of East Dallas in 1957. And they looked just alike. Here are aerial photos of the two campuses from the schools’ respective 1961 yearbooks (Thomas Jefferson can be seen is the top photo — click to see a larger image):


Here they are, as seen from street level: a 1957 photo of TJ on top, a 1961 photo of BA below it.


So why did this happen? By the mid-1950s, demand for new schools — which were needed to keep up with the population growth and sprawl — was intense. Two sites were chosen in the early ’50s: in North Dallas and in the White Rock Lake area of East Dallas. The two high schools were planned to be about the same size and were meant to serve about the same number of students (2,500). Plans for Thomas Jefferson High School in North Dallas were completed first. But then … the architects wondered, “If these two school are to be the same size and built one right after the other … why not just use the same architectural plans for both?”

Even though duplicating architectural plans for schools had never been done before (in Dallas, anyway), and even though local architects were very unhappy about this, the architects on both projects — Robert Goodwin and L. C. Cavitt, Jr. of Goodwin & Cavitt, Architects — argued that this duplication would be both practical and economical: using the same plans would save money as well as more than six months in planning time.

I don’t know if this sort of thing happened again in DISD, but the cross-town twin high schools opened in Dallas in 1956 and 1957.

And I still think it’s kind of strange.

ba-tj_duplicate-high-schools_dmn_062355Dallas Morning News, June 23, 1955

DMN, Dec. 9, 1953

DMN, Jan. 31, 1956

bryan-adams_1958_new-kids1957-58 Bryan Adams yearbook


Drawing at the top appeared in the 1961 Bryan Adams yearbook, but it might well have been the architectural rendering prepared for the Thomas Jefferson project. Either way, it’s pretty damn cool-looking.

The schools have undergone changes over the years, but they still look alike. See current aerial views of both campuses, via Google: Thomas Jefferson is here; Bryan Adams is here.

All images and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Bryan Adams High School: Yearbook Photos from 1961 and 1962

bryan-adams_1961_colorGreetings, from BAHS… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Yesterday I posted a bunch of ads (seen here) from the 1961 and 1962 yearbooks of Bryan Adams High School, and today I’m posting a bunch of photos of random school life from those same yearbooks. (All photos are larger when clicked.)

Above, band, drill team, and cheerleaders. (1961)

Below, the rigors of the art student. (1961)



Boys. (1961)



The Corals. The caption: “The Corals play an important role in the life of El Conquistador.” (El Conquistador is the name of the yearbook, and The Corals were a popular combo that played around Dallas in the late ’50s and early ’60s. I assume they were BA students.) (1961)



The Senior Ball, held downtown at the Sheraton. (1961)



Gymnasium drama. (1961)



BA drill team in the stands at a football game. “Beautiful Belles.” (1961)



The Up Beats. (1962)



The guy in the glasses is Sverker Olson, “our exchange student from Sweden.” He looks very happy. (1961)



I saw many, many photos of that guy on the right in the white shirt. He was either very popular or was slipping the photographer a buck every time he saw him in order to get as many photos of himself as possible into the yearbook. (1961)



I was in band in high school. We never got to play at the State Fair of Texas at the feet of Big Tex.



Grainy photo that’s interesting mostly because of how tiny downtown looked from the eastern shore of White Rock Lake back in 1962.



All photos from the Bryan Adams High School yearbook, El Conquistador — all are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Bryan Adams High School: Yearbook Ads from 1961 and 1962


by Paula Bosse

I love ads from high school yearbooks — especially when they feature students. Here are several from the Bryan Adams 1961 and 1962 yearbooks. (Click the ads to see larger images.)

Above, the J. C. Penney store in Casa View at 2596 Gus Thomasson. Great ad! (1962)

Below, Jackson’s Sporting Goods in Casa Linda. (1962)



Gingham Girl Dance Studio on Northwest Highway (“We Also Feature Baton Lessons”). (1961)



Lake Highlands Music Co. — guitar lessons by Ken Wheeler. (1961)



Casa Linda Barber Shop. (1962)



Ethel Shipp — female attire, from tots to teens and beyond; Casa Linda and Casa View. (1961)



Dallas Ice Arena — ice skating at Fair Park. (1962)



Cooter’s Village Camera Shop — Highland Park Village. (First ad 1961, second 1962)





Pop’s Spaghetti House (Frank Da Mommio and Pop Da Mommio), on Gaston, near Baylor. (1962)



Colbert’s in Casa Linda. (1962)



Stone’s Shoes, Northlake Shopping Center. (1962)



Love’s Fashions, on Oates. (Those striped pants are cool!) (1962)



Smitty’s Party Room, Bakery, and Coffee Bar, also on Oates Drive. (1961)



KBOX and their happenin’ djs: Jerry Clemmons, Johnny Borders, Pat Hughes, Chuck Benson, Bill Holley, and Gary Mack. (1961)



And my favorite ad because of its association to greatness: Belvick Electric Company, Garland Road. Greatness? Here’s a hint: the proprietors are Jerry Dauterive and Buck Dauterive. Maybe it’s just because I watch a lot of television, but any fan of the classic animated show “King of the Hill” (created by Mike Judge, who lived in Garland for several years) will recognize the name “Dauterive” — as in Bill Dauterive, Hank Hill’s sad-sack friend. It’s such an unusual name and there are so many Dallas jokes in the show that I figured the men in this ad must have some sort of connection to the TV show. It turns out that the character is named for series writer-producer Jim Dauterive, a native Dallasite and … a Bryan Adams alum! And Buck was his father. According to an interview in White Rock Lake Weekly, Jim Dauterive liked to slip neighborhood references into the show: he named a character in the show “Gus Thomasson,” had Hank Hill direct someone to a liquor store near White Rock Lake, and even snuck in a mention of Louanns on Greenville. So there you have it! (Ad from 1961.)



Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.



Dallas’ Population, Per the 1940 Census

census-1940_dmn_063040Those numbers seem so … quaint….

by Paula Bosse

For those who get excited reading census figures, I give you the results of the 1940 census as it pertains to Dallas County.

According to the article below, the population of Dallas County in 1940 was 398,049 in an area of 859 square miles; the density was 463 people per square mile. For some perspective, in 2010 the population of Dallas County was just under 2.4 million, with an area of 909 square miles — giving us a recent density of something like 2,700 people per square mile (and it’s only getting more cramped every day).

Dallas County was big, but it wasn’t the biggest in the state in 1940 — that honor went to Harris County, with a population of 529,479; Bexar County came in third with 337,557.

So which communities were the biggest winner and the biggest loser as far as population change since the 1930 census? They were the incorporated areas of University Park and Cement City. University Park had a whopping 243% gain in population since the 1930 census, and poor Cement City had a 200% plunge.

Another interesting statistic (from the Census of Agriculture) showed that in 1940 Dallas County had 3,522 farms; in 1930 the county had 5,106. In 2012, the Census of Agriculture (in a PDF here) showed 839 farms (which is actually more than I would have guessed).

The Dallas area was growing rapidly — even with a bit of a slow-down during the Great Depression — but the population growth following WWII was quite a bit more: the population in 1950 jumped to around 615,000 — an increase of more than 54%. After that, there was no looking back.

The map at the top is interesting. I love the fact that in 1940 Richardson was a teensy little town of 719 — smaller than the beyond-the-city-limits Preston Hollow which boasted a healthy 885 people. (And … Honey Springs? I’d never heard of it. But now I know the facts, from the Handbook of Texas,  and I know the color, from the Dallas Trinity Trails blog.)

The full breakdown of the census numbers is below (click to see a larger image).

Dallas  Morning News, June 30, 1940


Map and article from The Dallas Morning News, June 30, 1940.

It looks like the official numbers might have been changed a bit after this DMN article was printed. The very informative chart of Dallas County’s population through the decades (seen here) has the population a bit higher, at 398,564.

More Dallas County stats — stats-a-plenty — at Wikipedia.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Remember the Alamo! — In Plano, Behind the Target

alamo-plano_dmn_051284-photoNever forget… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Today is Texas Independence Day. This time last year after posting a photo of the Alamo somewhere, I was informed that there was, in fact, an Alamo replica right here in DFW. I knew about the one(s) in Fair Park, but Plano? Yep, near 75 and Parker Road, at the corner of Lexington and Premier, just west of the highway. See a southward-looking aerial view on Google here; below is the same view, from Bing.

alamo-plano_birdseye-bingBing Maps

Here it is at street level:

alamo-plano_bingBing Streetside

So, um, why is that there?

Not being up on my Plano history, and never having been aware of this, it took me a long time to find anything about it. Which is pretty surprising, because you’d think there would be all SORTS of articles about a very large replica of one of the most famous structures in the world (yes, I’m going to say “in the world”), standing right here in the Metroplex. And it’s been standing here for at least 35 years! I managed to find a couple of ads and an article about the building — it had started out as an arcade called the Alamo Fun Center and later became part of a car dealership — but I could  never find out who built it or why. I thought I’d come back to it in a year — so I could post it on Texas Independence Day — and see if I could find more, looking with fresh eyes. So I tackled it again today, and, glory be, I’ve just discovered that Rick Saigling wrote a piece for Plano Magazine last November titled “Remember the Alamo Fun Center” which answered all of my questions (and had photos of the building when it was new).

The Plano Alamo was built in 1982 by brothers-in-law Nathan White and Gene Cason and other investors as a “fun center” to house a Texas-themed arcade featuring video games, miniature golf, etc. While popular with Plano kids, the Alamo Fun Center was not a successful venture, and it shut its ornately carved doors after only a relatively short time in business. There you have it. Thank you, Rick. I now have closure.

The earliest (only?) mention I found of the “Fun Center” was the ad below, which appeared in The Wylie News a short time before its grand opening in the summer of 1982. The ad seems to indicate that the name of this “western theme park” is Lone Star Recreation Park and Alamo Fun Center (click to see a larger image).

The Wylie News, July 29, 1982

A few months after the Alamo Fun Center opened, Larry Lange Cadillac moved to its new location on the adjacent property. I’m not sure exactly when it closed, but the Plano Alamo was taken by the advancing forces of Larry Lange Cadillac in 1983 or 1984. For whatever reason, the building remained (what Texan is going to demolish the Alamo?) and was incorporated into the Larry Lange business plan.

Dallas Morning News, June 26, 1983

In May, 1984, the ad below announced the grand opening of the Larry Lange Adventure Center — the Alamo had been emptied of its batting cages and pizza ovens and had been transformed into an “Indoor Van Showroom Which is ‘As Large as Texas’!” (That doesn’t seem to have lasted very long.)

DMN, May 12, 1984

Two years later, in 1986 — the year of the Texas Sesquicentennial — The Plano Star Courier checked in with the then-current occupants of the hometown Alamo, Premier Auto Leasing, to see what it was like working in the Alamo. In Plano. An employee made the impossible-to-believe statement that very few people ever actually commented on the fact that they were leasing their vehicle from a company that occupied a building shaped like the Alamo.

Plano Star Courier, July 22, 1986

In 1999, Diane Jennings of The Dallas Morning News wrote a story on “mock Alamos” around the state. She checked in on the Plano location, then owned by Crest Cadillac, and found it was being used as a warehouse. The general manager, Michael Coston, was not a fan of the building.

Not every Texan is thrilled to have an Alamo in their back yard or back lot. Michael Coston, general manager of Crest Cadillac in Plano, is pained by the sight of the Alamo replica on the back lot of his dealership.

The building was erected in the early ’70s [sic] as a penny arcade, he said. When it closed, the property was bought by the dealership [sic], which uses it for storage.

“It’s not the best-looking reproduction,” he said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d tear it down.”

As a native Texan and history buff, he worries that the inaccurate construction may “deface the fame of the how-many-ever we say gave their lives there.” He is particularly irritated by the parapet, the rounded hump over the door, which most people associate with the Alamo facade, but which was actually added by the U.S. Army decades after the battle. (DMN, Feb. 28, 1999)

Today Crest Cadillac appears to have forsaken Plano for Frisco, but the property is still in the Crest auto family — it’s now occupied by Crest Volvo. But what of The Alamo? It’s now the home of Crest Collision, a body shop.

So there you  have it, the story of Plano’s Alamo.

Instead of rushing out to get a Mirabeau B. Lamar tattoo to show my Texan-ness in these waning hours of Texas Independence Day, I’ve decided instead to post a few photos of the real Alamo, which, strangely enough, was also a neighbor to a car dealership, the Clifton George Ford Motor Co. Remember the Model-T!

alamo_clifton-george-ford_san-antoniovia Texas Transportation Museum

alamo_clilfton-george-ford_e-o-goldbeck_ransom-center_ca-1918via Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas

via Texas Transportation Museum


Second-from-last photo by an unidentified photographer, circa 1918, from the  E. O. (Eugene Omar) Goldbeck Photography Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin; more information and a larger image may be found here.

Rick Saigling’s Plano Magazine article “Remember the Alamo Fun Center” (November 21, 2016) is here. It includes several photos of the Alamo Fun Center in 1982/83 and interviews with a former owner and employee. See a (large!) close-up of the unexpectedly ornate stone façade of the Plano Alamo here. (If you’re interested in Plano history, Rick’s also written a nice nostalgic piece, “I Remember When Plano Was a Sleepy Town,” here.)

Photos and clippings are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

“Dallas/The Big D” by William E. Bond — ca. 1962

dallas-big-d_william-e-bond_business-week-collection_ca1962Yonder lies Big D… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This print — titled “Dallas/The Big D” by native Texan William E. Bond (1923-2016) — is fantastic. I love everything about it. It was commissioned by Business Week magazine to be used as part of its “Business America” series, an advertising campaign showcasing fifteen American cities captured in woodcuts. Every element of this scene is great, but let’s look at a detail showing just the Dallas skyline, with a hard-to-miss Pegasus. I also see what looks to be the Mercantile Building and the Republic Bank Building in there. And … that sky!



Bond’s homage to Dallas was reproduced in the 1963 book Woodcuts of Fifteen American Cities from the Business Week Collection. Below, text from the book (my assumption is that the first paragraph is the copy that appeared in a print advertisement for Business Week — it appears that the ad campaign used the artists’ works collected in this book to illustrate the ads, with each ad mentioning local companies with large BW subscribership).

Dallas … leapfrogging ahead commercially and culturally. Cotton, cattle, and oil put the Big D on the map. But aircraft, electronics and machinery keep it moving. Companies like Texas Instruments (682 Business Week subscribers), Ling-Temco-Vought (106), Collins Radio (135), Dresser Industries (123). In Dallas, and everywhere in business America, men who manage companies read Business Week. You advertise in Business Week when you want to inform management.

And this was Bond’s bio with a quote from him on “the Big D”:

“Dallas is a great many things. It is a giant of a city in the midst of a giant country – full of life and energy and the will to grow and keep growing. Anyone who knows Dallas feels this spirit. And it is this feeling that I have tried to capture.”

Born in 1923 in Crandall, Texas, Mr. Bond attended the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He has won many gold and silver awards in art director and illustrator shows, including a gold medal in the New York Illustrators Show in 1962. Mr. Bond uses a variety of media, including paper prints, sculpture, and painting. He has been an agency art director most of his career, and is now a free-lance designer.


Bill Bond was born in Crandall, Texas in 1923, studied art at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, and spent several years as an award-winning commercial artist in Dallas. He worked as an advertising art director for The Dallas Times Herald, the Sam Bloom Agency, and Tracey-Locke; during this time he frequently participated in group art shows around the city. When he retired, he focused his creative talents on sculpture, becoming known for his wildlife pieces and Western bronzes. He died in Kerrville in 2016 at the age of 92.



The book that features a reproduction of this print is Woodcuts of Fifteen American Cities from the Business Week Collection (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, Inc., 1963). From the introduction:

One of the principal methods of communication in the 20th century, and one of the biggest businesses, is advertising. Here, too, industry has regularly and effectively used fine art – in the creation of some memorable advertising campaigns.

From 1960 to 1962 Business Week commissioned fourteen prominent woodcut artists to illustrate its “Business America” series. Reproductions of the fifteen woodcut illustrations which were produced appear on the following pages.

Bill Bonds’ obituary is here.

Thanks to Bob Dunn for posting an image of Bond’s print in the Retro Dallas Facebook group. I liked it so much I went out and bought a copy of the (large) book! A few copies are available online here.

Images are larger when clicked.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Main Street’s Varied Modes of Transport — ca. 1909

main-street_tsha-meeting-1977_portalPowered by oats, electricity, and gasoline… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Here’s Main Street, looking east, from about Field. This is another of those odd photos showing streets shared by horse-drawn buggies and automobiles. And an electric streetcar. The days of those horses clip-clopping down Main Street were limited. (And I’m sure the horses were much-relieved.)

This photo was taken sometime between 1909, when the Praetorian Building opened (it’s the tall white building in the background, with the Wilson Building behind it at the other end of the block), and 1911, when the street numbers changed (you can see the address of “303” next to the words “Santa Fe” — the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railway offices were at 303 Main Street in the 1909 city directory).

Also seen in this photo are the tall Scollard Building (the one with the advertising painted on its side) and, one building away, the Imperial Hotel.

See what it looks like now, here.


Photo from a pamphlet for the Texas State Historical Association’s annual meeting in Dallas in 1977, found on the Portal to Texas History, here. Sadly, the photo was printed in sepia ink, which, argh. As always, if you know of a sharper image, please let me know!


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

From the Vault: Entering and Exiting the Fairgrounds — Early 1900s

state-fair_postcard_carrie-ednaThe entrance to the entrance….

by Paula Bosse

See two postcards from just after the turn on the last century which show not-terribly-exciting (though still interesting) views of the otherwise-impressive State Fair of Texas, in the 2015 post “The Periphery of the Texas State Fair Never Looked Better.”


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 a 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. They had to build a LOT of housing (800 dwellings on the 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).

DMN, Sept. 12, 1943

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.



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):

  • “La Reunion: Utopia on the Trinity,” here
  • “One of the Earliest Homes Belonging to Original La Reunion Settlers is Razed — 1925,” here

Click photos to see larger images.


Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

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