Golden Anniversary Coincides with Renaissance of Historic Cedars Area of Dallas
Dallas Heritage Village marks a golden milestone this year with plans to honor the vision of its founders, celebrate the supportive community, and honor the historic buildings and the history they each contain – the true foundation of the Village.
It all began with a house scheduled for demolition in Dallas in February 1966. The Millermore house, a historic antebellum plantation home built between 1855 and 1862 was saved from the wrecking ball by a newly formed group of citizens called the Dallas County Heritage Society. Disassembled and reassembled on the grounds of Old City Park, Dallas’ oldest park established in 1876, the Millermore home was the first historic structure of Dallas Heritage Village and remains the museum’s focal point today. Always fighting for history, the staff of the Village, 50 years later, helped save a historic Cedars area home on Griffin Street, destined for demolition this past February.
“It is almost a cliché in the world of historic preservation: a group of citizens came together to save a beloved old home that was to be flattened for a parking lot,” said Melissa Prycer, president and executive director, Dallas Heritage Village. “It is uncanny that almost 50 years to the day that the Millermore home was saved, Dallas Heritage Village helped to stop bulldozing of the historic blue house in the Cedars area.”
Millermore opened as a house museum in 1969 with admission of 25 cents. While the Dallas County Heritage Society was formed to save just one house, the group went on to move and restore almost 30 historic structures depicting life in Dallas from 1840-1910 at Old City Park – creating the Dallas Heritage Village of today. Set on 20 acres, Dallas Heritage Village has grown into an immersive history landscape including a Victorian Main Street, a railroad complex, a log cabin, a pre-Civil war home, an 1860’s farmstead with livestock, a 19th century church, and schoolhouse. Originally run by volunteers, the museum gradually gained a professional staff, became nationally accredited, and developed events and educational programming. Over 25,000 school children visit every year.
Events planned throughout the year at the Village will focus on the anniversary, including incorporating a 1960s theme for the annual History with a Twist fundraiser; a joint lecture with Preservation Dallas; and the annual Old Fashioned Fourth, free this year and featuring favorite activities of the past.
“As we move the past forward, we find ourselves in the middle of an exciting renaissance of the Cedars area,” added Prycer. “The Village has been here for 50 years and survived. More than a museum, we are an active partner in this exciting redevelopment, serving as a place for meetings, working with developers, and providing a voice for the neighborhood. It’s an exciting time as we look forward to bringing new visitors into the area.”
Located at 1515 South Harwood, the Village’s hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Admission is $9/adults, $7/seniors 65+ and $5/children ages 4 -12. Children under age 4 and members are free. 214-421-5141, www.DallasHeritageVillage.org