The Dallas Heritage Village is home to the most extensive collection of 19th century Victorian and pioneer buildings, commercial structures, and Texas homes. Dallas Heritage Village is a perfect example of retaining history in the middle of a modern city.
The Dallas Heritage Village is located in Old City Park, and the collection of stunning historic buildings from all around the were brought together so that it can be preserved. Most of the structures here were built during the nineteenth century. The village is designed to feature what life was like for the typical Northern Texas community during the 1840s to 1910s. The Dallas Heritage Village has about 21 impressively restored buildings such as a school, saloon, church, bank, hotel, and general store.
Dallas Heritage Village and the land it sits on has a vibrant connection with Dallas history. First, the piece of land was where Dallas’ first city park was located back in 1876. During that time, the park was called City Park. The elegant neighborhood, The Cedars, which is home to several businesses and merchant leaders, developed around City Park during the 1880s and 1890s. Dallas’ first zoo was also located here, and the location also hosted weekly concerts in the bandstand, just like the ones that happen at the village today. The Browder Springs, which now flows underground, is also located here. The spring was the first water supply here in Dallas.
After World War II, several people decided to move to the suburbs in Dallas. After that, the government built highways to help the citizens go to the city for work. When the Interstate 30 was built, it cut the Cedars neighborhood off from downtown, which is why it decreased the appeal of the area as well as the park. Since then, the future of City Park looked terrible until a group of women decided to save a historic plantation house that was destroyed by a wrecking ball. The women insisted that the park will have a new role in the culture of Dallas. The ladies who that rescued the Millermore plantation decided to restore the disassembled pieces in a warehouse. After that, they decided to call Ray Hubbard, the park board president, for help. Hubbard then agreed with their intentions to renovate the house in City Park. The Millermore eventually became the first of 21 buildings that were transported here to become a village. The Millermore opened 1969 as a museum, and the park was renamed as the Old City Park.
Over the years, the Heritage village became popular. They added more buildings and introduced first-person interpreters who are knowledgeable enough to tour and interpret the life during the early days of Dallas. In 2005, the management decided to change the name of the park to Old City Park to Dallas Heritage Village to reflect the living village the park has become.
Today, mature oak trees conceal the downtown skyline for about less than a mile north of the park. However, you can still hear the roar of Interstate 30, and it serves as a reminder that development continues to permeate the area around the park.
For the people who take care of the Dallas Heritage Park, preserving the houses and establishments means protecting a part of Dallas’s first suburb, a part of town that was once a blend of modest boarding houses and high-end Victorian homes.
If you visit the Dallas Fort Worth area, do not forget to add the Dallas Heritage Village on your itinerary, especially if you want to know more about the rich history of Dallas, Texas.