Things You May Not Have Known About Irving’s History

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Irving is a principal city in Dallas County, Texas, aside from that, it is also considered as an inner-ring suburb or the City of Dallas. Irving is the 13th most populous city in Teas, and it is commended for its racial and ethnic diversity. In fact, it is even ranked as one of the most diverse cities in the U.S. Irving, Texas, includes the Las Colinas community, which is known as one of the first master-planned developments in the country. Las Colinas is where the most massive equine sculpture in the world, named Mustangs at Las Colinas is located. It is also home to several Fortune 500 companies such as Kimberly-Clark, ExxonMobil, and Fluor Corporation. In this article, we are going to know more about the history of Irving, Texas, and the places you need to go while you’re there.

History of Irving, Texas

Irving, Texas was founded by Otis Brown and J.O “Otto” Schulze, both of them are employed by the Chicago, Rock Island and Gulf Railway. They traveled to the new location of Irving to survey a railroad route that is between Dallas and Fort Worth. After seeing that the area had the potential to be a townsite, they bought 80 acres of land from the Britain family in 1902. The next year, they sold the first town lots at a public auction. The town of Irving was officially incorporated in April 1914, and the City Council decided to formally adopt author Washington Irving as the city’s namesake. Some local historians believe that Washington Irving was the favorite author of Otis Brown’s wife. 

Mercury Studios Building

Over the next few years, the town of Irving rapidly progressed. In 1913, the city built its first brick building that costs a whopping amount of $15,000. A year after that, the little town of Irving officially came of age, and the people elected a three-member City Commission where Otis Brown acted as their first mayor. It was also during this time when the city of Irving became a center for cotton growing, dairy and truck farming, as well as poultry production.

During the 1920s, the population of Irving had grown, and this was also the time when they obtained electric service, organized a volunteer fire department, and installed a water system. Despite the depression that happened in the 1930s, the city of Irving continued to grow.

At mid-century, Irving developed into a town with about 2,165 residents. It was also during this time when Irving opened its doors to the University of Dallas. Since then, businesses continued to move to the city. In 1964, the city of Irving opened the Irving Community Hospital. 

By 1970, the population of the city reached almost 100,000. Three years later, Las Colinas, a privately funded and master-planned community that is about 7,000 acres big, was built. The community has more than 1,000 corporations, recreation facilities, shopping areas, homes, and schools. 

Since then, the town just continued to grow up until today. Despite the growth, the city of Irving still pays attention to the recreational and informational needs of its residents and tourists. They built venues such as The Irving Archives and Museum, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, the Mustangs of Las Colinas Exhibit, the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center, and the Ruth Paine House Museum. Today, Irving is a progressing and vibrant modern city that did not forget its historical roots.

Places You Need To See in Irving, Texas

  • California Crossing Park – The name of this park may be unusual because of the fact that it is in Texas. However, this park is dedicated to the memory of the pioneers that crossed the Trinity River on their way to California. This park has over 30 acres of lush lands as well as a historical trail and marker where you can find out the story of the travelers that crossed this path in the 1800s.
  • Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center – This center is located in the west of Irving, Bear Creek, and it is considered as the oldest African-American community in Dallas County. Here you can visit three different museums where you can find out about the history of this community, from the end of slavery until the Civil Rights Movement that happened during the 1960s.
  • Gondola Adventures – The Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving is famous for its Lake Carolyn and Mandalay Canals. That is why there is a tour here where you can explore the gorgeous waterways in style. You can cruise with Gondola Adventures, where you can see the very best of the local sights while you’re riding a neo-Venetian gondola.
  • The Heritage District – This place is known for being created by the founders of Irving, and this district is about 80 acres big. If you want to travel back in time and know more about the history of Irving, then this is the place that you should go to. There are also several antique shops and thrift stores here where you can see vintage memorabilia. You can also visit one of the classic stores here, like the pharmacy and a period soda shop. 
  • Heritage House – This house is known to be one of the oldest homes in Irving. The house was built in 1912, and it is still standing until today. This used to be the former home of J.O Schulze, and it was given to the city as a gift in 1975. Here you can take a tour where you can learn how the city of Irving came to be and see some furniture that once belonged to the Schulz family.
  • Irving Arts Center –This art center is a member of the Smithsonian Affiliations program, which means that you can see rotating exhibitions that have items from the Smithsonian’s collection. You can also watch dance performances and recitals here at the Irving Arts Center.
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