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Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

5. The DAR House

Located next to the Women's Museum, the DAR House was originally built for the 1936 exposition. The Continental Oil Company sponsored the construction of the building, which served as the hospitality house for the event. In addition to helping visitors with questions, a travel bureau provided information about the other centennial events taking place throughout the state. Those wanting to relax from the vigors of walking could rest on the house's front porch. After the Pan American Exposition, the house was given to the Jane Douglas Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on October 31, 1937.

TX - Dallas Fair Park - The DAR House
The DAR House
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
The origins of the organization date back to 1889 with the centennial celebration of George Washington's inauguration. With its celebration, many organizations started popping up everywhere, wanting to commemorate and preserve the memories and legends associated with the American Revolution. Women wanted to join these societies, but they constantly encountered opposition. Mary Smith Lockwood grew tired of the exclusion and decided to form her own, one which would cater only to women. She succeeded in this task with the help of Eugenia Washington, Ellen Hardin Walworth, and Mary Desha.

The first DAR meeting took place on August 9, 1890. For the main objective, which has never changed, the members believed they should focus on promoting history, education, and patriotism. Playing an instrumental role in formation of this objective, President Benjamin Harrison's wife Caroline became its first president. The members began the process of installing grave markers for veterans of the Revolution and adding monuments to places that were relevant to the time period. They also purchased historic locations, mostly houses, for the purpose of preservation. In order to become a member, the prospect must be a direct descendant of someone involved with the revolution.

The Jane Douglas Chapter appeared on the scene on October 19th, 1895. The second one formed in Texas and the first in Dallas, it was founded by Cornelia Jamison Henry. In addition to focusing on DAR's primary objective, the Jane Douglas Chapter spent considerable time and energy on war and disaster relief, going as far back as the Spanish-American War. The chapter celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2015.

The current residence for the DAR is modeled to look like a colonial home. The inside serves as a museum during the state fair, the only time that it's open to the public. Hanging on the walls near the ceiling, various flags used during the Revolutionary Era are displayed. Antiques and cases holding historical items lay against walls. A large spinning wheel and baby cradle stand in the middle of the large room, surrounded on all sides by chairs and couches. In the back, guests can view an astounding collection of artistic, patriotic-themed dinnerware. A small room to the right displays an impressive collection of historic pins and buttons in addition to period clothing and a video presentation pertaining to the Revolution and its era. The museum also hosts the Elizabeth Wright Library. Containing more than two thousand reference books and magazines, it is available only by appointment.

September 11, 2016
© Clint Skinner

FAIR PARK:
Fair Park - Attractions:
1. Fair Park Station
2. Main Entrance
3. Founders Statue
4. Women's Museum
5. DAR House
6. The Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
8. Music Hall
9. Fair Park Esplanade
10. Centennial Building
11. Automobile Building
12. Hall of State
13. Tower Building
14. Big Tex Circle
15. Grand Place
16. Old Mill Inn
17. Magnolia Lounge
18. Hall of Religion
19. African American Museum
20. Leonhardt Lagoon
21. Dallas Museum of Natural History
22. Science Place I
23. Children's Aquarium
24. Fair Park Bandshell
25. Texas Discovery Gardens
26. WRR Headquarters
27. Science Place II
28. The Texas Star
29. Cotton Bowl Stadium
30. The Texas Skyway
31. The Embarcadero
32. The Creative Arts Building
33. Food and Fiber Building
34. Pan American Arena
35. The Woofus
36. The Swine Building
37. Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
38. Livestock Pavilion and Arena
39. The Horse Barn
40. Fair Park Coliseum
41. Top of Texas Tower


References:
1.Bigtex.com
2.Dallashistory.org
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
4.Fairpark.org
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
6.Tshaonline.org
7.Watermelon-kid.com
8.Wikipedia.org
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

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