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.
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
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.
© Clint Skinner
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.