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From the Curatorial Desk: A Farewell to "Alice"

Published on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 By Aidan Wright
After 40 years of being in the spotlight, “Alice” the skeleton and only resident of the Doctor’s House has come off display. Recently, the display of human remains has come under scrutiny in the museum field. No longer are human remains being considered as just another object, but as objects that were once a living people and therefore requiring specialized treatment. “Alice” was once alive. She once presumably had a family and people who cared for her. Because of this, we as a staff have reexamined our thoughts and feelings about keeping “Alice” on display and came to the decision that we are no longer comfortable leaving her up. “Alice” came to the Dallas Heritage Village in 1977. From what I discovered in ..

History Takes Time: An Update on the Millermore Reinterpretation Project

Published on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 By Melissa Prycer
Almost six months ago, we closed Millermore to begin a major reinterpretation. Our goals are pretty simple: tell more stories about more people that lived and worked at Millermore throughout its 100-year history. Though we have been very busy, if you were to walk into Millermore today, you wouldn’t see a difference. Yet. So, how do you even begin a reinterpretation project of a house that’s been a part of the museum since the very beginning? We began with the primary sources. Since September, we’ve had a series of staff meetings, welcoming any member of staff that wants to come. Primary sources and documents are shared in advance, and then we all come together to discuss. Along the way, we’ve uncovered quite a few questions, some of wh ..

Icing on the Cake: A New Master Plan for DHV

Published on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 By Melissa Prycer
Lately, we’ve been thinking some mighty big thoughts at DHV. To be perfectly honest, it seems like everyone in our neighborhood is thinking big thoughts. Four Corners Brewing opened their new location on Ervay Street (one of our borders) a few weeks ago. The Ambassador Hotel is getting ready to start a major renovation. There’s even talk of the nation’s first high speed rail coming in just a few blocks from DHV. Among all of these entities, we’re like the stable grandmother. As an institution, we’ve been an anchor of the Cedars neighborhood since 1969, when Millermore opened. But our land, the first City Park in Dallas, is the reason why this neighborhood exists. In the talk of all that’s new in the Cedars, our story is somehow neglected. ..

The Lonely Frontier

Published on Saturday, May 07, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
My corset was hot!—because it was summer, in Texas, what did you think I meant? I was fully embedded in my role as Mrs. Hedgecoxe, a rude antebellum liar trying to convince naïve dupes to buy land here. The naïve dupes were played by modern visitors, who did not believe me when I said “the weather in Texas is perfect, never too hot, never too cold, and always just the right amount of rain.” They did admire the Village’s retail opportunities, a general store that I assured them stocked both dress fabric and plows. Since we were inhabiting a year decades before the train reached Dallas, I explained the Depot as a proactive construction by a town confident of its future growth. And then I asked if they were ready to make the arduous journey o ..

False Fronts

Published on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/2-stores.lr_.jpg) Why must beauty be more than skin deep? Why be genuine when fake is more appealing? I’m just talking about buildings here. Modest little buildings occupied by business owners who want their establishments to appear impressive, professional and well-established, so they “put up a front,” literally, to claim that image. What would you do if you found yourself the first storekeeper to arrive with a wagon full of goods at a new frontier town growing near the latest gold strike? Celebrate, because you would be destined to make a lot more money off of that gold than most of the miners, who lacked the foresight to bring adequate tools and food. They will have to buy from you, at any price you choose. First,  ..

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