New Stories at an Old Hotel

Published on Friday, September 28, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
Since January, a team of top historians have been working hard on Dallas Heritage Village’s latest exhibit. Have I mentioned that these historians are still in middle school and high school? Over the past several years, the Junior Historians have completed several projects ( have developed their historical muscles, which made them all the more ready for the challenges of the Worth Hotel project. Unlike our other projects, they had a wealth of primary sources to work with–census records, newspaper articles, and oral histories. Some of those primary sources didn’t exactly match up perfectly, so there was much discussion as we tried to get closer to the truth. Emily explained that process (http://dh ..

With a Little Help From Our Friends

Published on Wednesday, September 05, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
Many of our loyal blog and e-newsletter readers are friends, but not necessarily members of Dallas Heritage Village. Assuming that is true, this posting is aimed specifically at you! We assume that you are familiar with who we are and what we do. You probably know, for example, that we are Dallas’ only outdoor living history museum devoted to Texas heritage; that we stage a wide variety of public events and programs; that we provide field trip experiences to over 24,000 area students annually; and that we care for more than 30 historic buildings. (/images/postimages/ftwagon.jpg) What you may not know, because we don’t talk about it very often in our e-newsletters, is how Dallas Heritage Village is funded. Because we are a history museum located in Dall ..

In Tribute To Our Friend Nancy Farina 1958-2012

Published on Friday, August 31, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
Nancy Farina was Vice President for Development and Capital Giving at Dallas Heritage Village and an employee at the museum from 1992 until her death this past week. Following is my tribute to our long-time friend and colleague. I first met Nancy when I was being interviewed for the director’s position in 1995. Then-trustee Walter Abbey organized a “get acquainted” lunch for me and several staff members at our Brent Place Restaurant. As we went around the table introducing ourselves, Nancy turned to me and asked me if I was a baseball fan. I replied that I was, and she nodded her approval, signaling that she knew we would get along just fine. Thereafter, few days passed where we did not have at least one brief conversation about the Texas Rangers. Nancy a ..

The Hidden History of the Hotel

Published on Friday, August 17, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
Repair work on the rear of the Worth Hotel is almost complete. It has been a fascinating process, because we uncovered so much evidence about the history of the hotel. Like many buildings, most major changes, such as additions, were in the back. Each left evidence for our intrepid detective, or rather carpenter, and his curator sidekick to discover. The hotel that stands so peacefully in the museum today has had an exhaustingly complex life. The simple rectangle you see today started out as a smaller rectangle. Then it grew longer. Then it became the top of a T when a new wing was added. Then the back got a new porch. Then the back burned and they repaired it. Then it moved to the museum, but we only took the front part. This summer, we removed much of the siding to repair ..

A Chair’s Tale or The Story of How a Simple Chair Reflects a Family’s History

Published on Wednesday, August 01, 2012 By Melissa Prycer
(/images/postimages/chair.jpg)This very ordinary chair began life as part of a small desk and chair set that belonged to my wife, Annette, who grew up in Mt. Vernon, Ohio in the 1950s and 1960s. According to her recollection, the set was just “always in her room” when she was growing up. Appropriately enough, when she entered college in 1970, it was left behind. Annette and I married in 1973 and soon reached the stage where we were looking for furniture—any furniture—to fill up our apartment. Probably about the time when her parents moved to Indiana in 1975 and were looking to clear stuff out, we were offered the desk and chair set, and we were grateful to get it. Over the years this small but flexible set was used for a variety of purposes in a variet ..

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