The mission of Dallas Heritage Village is to collect, preserve and teach the history of Dallas and North Central Texas. Located in historic Old City Park, the museum uses its collections of historic buildings and furnishings, representing the period 1840-1910, to sponsor research, publications and exhibits, and to present educational programs and special events for diverse audiences of children, families and adults.
Old City Park/Dallas Heritage Village, or simply "City Park," as it was first known, was the first public park in Dallas and the only park in the city for 28 years!
Dallas Heritage Village is home to the largest and finest collection of 19th century pioneer and Victorian homes and commercial buildings in Texas. These buildings, moved from throughout North Central Texas to Dallas’ first city park, line the tree-shaded 20-acre setting of Dallas Heritage Village. Stroll the grounds and discover what life was like over 100 years ago for ordinary Texans.
It was established in 1876 after South Dallas landowner J. J. Eakins sold 10 acres of land to the City of Dallas in exchange for $600. (It has often been erroneously reported that Eakins "donated" the land.) The park was originally designed to be an "aesthetic, driving park" where Dallas citizens could drive their carriages, taking in the fresh air and scenery - i.e., a place to see and being seen. Over time, its purposes changed. Among other things, City Park housed Dallas' first zoo.
Photo by "grandmaR"