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Share a Texas Treasure


by Jerome Weeks 2 Dec 2008

1650 French Map …………………………………………………… Dragoon saber & scabbard The KERA radio story: The expanded online story: The Dallas Historical Society has been in the news recently because of the discovery of a famous Civil War letter. The letter — known as the Bixby letter and possibly written by Abraham Lincoln — was sent to experts […]

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1650 French Map …………………………………………………… Dragoon saber & scabbard

  • The KERA radio story:
  • The expanded online story:

The Dallas Historical Society has been in the news recently because of the discovery of a famous Civil War letter. The letter — known as the Bixby letter and possibly written by Abraham Lincoln — was sent to experts in New York for verification. But for several months, the Historical Society has been sending out other documents and artifacts – possibly to your business or school.

It’s called the Texas Treasures program. It’s designed to display some of the society’s 3 million items in public places around Dallas. The society is doing this because its home, the Hall of State in Fair Park, will soon be overhauled.

Alan Olson is the society’s curator:

OLSON: “We’re part of a city bond issue by which the city will be closing the building from pretty much December 1 to about mid-August in order to replace the heating and cooling systems, some of the electrical systems and fire prevention systems. In order to do that, we have to close. So it’s a good opportunity to be out in the public eye.”

Actually, the Historical Society has planned on this for awhile – as a way of getting around what Olson calls the Fair Park stigma, the unwillingness of some Dallasites to visit Fair Park. For suitable sponsors, the Society will set up a wood-and-plexiglas display case and arrange for a selection of documents and artifacts. Three of these cases have already been installed — in a Frost Bank lobby and in the Hockaday and St. Marks’ schools.

Olson says the items can include maps, clothing, flags, photographs and drawings. Could they include … the Bixby letter?

OLSON: [laughs] “We’re still having that item examined. So … there may be no interest in it soon [laughs]. And anything is possible.”

The Adolphus Hotel rooftop, 1915

All images from the Dallas Historical Society website.

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