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Community History Workshop Series: Preserving Our Past

Presented in conjunction with The Center for Texas Studies at TCU, these workshops are aimed at increasing the historical awareness of the community. The series is designed to make the public aware of the important, yet often overlooked historical resources around them, and how to preserve them for posterity. The goal of the workshops is to prove that “every person is a historian,” and that they can, by their deeds and actions, preserve a small part of the cultural and historical fabric of this region.

Hell's Half Acre Historical Marker

Mar. 3: Prostitution and Power: Madams of Hell’s Half-Acre, 1876 - 1920

Presented by: Jessica Webb, TCU

This month, we will meet the women who lived and worked in Hell's Half-Acre, Fort Worth's red-light district, between the 1870s and the 1920s. TCU PhD candidate Jessica Webb will discuss the madams who ran the brothels and the influence they wielded in the City of Fort Worth--politically, economically, and in their own social sphere. Webb is writing her dissertation on the red-light districts of Fort Worth and San Antonio at the turn-of-the-century. She hopes this is only the beginning of a long career researching and telling stories of the Lone Star State. Photo courtesy of Rene Gomez.

Old City Park

Apr. 7: The Great Texas Building Hunt: Dallas’ Old City Park and the Preservation of Vernacular Architecture

Presented by: Dr. Evelyn Montgomery, Director of Exhibits, Collections and Preservation, Dallas Heritage Village

During the 1970s, the founders of Old City Park, now known as Dallas Heritage Village, scoured North Central Texas for historic buildings that should be saved and moved to the museum. They photographed over 200 possible candidates. When curator Evelyn Montgomery found the photographs years later, she decided to track down the structures that were not relocated. She will reveal what she found when she visited the buildings that were left behind and what their stories teach us about Texas architecture, towns, and past preservation efforts.

Dr. Evelyn Montgomery oversees the care of over twenty historic buildings at Dallas Heritage Village. She began working at the museum seventeen years ago, initially giving tours in a hoop skirt. Her degrees in interior design, architecture and history provide both practical and intellectual knowledge of building preservation, though restoring her own historic home may have been the most useful education. Montgomery also serves on the Dallas Landmark Commission.

Field from the Cross Timbers and Grand Prairie regions

May 5: A Tale of Two Soils: Contrasting Early Settlement Location in North Texas

Presented by: Dr. Benjamin Tillman, Associate Professor and Chair of Geography, TCU

Many of us have pondered the varied factors that drew 19th century settlers to North Texas. Join us as cultural geographer Benjamin Tillman explains how geography is the stage on which history is played out and the resources we use to study it. He will explore the story of the Cross Timbers and Grand Prairie regions of the state through environmental conditions, geologic features, migration patterns, and the cultural influences of its peoples.

Dr. Benjamin Tillman is Associate Professor and Chair of Geography at TCU where he specializes in cultural, historical, and Latin American geography. He is the author of _Imprints on Native Lands: The Miskito-Moravian Settlement Landscape of Eastern Honduras_ and many articles. In his eighteen years at the university, he and a colleague have inspired many young geographers by guiding student field trips to locales across Latin America.

AddRan College of Liberal Arts - Center for Texas Studies Logo

The Center for Texas Studies at TCU is designed to celebrate all that makes Texas distinctive. It is housed in AddRan College of Liberal Arts, where various disciplines and programs can act in concert to foster and nurture the essence of Texas. History is, of course, central, but Texas literature, anthropology, ethnography, politics, religions, philosophy and design and textiles all represent elements that are a part of the incredible mosaic of Texas.

Last updated: Feb. 21, 2018