What You Can See Today: Dallas’ Native Habitats and Native Peoples, History under Spain and Mexico

Post 4 in a series on Dallas history.

There area a few areas in Dallas County that have preserved native habitats. The Harry S. Moss Park has a section of native prairie vegetation (at the corner of Arborside Drive and Royal Lane). The grounds of the Frankford church and cemetery also have native grasses such as buffalo grass (at the south end of Muirfield Drive, adjacent to the Church of the Holy Communion). The Trinity Audubon Center has interpretive exhibits and an extensive area of river bottomlands available for hiking (6500 Great Trinity Forest Way; formerly 6500 S. Loop 12).

The Dallas area has not preserved much of its Native American past. This is partly due to the fact that nomadic peoples did not build and leave markers of permanent settlements. The Old Red Museum in Dallas (100 S Houston St; 214-757-1914; http://www.oldred.org) has some exhibits about Native American life in the Dallas area prior to the 1840s. The Texas Town at the Dallas Arboretum (8525 Garland Road, Dallas) and the Dallas Heritage Village (1515 South Harwood St., Dallas) have exhibits of teepees (tipis) typical of native peoples of the plains. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth (3501 Camp Bowie Blvd.) has an extensive collection of paintings and other images of native prairie peoples.

If you want to take some trips an hour and a half north or south of Dallas, you can see some of the sites of early settlements described here. The actual site of Holland Coffee’s trading post is submerged under Lake Texoma, but the old Preston cemetery and historical markers related to the site can be seen on a bluff overlooking the lake at the very end of Preston Road (State Highway 289).

In Bonham, you can see a historical marker on the site of Bailey Inglish’s stockade (on the grounds of the Veterans Administration hospital there), and also a replica of the fort and other historic buildings (on Highway 56, east of its intersection with Highway 121, adjacent to the Sam Rayburn Library).

Old Fort Parker has been rebuilt as a historical site in Limestone County (see http://www.oldfortparker.org; the location is off Highway 14 between Groesbeck and Mexia; turn west on Park Road 35 just South of Fort Parker State Park and drive one mile).


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