Dallas Heritage Village/Dallas County Heritage Society
1515 South Harwood Street
Dallas, Texas 75215
Dr. Evelyn Montgomery came to Texas to attend Texas Christian University in Forth Worth and has now been here long enough to lose most of her Yankee accent. Dr. Montgomery is currently the curator of exhibitions and collections at Dallas Heritage Village, an outdoor museum of North Texas history located in downtown Dallas. Her duties at the museum have included caring for 25,000 historical artifacts, creating exhibitions on multiple facets of life in early Dallas, and leading living history tours while wearing a hoop skirt. She has taught at The University of Texas at Dallas and El Centro College and often speaks to local groups in Dallas. Dr. Montgomery is particularly interested in the history of houses and domestic life within them, especially Victorian homes, frontier homes, and life in the consumer paradise of the post-World War II suburbs. She has spent the past eleven years as an "urban pioneer" in an older neighborhood in Dallas, refurbishing a hundred-year-old home and working for community improvement.
Homemakers of the Victorian period set a high standard for the appearance and cleanliness of the home and dedicated themselves to achieving it. If her husband surprised her with the decision to move west and stake a claim in new land, how could a good homemaker transport her knick-knack filled household across the prairie? This lecture explains the challenges such women faced and their efforts to bring culture, beauty, and comfort to rough log homes and sod houses. The presentation is forty-five minutes long with visual aids or can be given as an abbreviated twenty-minute version.
In the bedroom of a modest home in southern Dallas, handsome, charming, two-timing Toy Woolley held the shotgun that killed his young wife, leaving him with nothing but her bank account. Was it murder or an accident? Each day of his trial, the people of Dallas crowded the courtroom to find out. Charismatic lawyers entertained the crowds with reenactments of the gunshot, testimony from the "other woman," and the display of a negligee spattered with blood. As we follow their dramatic presentations, we learn about Depression-era views on money, sex, and family loyalty. The presentation is thirty minutes long with visual aids.
This fifty-minute presentation traces the development of shopping in Dallas from one store in a log cabin to the birth of our local icon, Neiman Marcus. As Dallas moved from frontier outpost to thriving city, the women progressed from self-sufficiency to barter with traveling peddlers to the joys of the general store. The Sanger brothers brought them a modern department store, as thrilling as an amusement park, every detail calculated to help women part with their money. When it seemed shopping in Dallas could not get any better, Neiman Marcus proclaimed the opening of a new kind of store, and Dallas soon became famous as a shopping hotspot.