Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Klyde Warren Park & History

Klyde Warren Park rests in the center of one of the areas of Dallas most rich with history that is undocumented, but many who lived that history are still with us.
Klyde Warren Park once was part of "Little Mexico"
(Right click & hit "open link" to enlarge and/or print.)

The 1944 map above, from the Dallas Public Library, shows the area now occupied by Klyde Warren Park as it existed 68 years ago. This park is a very positive addition to our city! It's another opportunity to remember the powerful history of Dallas.  Dallas must take every chance to connect our students to their own history. Every park is such an opportunity.

Klyde Warren Park is built on land that at one time was known as "Little Mexico," the large blue area outlined above on the map.

On the other side of Pearl, northeast from Klyde Warren Park, is land that was known as "North Dallas Freedman's Town", or the "State-Thomas Neighborhood." It is the large red area in the center of the above map, almost cut in half by the Houston Texas Central Rail Road, now Central Expressway.

Many of our ancestors who lived on the land outlined in this 1944 map are still living.  We need to record their stories before all living memory of Little Mexico and North Dallas Freedman's Town is also gone - like the homes, churches, schools and stores replaced long ago.  Such research projects by students could help personal connections to history come alive!

The high traffic, high visibility, Klyde Warren Park should include celebrations and historical markers pointing to Dallas History, especially the history of the land and surrounding area. Tens of thousands of DISD students have connections to that land. Such connections help students envision their own futures in our city. They enhance educational success.  A lived connection to history helps students find the direction and energy needed to engage themselves in study toward a more positive future.

(The above map can be enlarged to study in more detail.)