My Trinity River News

Below is a link to the inaugural issue of My Trinity River News, a newsletter that will be issued monthly with the latest highlights on the Trinity River Corridor Project. Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and friends.

For more information contact:

Judy R. Schmidt
Communications & Marketing Mgr.
City of Dallas
Trinity River Corridor Project
214-671-9025 (Office)

Dallas – Community Emergency Response Training

Hello Prospective CERT Team Members:

Dallas CERT promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the Citizens of Dallas. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic emergency response skills. The next set of training classes will occur on the following dates and times listed below – all sessions must be attended in order to complete the program – missed sessions may be made up at a future CERT class offering. Please distribute this info to other interested parties that you feel may benefit from this information.

If you require additional information regarding the CERT program or are interested in registering for this class, please contact Cassandra D. Wallace by email at or by phone at 214-671-8969.

City of Dallas
Community Emergency Response Team Training

Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Buckner Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 7, 2008
Buckner Terrace Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Buckner Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 14, 2008
Buckner Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Buckner Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Buckner Retirement Village, 4800 Samuell Blvd., Dallas, TX 75228
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, August 23, 2008
Dallas Fire Rescue Training Academy, 5000 Dolphin Rd, Dallas, TX 75223
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

*Please note that ALL sessions must be taken in order to complete the program – missed sessions can be made up in future City of Dallas CERT class offerings*

Cassandra D. Wallace
Emergency Management Specialist
City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management
City Manager’s Office
1500 Marilla, L2AN
Dallas, TX 75201
214-671-8969 (Office)
469-525-8778 (Cell)
214-670-4677 (Fax)

4th of July, Oak Cliff Style, long ago

During the late 20’s and early 30’s, people of Oak Cliff could watch fireworks over the water of Lake Cliff Park.

From the 50’s to the mid 80’s or later, thousands of people descended on Kiest Park to watch a spectacular firework display put on by the Oak Cliff Jaycees.

We lived close to Kiest Park and would walk over as the sun set. The displays were huge — just giant explosions of color in the sky like you see at Fair Park sometimes. One year the firework display malfunctioned and all those fireworks went off in about 5 min. If you were close, you got a real show, if you weren’t close, you kept waiting for them to start.

During the 60’s, the Jaycees out did themselves. An all day event was planned over by the pavillions and baseball fields. Several carnival rides including a ferris wheel set up early in the morning on the nearby parking lot and street. For lunch, they served free BBQ sandwiches. I think a donation was welcomed, but it was offered for free. As kids, it was a day to remember. The rides operated after dark, and then the fireworks began.

I like this kind of memory. I don’t know why they discontinued the firework display unless Duncanville and DeSoto also had the same. I know lots of people enjoyed it each year. If interested, Duncanville usually has an all-day carnival atmosphere off Wheatland and Main Street for the 4th. I don’t think it’s free.

William Henry Hord

Oak Cliff has had a history of producing people who influence and show leadership. Even in recent years — the last 25 — Dallas has had men who were the county judge or mayor of Dallas who grew up in Oak Cliff. One is now the Chancellor of a Texas University, and the other went on to become a U. S. Representative

William Henry Hord was a leader as you can tell by the short bio below.

Taken from “The Handbook of Texas Online,”

HORD, WILLIAM HENRY (1809-1901). William Henry Hord, early Dallas County judge, brigadier general of the Texas Militia, and first settler in Hord’s Ridge (now the Oak Cliff section of Dallas), son of John and Martha Stokes (Neal) Hord, was born on April 5, 1809, near the Staunton River in Charlotte County, Virginia, where his grandfather Thomas Hord had been a large landowner. His family left Virginia for North Carolina in December 1816 and moved to Obion County, Tennessee, about 1832. There Hord married Mary Jane Crockett McKenzie, widow of Lewis McKenzie, on January 23, 1839. Mary Jane was a sister of John McClannahan Crockett, early Dallas mayor and lieutenant governor of Texas.

Hord visited Texas in 1839 and fought in an engagement with Indians on the Colorado River on Christmas Day of that year. He returned to Tennessee but in 1844 left for Texas again. William, Mary Jane, their two sons, and her two sons settled on 640 acres of high, oak-shaded land across the Trinity River from John Neely Bryan’s settlement on January 12, 1845. The area where they settled became known as Hord’s Ridge and in 1850 lost the Dallas county-seat election by twenty-eight votes. The couple had five children, four sons and a daughter. Two of the sons became soldiers in the Confederate Army.

Hord was justice of the peace in Dallas before being elected county judge in 1848. In 1861 he participated in forming the Dallas Light Artillery Battery under Capt. John J. Good. In 1862 he was a director of the Dallas County Fair. In 1863 he became brigadier general of Texas Militia, Thirteenth District. In 1866 he and four others from Dallas signed resolutions approving a National Union convention for restoration to all states of their rights in the American union. In 1868 he presided over the meeting in Dallas for the formation of the county Conservative party. In 1872 a Dallas street was named for him. In 1875 he was a founder and a vice president of the Dallas Pioneers Association. He died at home in Dallas on January 18, 1901. Hord and his wife are buried in Oak Cliff Cemetery, a cemetery of which he was a trustee when it was founded in 1846.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Dorothy Kendall Bracken and Maurine Whorton Redway, Early Texas Homes (Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1956). William L. McDonald, Dallas Rediscovered: A Photographic Chronicle of Urban Expansion, 1870-1925 (Dallas: Dallas County Historical Society, 1978). Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County (Chicago: Lewis, 1892; rpt., Dallas: Walsworth, 1976).

John Alan Hord

Note: The Colorado River in Texas is far west of Ft. Worth and runs close to Kileen as it emptys into the Gulf of Mexico between San Antonio and Houston.

Lake Cliff Park

While doing research, T. L. Marsalis (Dallas Zoo history), Lake Cliff Park, Kidd Springs and Rebel Stadium provided so much history as to how Oak Cliff was developed and what drew people to Oak Cliff. A very young area with very few residents made the area so popular that vacant lots in developing areas were sold in no time.

Taken from Lake Cliff Tower history:

Most of Lake Cliff lies within the original township of Oak Cliff, officially established in1887. At this time, a steam-powered streetcar service from downtown Dallas ran across the Trinity and branched south to an area that became Oak Cliff’s commercial center,and west along Colorado Blvd., and extended to Spring Lake (later known as Lake Cliff),a large man-made pond.
A social club, known as the Llewellyn Club, excavated the lake and built a clubhouse in 1888. The lake became a focal point of development, and the old clubhouse was converted into a sanitarium that was open for several years. In 1906, Oak Cliff businessman Charles A. Mangold and John F. Zang acquired the land around Lake Cliff and transformed the area into an amusement park in order to encourage surrounding development and increase the value of land they had purchased. Despite its popularity, the Lake Cliff Amusement Park proved too expensive to operate and the land was sold to the city in 1913.

Lake Cliff Amusement Park, compliments of Dallas Public Library:
The first pages tell how the park was built and key players. Pages 16-34 are pictures of the rides and other attractions.

ong after the Amusement Park burned and the City of Dallas bought the park, Lake Cliff still had memories to hold. For years, it had one of the largest pools ever. It was probably 4 times the size of Kidd Springs, today, maybe more.

What I remember most about the pool and the area, were the inner tubes we rented. I guess the tube was bigger than us at the time, but it was a lot of fun to lounge in the water on that tube.

Across the street was the Polar Bear Ice Cream stand that looks like a crown. An older lady in our neighborhood remembers well the Pig Stand Drive In that was near the corner of Zang and Colorado.

Ron’s been going though some of his parents old photos and came across this pic of Lake Cliff Park pool circa 1952 — you can make out Cliff Towers in the background behind the trees…Old Oak Cliffites who spent many an hour floating on inner tubes in this giant pool may remember that it was filled in because of the polio scare…

Click the link and there should be a picture at the top that will enlarge when clicked-on, or scroll down to the photo. (Visualize the pool as big as this link!) But it was a lot of fun.

I know it sat on the back of the park away from Zang, but it was huge, and could have included a portion of the lake, too. When it was filled in, I remember the tennis courts, but that would only be a small portion compared to that pool.

Polar Bear Ice Cream photo: