Oak Cliff is very rich in history. From cowboys at the bars on Davis, oil wells, cotton fields and cattle drives on their way to the Ft. Worth Stockyards — right through Winnetka Heights on 8th St. — to the many doctors, lawyers, professionals and entertainers that once lived here.
In the late 1800’s, to 1900’s to 1950’s, Oak Cliff was entertainment. People traveled here for “spas”, opera’s, multiple theaters, an amusement park, and a ballpark. Just like Arlington, it’s a base for the development of Oak Cliff that spread.
There are many reasons these various forms of entertainment disappeared, mostly political.
There’s a lot to read on www.oakcliff.com.
Growing up in Oak Cliff during the 1950’s was fun. Shopping on Jefferson during Christmas time was bumper to bumper with police directing traffic. We finally got a mall in the 70’s; little did we know it would destroy Jefferson and Wynnewood when the businesses moved from these areas to Redbird.
During the summer, before there was a seatbelt law, my mother would pile ten kids into the car — her own plus the neighborhood kids — and take us either to Polar Bear where a scoop of ice cream was 7 cents or to a local snow cone shop where they cost a nickle.
Oak Cliff was the country life to Big D. It was nothing for 20 kids from the neighborhood to gather in our yard to play games from kickball to chase or something else we would invent. At night, we would lie on blankets, and in the darkness look at the stars, watch for airplanes, and big lights spanning the sky. During the 50’s, it didn’t take much to entertain a kid.