Some Dallas History Up for Sale

An item available for auction from Old City Park
An item available for auction from Old City Park | Image by The Jewel Box

A massive estate sale is kicking off in Dallas, allowing residents to own a piece of the city’s history, but not everyone is happy about it.

Roughly 22,000 items from Old City Park will be auctioned from April 29 through May 4. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, The Jewel Box will facilitate the sale, which will take place at five buildings within the park.

Dallas County Heritage Society (DCHS) will use the proceeds from the auction to fund future renovations, improvements, and initiatives in the park, which was recently named Dallas’ most peaceful spot.

The decision to hold the sale was prompted by a forthcoming change in the park’s management. Dallas’ Park and Recreation Department will begin to oversee the area in May. However, due to the department’s limited resources for managing historical items, these unique pieces of history are being made available for purchase.

Old City Park is the site of Texas’ “largest and finest collection of 19th-century pioneer and Victorian homes and commercial buildings,” according to the park’s website. After half a century of managing the space, the current custodian, DCHS, is passing on the torch.

“We are beyond grateful for the five decades that you have brought your families to the park, visited us on field trips, listened to our stories, interacted with our staff and volunteers, sat among the historic trees, and enjoyed our events. But very soon, our time as manager of Old City Park will come to an end,” read a statement from the society on Instagram on April 12.

“Because the park will no longer operate as a museum, DCHS has a professional obligation to follow best practices in the disposition of our collection,” the statement continued.

DCHS noted that before the auction, it contacted other museums, libraries, and nonprofits that could potentially use and secure the items. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of artifacts were not claimed, leaving them to be sold.

For some Dallas residents, the sale represents an abandonment of the city’s history. One user commenting on the DCHS post said they were “heartbroken” by the news.

“The Park has been an amazing resource. I wish Dallas better treasured its past. But also understand why the estate sale needs to go forward,” posted the user.

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