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Old City Park's antiques go on sale starting today in Dallas

 The buildings and items in Old City Park reflect Dallas' history from 1840-1910.
Jerome Weeks
The buildings and items in Old City Park reflect Dallas' history from 1840-1910.

Dallas history is going on sale to the public this Monday through Saturday. The city's Park and Recreation Department will start managing Old City Park next month, but it’s not set up to run a history museum. That's why some 20,000 items from the park — ranging from dolls to quilts to office equipment — are in an estate sale starting this morning.

For more than 50 years, Dallas County Heritage Society managed Old City Park. But it’s contract is up in May. It’s already donated significant antiques to other museums, libraries and non-profits.

Mark Meadows is interim CEO of the Heritage Society. On the society's website, he posted an Instagram letter addressing the sale: "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."

But by donating antiques to other organizations, he wrote, this means they "will preserve these items and use them for educational purposes, so that these artifacts can continue to serve the purpose for which they were donated or otherwise acquired. For the remaining items not collected by other institutions, we have made the heartbreaking decision to host an estate sale April 29-May 4."

Sorrow and anger over the sale

The items in the sale range from antique typewriters, silverware and lamps to a pickup truck and other equipment the staff used in working there. Even so, Meadows said some of Old City Park’s historic storefronts and homes won’t be left empty. Under the park department, school tours and other events may continue.

But deciding which antiques remain, which will be sold, has been difficult.

"We don’t have a clear picture of how the staffing is going to be here," he said. "And if we’re going to leave items in those buildings, they’ve got to be protected."

Social media has been full of expressions of sorrow and anger over the sale —with people often recalling how they visited the park as children.

But in his public letter, Meadows wrote, "Proceeds from this sale will be used by DCHS to provide funding for future repairs and other improvements to the historic buildings and grounds of Old City Park."

  • The Old City Park estate sale runs at the park, 10 am to 4 pm, April 29-May 4. For more information, the OCP website has a list of Q&As.

Got a tip? Email Jerome Weeks at  jweeks@kera.org. You can follow him on X (Twitter) @dazeandweex.

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Jerome Weeks