We are based in the Heritage House, shown above with special decorations for its 100th Anniversary.
To learn about the Society and its activities, CLICK HERE.
To learn about the history of the City of Irving and also the Heritage House, CLICK HERE.
To learn about the history of the Irving Independent School District, CLICK HERE. To see now-and-then photographs of Irving schools and other views, CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for a list of future Society activities.
A list of current officers, directors, and committee chairs are found HERE, plus an application for membership as well as a list of former presidents.
Links to other Internet sites in Irving and those with a relation to history are found HERE.
Irving Heritage Society Klem Miniature Dollhouse Colletion
On display at the Central Library
For the Month of December
Three beautifully crafted pieces from the Irving Heritage Society Klem Miniature Dollhouse Collection are currently on display at the Central Library at 801 West Irving Blvd. for the month of December.
From the estate of Helen Brooks Klem, the collection includes a multi-storied Victorian house and two store fronts; a toy store and a country store. Mrs. Klem, an avid hobbyist and miniatures collector, often involved her entire family in creating of the projects. Her husband and son built the store front structures as well as helped with various accessories. The detail of each of the buildings and the contents is quite unique.
In an earlier age, it was not uncommon for a wealthy family to hire an artisan to build a dollhouse replica of their home. These commissioned miniature works of art were proudly and prominently displayed. After World War II, miniature dollhouses were mass produced in kit form and became very popular with the home hobbyist. Miniature objects used for decoration inside dollhouses included everything one would typically find in a full-scale house.
The Country Store and Toy Shop are in a storefront format. These structures create a setting where one easily envisions daily life at an earlier point in time. The large arrays of miniature items displayed on the shelves of these establishments are interesting to view.
For more information on the Irving Heritage Society,call 972-252-3838.
Collections committee chair Don Miller, Heritage Society President Janice Carroll and Klem Miniature Dollhouses collection donor Bob Klem.
CLLICK HERE for a detailed description of the Miniature House collection.
Gift of Appreciation to Jeff Gaston
for services to the Irving Heritage Society
Antique restorer and cabinet maker Jeff Gaston was presented with a gift of appreciation for his services to the Irving Heritage Society by President Elect Patty Landers Caperton during the November board meeting. One of the most recent projects which Mr. Gaston has been working on includes restoration of items for the Mary’s Playhouse project currently underway just behind the Irving Heritage House. Mary's Playhouse is expected to be completed and open for visitors by spring.
Jeff Gaston and Patty Landers Caperton
Irving Heritage Society New Member Gathering
Several new members of the Irving Heritage Society gathered Sunday, November 10, at the Heritage House to get better acquainted with the organization and with each other. For information on the Heritage Society, call 972-252-3838.
Pictured in the front row: James & Stephanie Jordan, Karen Farris, Vicki Tate, Heritage Society President Janice Carroll and past president Mary Moorman.
Back row: Gerald Farris, Myrna Mercer, board of directors Jo-Ann Bresowar, and board director Jearlene Miller
Heritage House Tours
Sunday, November 3rd
The Irving Heritage House will be open on Sunday, November 3, from 3pm to 5pm. Docent led tours are available at 3pm and 4pm. Built in 1912 and located at 303 South O’Connor, the Heritage House was designated as a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1986. Admission is free.
Some of the favorite beautiful antiques throughout the Heritage House are: an 1840 clock, an organ (ca.1880), a square piano (ca.1860), Limoges, Sevres, and Bavarian porcelains, and many more items from the past. The house was built with a basement, a unique feature for homes in the area.
For more information call 972-252-3838. Group tours may also be arranged at alternate times.
Heritage House and porch
Heritage House blue dishes
Heritage House tools
Walter Harvey carvings on display in the Mustang Museum
Several of the Walter Harvey carvings owned by the Irving Heritage Society are now on display in the Mustang Museum, 5205 North O’Connor, Suite 155. Open Wednesday-Saturday 11am-5pm, the museum provides free admission and validation for garage parking.
Walter Harvey opened his first Barbeque restaurant in 1955 along Loop 12 in Irving, Texas. He moved the business three times over the next decade before settling at the intersection of Grauwyler and Union Bower in 1967. From this location, in a building that had begun as a church, Walter and his family served BBQ to well satisfied customers for the next 35 years.
During the early days, when he was establishing the business, he found himself with time on his hands. To fill the down-time he taught himself to whittle. He found he had a natural ability and over the years became very skilled at the craft. His carving, many of them caricature carvings of cowboy figures reflect Walter’s sly sense of humor.
Members of the community treasure their pieces of Walter Harvey folk-art. Walter Harvey, who died in 2001, is himself a piece of Americana.
For more information on the exhibit or other Irving Heritage Society activities, or call 972-252-3838.
Helen Ogden Widener Appointed
To The Dallas County Historical Commission
Helen Ogden Widener of Irving has been appointed to the Dallas County Historical Commission according to Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia. Commissioner Garcia commented, “I am honored Mrs. Widener has agreed to serve as a member of the Dallas County Historical Commission. Mrs. Widener, is a respected author, well known for her knowledge of local history, a member of the Irving Heritage Society, and has the experience and knowledge that make her a perfect fit for the Dallas County Historical Commission.”
Helen Ogden Widener was born in Conway, Arkansas and is the fifth of ten children. Her father was a cotton farmer until the bole-weevils and drought destroyed the crops. The family moved to Texas in 1950 and to Irving in 1954 where Helen attended the Irving Public School. She graduated from Byrne’s Commercial College in Irving and has taken a number of accredited courses in subjects that interest her. Helen was married forty years to the late James F. Widener, a long time Irving Attorney.
History is Helen’s greatest passion. Helen has written four books of a historical nature which include: Scraps of Life, a historical book featuring a quilt made by Elizabeth Patton Crockett, wife of Alamo Hero David Crockett; James MacKay a Man to Cherish 1761-1822, a historical account of the man who drew the most complete map used by the Lewis and Clark expedition; a gift to the City of Irving’s Centennial Celebration, Irving Centennial Cookbook and Family Histories 1903-2003; and Hutchins of Pine Mountain 300 years of migration. Helen has always enriched the Wideners life with varied interest in antiques and anything historical. Also handcrafts, needlepoint, Ukrainian decorated eggs and cooking for holidays.
The Dallas County Historical Commission, consisting of 15 individuals appointed by the Commissioners Court, serves as the county’s primary advisory body on historic preservation matters. The Historical Commission is responsible for providing the first level of review of all state historical marker requests, and it conducts two-to-three special projects a year.
Helen Ogden Widener and Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia
Irving Heritage House Joins Smithsonian Magazine’s
Ninth Annual Museum Day Live!
Saturday, September 28
Free Admission for All Participants Visiting the Irving Heritage House on September 28, 2013.
The Irving Heritage House will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 28, 2013, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s ninth annual Museum Day Live! A nationwide event, Museum Day Live! offers free admission to visitors presenting a Museum Day Live! Ticket at a participating museum or cultural institution.
Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone, giving museums across all 50 states the opportunity to emulate the admission policy of the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. Last year’s event drew over 400,000 participants, and this year’s event expects record-high participation across the nation.
Built in 1912 for C.P. Schulze and his bride, the Heritage House is a restored pioneer home. The Schulze heirs gave it to the City of Irving in 1975 to be used as a tour home. The house was designated as a Recorded Texas State Historical Landmark in 1986. A visit to the Heritage House, which is filled with beautiful antiques, is a step back in time. Open on the first Sunday of the month March-December 3pm-5pm. Tours at 3pm and 4pm. Admission is Free. Special group tours may be requested on other dates.
Irving Heritage Society President Janice Carroll commented: “We are pleased with the national recognition that this program will bring to our City of Irving and to the Irving Heritage House.”
The Museum Day Live! ticket is available to download at Smithsonian.com/museumday. Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues for one day only. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2013 and a list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit Smithsonian.com/museumday.
For more information on the 1912 Irving Heritage House, call 972-252-3838.
Seated Irving Heritage Society Recording Secretary Sandra Cole and President Janice Carroll. Standing Past President Chris Wallce.
Irving Heritage House
Alan C. Lowe, George W. Bush Library’s Museum Director —
guest speaker at the Irving
Heritage Society progam.
Alan C. Lowe, is pictured with Kaye Ward, Irving Heritage Society Vice President –Programs and Irving Heritage Society President Janice Carroll. Mr. Lowe provided the Irving Heritage Society and guests with a fascinating presentation on September 30th of his involvement and some behind the scenes pieces of information relating to various presidential libraries such as the Ronald Reagan and the Franklin D. Roosevelt libraries, the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy, and the National Archives. He has served as the Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas since 2009.
For more information on other Irving Heritage Society activities, call 972-252-3838.
Kaye Ward, Alan Lowe and Janice Carroll
Tours of the Caster Cabin and train depot at Heritage Park
The Caster Cabin and train depot at Heritage Park, 2nd and Main Street, will be open for tours by the Irving Heritage Society on Saturday, Sept. 14, during the Main Street Event. Hours will be 11am-3pm. Admission is free.
The Caster Cabin was built in 1887 by Henry Caster and his son Edmond as a dog-run cabin. Following a fire, some of the logs from the cabin were salvaged and reconstructed. The cabin contains some of the original furniture including a rocker made by Mr. Caster, the Casters’ wedding bed, a 1914 quilt and a family Bible.
The depot at Heritage Park was built about 1896 and served the small east Texas towns of Clinton and Nevada. It was purchased by the Irving Heritage Society in 1986 and moved to Heritage Park to represent the Rock Island depot which previously was located at the north end of Main Street until 1965.
For more information call 972-252-3838.
Heritage Park Cabin
Heritage Park Cabin Fireplace
Irving Heritage Society “adopts” the City of Irving
At the September 6th board meeting at the Heritage House, Irving Heritage Society board director Chris Dobson shared with other board members some information and a copy of the adoption certificate recently received. Through the Texas State Historical Association, the Irving Heritage Society “adopted” the City of Irving.
The Great Texas Land Rush Adopt-A-Town program is in support of the Texas Almanac. The Almanac was first published in 1857 and chronicles the history of Texas.
Heritage Society President Janice Carroll said “While this year we will be recognized only in the electronic format, the Heritage Society is looking forward to also promoting our beloved community in the paper version next year with board approval. Meanwhile go to www.texasalmanac.com/texas-towns/irving to see more information on the City of Irving.” Additional interesting information is available through the link of Handbook of Texas Online article for this location.
For information on other activities of the Irving Heritage Society, call 972-252-3838. CLICK HERE FOR THE TEXAS ALMANAC DESCRIPTION
Heritage Society board director Chris Dobson
Copy of the Certificate of Adoption
La Cima Heritage Committee Earn 2013 Irving Trivia Trophy
The final rounds of the 6th Annual Irving Trivia on April 20th found four strong teams competing for the honor of hosting the Irving Trivia trophy for a year. The final teams included last year’s champions the Henry Holmes Breakfast Forum, the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Irving Museum Advisory Board. The teams bowed to the new champions of the La Cima Heritage Committee, represented by Patty Landers Caperton, Anne Pfaff, Janice Carroll, and Tom Caperton as a last minute substitute for team member Virginia Meler. A record number of tie breaker questions were required to determine the winning team. For more photos, CLICK HERE.
La Cima Heritage Committee team seated left to right:
Tom Caperton, Anne Pfaff, Patty Landers Caperton and Janice Carroll.
Standing Irving Trivia event emcee Dan Matkin and
event chair Mary Higbie
This small building is located just behind the C.P. Schulze 1912 family home. Originally a chicken coop, the structure was later converted into a playhouse for the young Schulze daughter, Mary. As she grew up, Mary used the building as a quiet place for her creative interests of painting and writing as well as meditation. Rebuilding of this playhouse began in 2012 as part of the Heritage House 100th Anniversary. The Irving Heritage House is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. CLICK HERE TO VIEW MORE PHOTOS.
Pen and ink drawing by Heritage Society member Sigrid Canto