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Why I Created This Web Site

As a native of Dallas, I have a deep affinity for two places where I have spent a fair (no pun intended) amount of time over the years. One is White Rock Lake Park. The other is Fair Park. I am also a professor of history, with a particular interest in local history. To date I have had five articles published in Legacies, a history journal jointly published by the Dallas Historical Society, the Dallas County Heritage Society, and the Sixth Floor Museum.

During a visit to Fair Park with my children in 1983 or 1984 it suddenly occurred to me that I knew very little about the history of a place where I spent many happy hours of my own childhood and youth. This is when I began researching the history and development of the park and briefly, I entertained the hope of writing a book about the history of the State Fair of Texas. That ambition was quickly discarded however, after I learned that the State Fair's publicist, Nancy Wiley, was already hard at work on such a project and of course, already had the blessing of the organization for which she works.

After that I shifted gears, continuing my research but with the idea of one day putting out a book about the history and development of Fair Park itself. Along the way I collected several file folders full of notes and photocopies. I also began collecting old post cards and memorabilia of the State Fair and Fair Park as well as the Texas Centennial Exposition and Greater Pan-American Exposition.

I gained even more knowledge (and also had a lot of fun) when I was active as a volunteer for the Dallas Historical Society's Lone Star Adventure program from 1985 to 1990. During this time I provided tours of the Hall of State and portrayed Texas hero Davy Crockett on more occasions than I can possibly remember. One of my proudest moments came on August 17, 1986, when we celebrated the famous frontiersman's 200th birthday at the Hall of State, an event attended by hundreds of people and well-covered by the local news media.

Between 1989 and 2001 I put aside my Fair Park research to pursue other areas of historical inquiry (most specifically the U.S.-Mexican War) but I never completely lost interest in local history. In 1996 I created my White Rock Lake Web site (which has proved to be more popular than I anticipated) in order to share with others what I learned about its history and development. That same year or perhaps a little later, I also created a Fair Park web site for the same reason. However, due to a lack of time to work on it, I didn't think it was very good so I didn't go out of my way to call attention to it. Finally, in the spring of 2002 I determined that all the information about Fair Park I had simply sitting in boxes could be put to better use. The result, at long-last, is this Web site, new-designed to match my White Rock site, and chock full of what I hope visitors will agree is interesting content. Many of the postcards I collected are showcased here and with my new digital camera, I have provided a number of up-to-date photos of Fair Park, with a view to revealing to the world what an architectural treasure we have here in Texas.

So, thanks for visiting and enjoy!

- Steven Butler

Copyright © 2002-2003 by Steven Butler. All rights reserved.