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23 July 2012 / leggypeggy

Horsing around at the Old Red Museum in Dallas

Spanky’s pants

Who knew so many famous people came from Dallas? Here are a few:
• George McFarland, Spanky of Spanky and Our Gang
• Bette Graham, inventor of liquid paper
• Nieman and Marcus, creators of the famed department store
• Clyde, outlaw of Bonnie and Clyde
• Lance Armstrong, cyclist of Tour de France fame
• Norah Jones, singer and musician
• Jessica Simpson, starlet
and so many more.

I learned all this at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. This magnificent red sandstone building was built in 1892 and used as the county’s courthouse until 1966. It’s undergone many transformations over the years and is now on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Two standout ‘exhibits’ for me were the famous neon Pegasus and the stunning Grand Staircase.


Pegasus was originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. Before being salvaged and installed at the Old Red Museum, Pegasus was seen cantering, glowing and rotating over the Casa Linda Mobil Gas Station, east of downtown Dallas.

Part of the intricate cast-iron staircase was removed in 1920 to make room for additional courthouse offices, but it has been restored to its original 1892 appearance.

I was also fascinated to learn about Quanah Parker, son of Peta Nocona, Comanche chief, and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who was kidnapped at the age of nine and assimilated into the tribe. Quanah, who died in 1911, was also a chief and led his people on the reservation. He became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society.

There was one other unexpected bonus on our visit. By arriving before noon, we paid only $5 each for admission.

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Leave a Comment
  1. lmo58 / Jul 23 2012 5:03 pm

    Hi Peggy,
    The museum looks wonderful but I really like the neonn Pegasus too. So much to see and do. Don’t you go making yourself too tired to enjoy South America. Kylie was eliminated last night but Guillaume Brahini invited her into his kitchen and now she’s getting work experience with pastry chefs in Sydney. The way she was eliminated, on a dessert, was really heartbreaking but it all came out okay in the end. Looking forward to more great stories and photos. Take care.



    • leggypeggy / Jul 23 2012 5:06 pm

      It’s a lovely museum and great building too. Pity about Kylie, but glad she has a great option for learning. More from Dallas and Tulsa coming soon.


  2. Potsie / Jul 29 2012 9:22 am

    The Old Red Museum was an unexpected surprise we just happened to spot after leaving the JFK Museum. I remember seeing the neon Mobil horse on top of the the Mobil building for many years when I was a boy. It was a signature landmark gracing the Dallas skyline for decades.

    Bigger and larger glass skyscrapers have replaced brick and mortar buildings since then and the Mobil horse was retired and is now in The Old Red Museum. It was wonderful to see it, again.


    • leggypeggy / Jul 31 2012 1:05 pm

      The horse was so wonderful to see. Great shape and colour, and so fitting that it’s in the Old Red Museum.



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