Allow me to introduce you to the stories behind many of our attractions and historic areas here in Irving, Texas. This week we'll look at how one of the first groups of people came to live in Irving. The story begins a very long time ago, way back in 1902. After the story, you can have fun putting a puzzle of the Lot Sale together. It's a painting by a Western artist named Guy Deel that gives us an idea of what the Irving "Lot Sale" could've been like. Simply click on the image of the painting below to solve the puzzle online. Now let's get started!
Do you remember the names of the two railroad surveyors from last week's story? Those names were Julius Schulze and Otis Brown. Do you remember what they were looking for way out in the country where there were no houses? If you said they were looking for a good place to build a railroad, you're correct!
While they were surveying the countryside, they came up with this really good idea - to buy up a bunch of land and sell it to people in small sections (called lots). People could then build a house on their lot, and these houses would become a neighborhood. They hoped that neighborhood would then grow into a town, a town they called Irving.
So Mr. Schulze and Mr. Brown bought 80 acres of land from a farmer named Mr. Britain. Now, remember how bad the roads and trails were back then, all bumpy and muddy and gross? Since these lots were just a short distance from the train station, people came from all over to buy some land where they could build a house and ride the train. All of that land they sold is now downtown Irving and the surrounding neighborhood.
In fact, to see for yourself what life was like in Irving when it all began, you can take a free tour of a house that was built on one of the lots back in the early 1900's. You can visit the Heritage House and Museum on the first Sunday of the month (tours resume in June-December) from 3-5 pm. The Heritage House was built in 1912 by C. P. Schulze, who was the brother of J. O. Schulze. There's a lot to see inside, too!
Below is a painting of what that day could've looked like when they were selling lots. Look at these pictures and imagine what life was like back then. Can you imagine riding through the country in a horse-drawn wagon for your job? Do you think people were really happy to see the railroad being built? In the last picture below, what do you think the man is cooking in the pot? What game are the children playing? And finally, look at the painting very carefully, then click here to solve the online puzzle. Try to remember what the picture looks like because you'll have to put the puzzle pieces together from memory. Good luck!
The answer to last week's activity page is below.