East Dallas Is...
East Dallas, also referred to as the Lake & Garden District, is an expansive area of numerous communities and neighborhoods in Dallas. White Rock Lake, located in the center of East Dallas, is considered “the crown jewel of the Dallas parks system”.The lake, along with the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Center located on the east side of the lake, have strongly influenced and shaped the identity of the East Dallas area.
The area began as a 40 acre (162,000 m²) tract east of the city of Dallas. The Beeman family had settled there in the 1860s and in 1872, William H. Gaston began promoting the area for development. Four families settled there at the time, but when the railroads came to Dallas, a number of railroad workers came and built houses between Dallas and East Dallas.
Gaston gave the railroad companies US$5,000 and free right-of-way through his land to persuade them to build through East Dallas. The Houston and Texas Central Railroad arrived on 16 July 1872 and the Texas and Pacific Railway arrived on 22 February 1873.
On 9 September 1882, the area was incorporated into a city called "East Dallas" (though many thought it should be called "Gaston") on a tract of 1,400 acres (5,670,000 m²). The small town used an aldermanic form of government and in 1883 it passed a tax ordinance to raise money for civic services. In 1883, the first schools in the area were built for 400 white students and 60 black students. In 1886, the first all-brick schoolhouse in Dallas County was constructed in East Dallas. In 1887, the State Fair of Texas and Dallas Exposition at Fair Park opened, giving the area further growth. By the late 1880s, East Dallas had 6,000 residents and by 1889, 90% of the homes in the city had running water.
In 1889, Texas state senator R.S. Kimbrough tried to get a bill run through the state legislature to remove East Dallas' charter so it could be annexed into Dallas. It is generally believed that the act was to make Dallas the largest city in Texas; and the efforts in fact did make Dallas the largest city in Texas by the 1890 census. On 31 December 1889, the day before East Dallas became part of Dallas, East Dallas' city council passed $45,000 in street improvements which the city of Dallas had to finance. Under the newly adopted charter, the city of Dallas took in all of East Dallas' debt.
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Video of Various East Dallas Churches