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Doug’s Gym – The Last of Its Kind

June 9, 2020

An online lecture with Norm Diamond

Norm Diamond photographed the last months of a dilapidated, yet beautiful old gym in Dallas, Texas. These stark images could have come from another era. They evoke themes of memory and loss. No modern gym looks like this. The owner, Doug Eidd, a grizzled 87-year-old, opened the gym in 1962. He could have emerged from a time capsule as well. His members did not care that the gym was run down or that Doug smoked cigars most of the day. They respected his expertise and loved the casual atmosphere he created. Although Doug was still fit, he did not resemble the muscle-bound figure of his youth. He knew that time would one day engulf him and the gym. This came to pass in the spring of 2018 when he was forced to close the gym on short notice. Diamond stayed to photograph the removal of the equipment as Doug’s Gym drifted into memory.

Caring For Dallas: A History of Our Hospitals

In the early nineteenth century, most Americans gave birth and endured illness and even surgery at home. They belonged to a largely rural society, and few would ever have occasion to visit a hospital. Hospitals in the United States emerged from institutions, notably almshouses, that provided care and custody for the poor. Thus, rooted in the tradition of charity, the public hospital traces its ancestry to the development of cities and community efforts to shelter and care for the chronically ill, deprived, and disabled. Though modest in their origins, public hospitals have grown into multifaceted municipal institutions. This online exhibit tells the history of hospitals and caring for the sick in Dallas.


The Hall of State will open to the public beginning on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.  The Museum will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday-Friday. Visitation on Saturday and Sunday will be limited to appointments only (in order to be in compliance with Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-18). These opening hours are effective until further notice.

To make an appointment, call (214) 421-4500

The DHS archives & the G.B. Dealey Library will be closed for in person research appointments thru the end of June. During this time, staff will continue to assist with research requests submitted by email to We also invite the public to explore a selection of our visual collections on our website.

Polly Smith: Images of Texas

In 1935, Texas was preparing for its biggest celebration to date: a world’s fair to commemorate the centennial of its independence from Mexico. Centennial officials, eager to publicize the event, needed an abundance of photographic images that would put the state in the best possible light. They hired a young photographer, Polly Smith, who had recently returned from studying in New York, to travel the length and width of the state. Her mission was to capture the people and places that made Texas unique. The body of her work from that laborious journey is held in the Dallas Historical Archives and is the basis for this online exhibit.

Special Event Rental Discount:

As our community works through these unprecedented times, the Dallas Historical Society is offering a 10% discount to those who schedule their wedding or other event at the Hall of State to take place within the next two years. 

In order to take advantage of this discount offer, events must be booked by September 1, 2020.

For more information about renting the Hall of State or to schedule an appointment, contact the DHS  at:
214-421-4500 ext. 106 or email  Nora Lenhart.

Century Society

The Century Society of the Dallas Historical Society is comprised of engaged and forward thinking community members who take pride in the city of Dallas and are committed to the 100th anniversary of the Dallas Historical Society in 2022. Whether generational, longtime Dallas resident or new to the city, each member has one goal in mind: to continue to support the important history of the people, places, and events for the next generations. The objective of the Century Society is to take the organization into the next hundred years in a meaningful and modern way.

*The Founding Members will play an integral role in the formation of the Century Society in order to ensure the success of the 100th anniversary celebration.  Founding Members will be expected to pledge to a five year commitment. For more information please contact Molly Nolan at 214-421-4500 ext. 107

About the Dallas Historical Society:

Established in 1922, the Dallas Historical Society is the preeminent organization of its kind in Dallas, collecting, preserving, and exhibiting the heritage of Dallas and Texas to educate and inspire future generations. The stories of Dallas are shared each day through the three million items that comprise its archives and artifact collections. Housed at the Hall of State in Fair Park since 1938, the Society presents these collections through education programs, exhibitions, tours, access to research materials and workshops. Each year, the Dallas Historical Society is visited by more than 160,000 people and serves more than 20,000 students through guided tours and educational programming at the Hall of State, as well as outreach programs at school locations. More information can be found at