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DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?

Posted by TedACampbell 
DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 05:24AM
This article by Roy Appler refers to the DeLord home site at or near 1156 N. Westmoreland as one the last Reunion home sites.

[www.dallasnews.com]

Appler's article states that although the home no longer exists, there are "lines of mortared stone" on the site.

Anyone ever visited this site or know anything about it? I'd like to get photographic images relating to Reunion sites.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 09:05AM
In the late 50s, I went to Sunset HS. in Oak Cliff with Lynndie Santerre. He died 2 years ago. He was swarthy-appearing with an olive complexion and black hair. It didn't occur to me back then to ask him about La Reunion. Jim. his true 1st name was "Loucaine"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2017 07:01PM by jgoodman.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 10:46AM
I roamed all over that territory (the portion that was undeveloped), without a thought concerning trespass, in my youth. However, I also gave not a thought to the La Reunion Colony at the time. When I did hear of it as a kid, it came into my brain (as someone else has mentioned here before) as "Laurie Union," and I did not know the significance to early Dallas history.

Dave McNeely
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 06:21PM
Don't think this is going to display right, but maybe you can follow the link to this photo of the DeLord home from a Dallas Journal article in 1936. Says it was near the intersection of Westmoreland and US 80. But where was US 80 routed then? Davis Street or Fort Worth Avenue?





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2017 06:21PM by TedACampbell.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 06:22PM
Remin me how to post an image. Does it have to be in a certain graphic format?
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 22, 2017 09:02PM
TedACampbell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Don't think this is going to display right, but
> maybe you can follow the link to this photo of the
> DeLord home from a Dallas Journal article in 1936.
> Says it was near the intersection of Westmoreland
> and US 80. But where was US 80 routed then? Davis
> Street or Fort Worth Avenue?
>
>

This thread may help. It has a map of Oak Cliff with street names from 1936, and one post states that U.S. 80 followed Davis at that time. By zooming in, you can see the U.S. Highways shield just above what is labeled as Davis Street, both east of Hampton, and west of Westmoreland.

[phorum.dallashistory.org]

Dave McNeely



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2017 09:14PM by old man from dallas.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 23, 2017 01:15PM
Very helpful -- thanks!
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 24, 2017 09:29PM
The De Lord property and home site was within the La Reunion Colony Lands but was purchased by De Lord after the Colony's demise as were several other tracts by former colonists. The De Lord tract was located near the southwest corner of the McCracken Survey which is bounded by present Davis and Westmoreland, but the 1156 address would be a bit farther north.

There was some discussion a couple of years back about some active springs or seeps in the vicinity but don't recall if the investigation confirmed the early occupants.

The concentration of La Reunion Colony building lots platted in 1855-58, which contained the original constructed headquarters, store and housing, was on the north side of Remond, about midway between Hampton and Westmorland where the USPS transfer facility is located. The site was eradicated by limestone mining through the mid 20th century and no trace of any Colony structures remain.

I've previously posted overlays of the first two purchases of 6685 acres of Colony lands on both the GLO maps of original surveys and current street maps. I also have a detailed ca 1856 map that includes a number of other separate tracts and surveys attributed to the Colony. . The map key in written in French so I have not verified the actual dates of acquisitions. Some of that land was later a part of the breakaway New Louven Colony.

The Santerre Map is not to scale nor accurate. As I recall his "White Cliffs of Dallas" overstated the Dallas County acreage, possibly including the tracts in SW Texas.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 24, 2017 10:12PM
TedACampbell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Remin me how to post an image. Does it have to be
> in a certain graphic format?


You have to first upload the image to a web hosting site, such as Flickr, WebShots, PhotoBucket, etc. Then you post the direct link to the photo using the "Insert Image" tool above.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 24, 2017 10:24PM
This map shows only the 2080 acres consisting of 5 separate surveys purchased for the Colony in March 1855. The X in the center, i.e., "donut hole," was not a part of the Colony. The broker of the purchase kept it for speculation.

Victor Considerant had previously acquired 4605 acres for the Colony in January 1855, not shown. Ironically it was mostly prime farming land which may have saved the Colony but not put into cultivation. Parts of that larger purchase were later acquired by former colonists and others who prospered from the lands.

Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 25, 2017 09:37AM
On MC's map, I noticed "Bickers" St.. I wonder if this was related to Benny Bickers, a famous gambler and club owner in the 30s and 40s? Jim
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 25, 2017 03:01PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On MC's map, I noticed "Bickers" St.. I wonder if
> this was related to Benny Bickers, a famous
> gambler and club owner in the 30s and 40s? Jim


The actual name is Benny Binion so no connection to Bickers Street. I did have a school teacher named Mrs Bickers who would chase me around the classroom with a broom when I mis-behaved. Binion hails from Collin County, where his family was quite prominent. A good read is Gary Sleeper's, I'll Do My Own Damn Killin': Benny Binion, Herbert Noble, and the Texas Gambling War and another, Jim Gatewood's Benny Binion: The Legend of Benny Binion, Dallas Gambler and Mob Boss
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 26, 2017 09:19AM
I went to high school in OC with Mickey Bickers whose dad was Benjamin(Ben) Bickers. He was a man of sport and owned the University Club that Jack Ruby tried to buy from him.. Jim…..ah yes, so was Benny Binion a man of sport in a gigantic fashion.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 26, 2017 07:05PM
I remember as a kid going fishing at the pond/lake in Fish Trap Park. It was surrounded by negro "projects" back then. No real game fish there, just bream. Jim
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 26, 2017 09:51PM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember as a kid going fishing at the pond/lake
> in Fish Trap Park. It was surrounded by negro
> "projects" back then. No real game fish there,
> just bream. Jim

I too fished in Fish Trap Lake, and also in the old Trinity River channel (the river before the floodway and levee construction) along Bernal and Canada Drive, as well as in a pond west of Fish Trap Lake that might also have been either the old river channel, or an even older channel abandoned by the river in its meanderings before the floodway was constructed. There were always a lot of people fishing Fish Trap Lake. We caught channel catfish, sunfish (bream), largemouth bass, and white crappie in all these places, though never any large fish. There were other fishermen we saw there who specialized in fishing for longnosed gar in the old river channel, and in the borrow pits in the flood plain. We also fished in Vilbig Lake further west in Eagle Ford. It was less productive for us than Fish Trap Lake and the old river channels. All this was back in the 1950s, early 1960s. Lake Vilbig at that time was actually a series of old abandoned gravel pits and wetlands. I have heard that later it was dredged out, a dam erected, and a private residence development put in.

Knowing what I know now about the pollution in the area from the lead smelters and other factories in the vicinity, I doubt that the fish were fit to eat, but we ate them. We also ate the gar, but they were the product of my older brothers seining the borrow pits, and in other locations around Dallas County as well, and not the fishing that my father and I did. I'm still alive, but the pollution in the fish may have shaved a few points that I could ill afford to lose from my i.q.

When my brothers seined the borrow pits, they obtained gar, freshwater drum, river carpsucker, carp, smallmouth buffalo, and occasional other more desirable species like catfish, crappie and bass. We ate some of the gar and drum, and usually all the more desirable species. Taking these game species with any method other than hook and line was illegal, but that didn't seem to bother us, and my brothers were never caught and fined or anything. Most of the "rough fish" my father sold to the small grocery stores to which he supplied produce, mostly in poorer parts of town. Only one grocery would take the carpsuckers, and that was a really foul place on Singleton Blvd. at Hampton called Alamo Market. When you walked into the place, it stunk. However, it was one of the few places in Dallas back then that you could get dried ancho peppers, an important ingredient for a lot of Mexican dishes.

I doubt my Dad and brothers had a license for commercial fishing or fish wholesaling.

I believe all these bodies of water are on the state health department list of waters where fishing is discouraged for health reasons now, and have been for some time. Back then, we considered some of these water bodies to be polluted, but thought only of microbial pollution, which we reasoned was obviated by the heat of cooking.

Dave McNeely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2017 09:26PM by old man from dallas.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 27, 2017 08:42AM
I remember the Alamo market on the corner of Singleton and Hampton, but never went in. As I understand, the owner was a gangster…. an associate of Benny Binion….perhaps a hit man back in the 40s. At one time, he was accused by Herbert Nobles of killing Noble's wife. At any rate, how do you cook gar as I understand they are quite boney? Jim
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 27, 2017 09:36AM
jgoodman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember the Alamo market on the corner of
> Singleton and Hampton, but never went in. As I
> understand, the owner was a gangster…. an
> associate of Benny Binion….perhaps a hit man
> back in the 40s. At one time, he was accused by
> Herbert Nobles of killing Noble's wife. At any
> rate, how do you cook gar as I understand they are
> quite boney? Jim

Hi Jim, Gar flesh is not bony. The lateral ribs (lateral vertebral spines) that make other fish bony for culinary purposes are absent in gar. Most fish have these, and even such highly valued species like largemouth bass have to have them removed from fillets, though they are more evident in some other species. Next time you eat a salmon fillet or steak, be on the lookout for these bones. Or if you eat a whole baked fish, notice when the fillet on one side is lifted off. These bones are there, sticking out from the vertebrae.

The difficulty in processing gar for cooking is the dermal armor of very heavy, overlapping, ganoid, dermal scales. They are tooth-like in structure, and in fact the bone (ganoin) in them is a type of enamel, related to that in teeth. Fish scales and all vertebrate teeth are embryologically (and probably evolutionarily) homologous. My father used a small saw and a hatchet to remove this exoskeleton. The fillets may be easily removed once the skin is gone, and they contain none of the small bones as described above for other species. The flesh may be used in a variety of fish recipes, and is highly prized in Louisiana for Cajun cookery. My mother, not a Cajun, used to bake them in a tomato sauce, and also in a garlicky butter sauce. Delicious! When I worked in Brownsville, TX I used to very rarely get corn meal dredged, fried gar fillets from a rustic, resaca side restaurant called the Mermaid's Lagoon. They were delectable, but we never prepared them this way when I was a kid, though that was our preferred preparation for other fish.

I googled "gar cooking" and got a large number of hits:

[search.yahoo.com]

Gar are very long lived, and eat almost exclusively other fishes. Pollutants like mercury and lead accumulate in the tissues.

Interestingly, gar have very large gonadal sacs with tens of thousands of large eggs in a big female. Many fishes (notably sturgeon and paddlefish, other "primitive" species) are highly prized for their eggs to make caviar. However, gar eggs contain a neurotoxin similar to that of the unrelated puffers (Japanese fugu), and not only must these not be eaten, but care should be taken in processing to avoid cutting the gonads and contaminating the flesh. The gar toxin is less deadly than the fugu toxin, and I have never heard of anyone being killed or sickened from the flesh, though a very few cases are known of persons ingesting the eggs and being made ill. My uneducated father knew about the toxicity of gar eggs, but I, typical of teenagers, doubted his claims about it until I learned he was right from studying ichthyology in college.

Dave McNeely



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/2017 10:22AM by old man from dallas.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 28, 2017 07:06AM
Gar are still hunted with a bow and arrow. Lots of "hunters" do it here at Cedar Creek Lake.
Re: DeLord La Reunion Home Site on Westmoreland?
February 28, 2017 07:35AM
mrchuck Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Gar are still hunted with a bow and arrow. Lots of
> "hunters" do it here at Cedar Creek Lake.

Interestingly, many fishers, including bow fishers, mistakenly refer to longnosed gar as alligator gar. Those who do properly differentiate (the two are easily told apart, as are the other, small gars, such as spotted and short nosed gars) often call long nosed gars "fish gars" to distinguish them.

Cedar Creek Reservoir may harbor all four of the species that occur in Texas, though alligator gar certainly would be less common than the very numerous long nosed gar. Alligator gar is a threatened species, and should not be killed, though iirc it is legal to do so in Texas, which treats it as a "species of concern." The Trinity River is one of the few streams that still harbors a substantial population of them, and it has some of the largest ones left.

[dallastrinitytrails.blogspot.com]

[tpwd.texas.gov]

Alligator gar is an interesting species that if present shows that a riverine habitat is still reasonably healthy. Dams and over harvest are the primary causes of its decline. It needs large flowing rivers that flood for successful reproduction.

Dave McNeely
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