During my time off I have spent some time in the Dallas history section of the downtown library looking at old maps from 1900-1945. My main goal was to track the changes to the part of east Dallas where I live, but I was also looking for urban ghost towns — places that used to be towns on their own but were absorbed by Dallas.
According to most online maps there is a place called Rawlins on the NW shore of White Rock Lake, but the maps didn’t show anything there during that time frame. However, they gave good locations for the former towns of Vickery and Reinhardt, so today I went to check them out and see whether there were any signs of the old towns.
Vickery is a fairly well know urban ghost town on the NE corner of Park Lane and Greenville Ave. It took a little digging to find out exactly where it was because all the street names have changed from the 1940s to today. When I found the streets with their new names I was very surprised what was there: nothing but apartments. Actually not quite nothing, there was also a new elementary school (Lowe) and Vickery Baptist Church. The church looked kind of old, but not 1940s or earlier; I would guess 1960s. It appeared to be well past its heyday. Other those plus some convenience stores, it was apartments galore. A huge expanse of a dozen or more apartment complexes all dating from the 1970s and appearing to be populated primarily by recent immigrants from Africa and Latin America. I had driven by on Park Lane many times and knew there were a lot of apartments around but I didn’t realize just how densely populated it was until I got onto the back streets looking for signs of the old town. But there weren’t any signs of the old town. I had read one time that the old house on Greenville was the only structure remaining from the town of Vickery and now I believe it. Other than that and maybe the Baptist church there’s no sign there was ever anything there but apartments.
My next stop was the ghost town of Reinhardt. That was much more clearly a town. The former 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Streets are now Naylor, Stevens, and Drake, just off of Peavy and south of Garland Rd. When you drive up there you can tell it doesn’t fit with the area around it that was developed as part of Dallas. There are a bunch of old run-down industrial buildings along both sides of the railroad tracks, and the houses around are clearly older than the surrounding area. There was a building that I think may have been the old post office but I couldn’t tell for sure. Somebody ought to get a historical marker for Reinhardt there on Peavy Rd.