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Thursday, June 1, 2023

What: To help commemorate Richardson's 150th Anniversary, the Core Theatre will present a historical play, written by Core Theatre founder James Hansen Prince, which "explores the people and relationships that helped build Richardson into one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas." Richardson Historical & Genealogical Society President Steven Butler, whose 2 volume Sesquicentennial History of Richardson can be ordered through, was an unpaid advisor on this project.

When: June 16-July 16, 2023 (showtimes vary)

Where: The Core Theatre, 518 West Arapaho Road, Ste. 115, Richardson


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Well, RHGS President Steven Butler has been pretty busy lately! Yesterday, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, he delivered a lunchtime lecture at the Richardson Public Library entitled "How Richardson Helped Win the 1960s Space Race." Forty-six people, in addition to two library employees, attended. The day before, May 8, he intervewed Art Roberts, former Collins Radio engineer and MCI Vice-President, for the RHGS Oral History Project. Prior to that, on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, he delivered the "Space Race" lecture to the members of the RHGS at the society's monthly meeting, which was held at Richland College, one of the schools where Dr. Butler taught History lessons before retiring from Richland in 2019 and Collin College in 2021. Unlike the Richardson Senior Center, Richland College allows the RHGS, which is a recognized non-profit organization, to meet for free. Earlier, on April 4th, Dr. Butler toured the Allen Heritage Guild's replica train depot, complete with restored locomotive and caboose, an effort that Dr. Butler has stated he would like to see Richardson replicate, and on April 1, 2023, the second volume of Dr. Butler's "Sesquicentennial History of Richardson, Texas" was published and made available for sale on Photos of these activities are posted below.

Dr. Butler lecturing at the Richardson Public Library, May 9, 2023.
Dr. Butler lecturing at the Richardson Public Library

Dr. Butler interviewing Art Roberts, May 8, 2023.
Dr. Butler interviewing Art Roberts

Dr. Butler addressing the RHGS Monthly Meeting at Richland College, May 2, 2023.
Dr. Butler addressing the 2 May 2023 RHGS meeting

Dr. Butler with host Debra Arledge, Allen Heritage Guild volunteer, at the replica Allen Depot, April 4, 2023.
Dr. Butler and Allen Heritage Guild volunteer Debra Arledge

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Late yesterday afternoon, on the eve of our scheduled meeting, which was supposed to be held this evening, we were told in effect, by Parks & Recreation Director Lori Smeby, that even though we were promised more than two weeks ago that we could hold our monthly meetings, for free, at the Senior Center, the Richardson Historical & Genealogical Society, one of the oldest civic organizations in the city (founded 1970) is not welcome there after all, unless we are willing to pay a rental fee.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. Last month, Ms. Smeby gave us permission, by email, to set up a membership information table in one of Richardson's public parks (the parks that our taxpayer dollars pay for) and then, an hour later, wrote back to withdraw permission, saying that we could set up a table only if we paid for the rental of a picnic pavilion, which with our small treasury, we cannot afford. Ms. Smeby also wrote at that time that the free use of the parks by organizations was "limited to...activities that are of a religious, political or other protected free speech of which this activity is not."

Hopefully, by the time the May meeting is scheduled to take place, we will have found a more welcoming venue. Check back from time-to-time for more news.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Meet our new "home" (for now)! Starting in April, the Richardson Historical and Genealogical Society will be holding its regular monthly meetings at the Richardson Senior Center, 820 West Arapaho Road, No. 100, Richardson, Texas 75080.

Richardson Senior Center
Photo by Steven Butler

In order to fit in with the center's operating times and days, RHGS meetings will continue to be held during the first week of each month but on Thursdays nights at 6:30 p.m. instead of Tuesdays at 7 p.m. as we did at the Library. The Senior Center is located directly across East Arapaho Road from the Arapaho Village Shopping (where there is a Tom Thumb grocery store, the Arapaho Pharmacy, Dutch Brother paint store, and other businesses). The entrance and parking lot are in the back of the building, which recently underwent a complete renovation. See the CALENDAR for meeting information.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

RHGS group at Interurban Museum in Plano, March 7, 2023

Yesterday evening (Tuesday, March 7), the RHGS held its monthly meeting at the Interurban Railway Museum in Plano, where we were treated to a lecture and tour of the museum and an actual Interurban car by museum docent Harold Larson.

Unlike Richardson, which allowed its historic Interurban depot to be demolished in the late 1960s, Plano's depot not only still stands, but houses the wonderful museum we had the pleasure of visiting.

The Interurban, which also served Richardson and several other towns between Dallas and Denison, started operations in North Central Texas in 1908. It ceased on the last day of 1948. Unlike the steam-powered railroads, the Interurban ran on direct current electricity generated by the Texas Electric Railways's own power plants.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Richardson Public Library

Today, after more than 50 years of meeting regularly in the Richardson Public Library (see photo, left), the RHGS was told by Library Director Jennifer Davidson that we will no longer be allowed to do so because the partnership between the Library and the society expired when the RHGS became inactive in 2019. This news came as a bit of a surprise, in view of the fact that since October 2022, when the RHGS reactivated, we have been regularly meeting at the Library without any mention of the partnership being expired. In addition, after the Library moves to its temporary quarters later this year, there won't be meeting spaces available. Consequently, all future meetings will have to be held at some other venue, but rest assured that your officers are working diligently to find a suitable spot.

As might be imagined, this was startling news and completely unexpected, especially with the Sesquicentennial of the city occurring this spring, and also in light of the long history of the RHGS partnering with the Library to preserve the even longer history of Richardson. Ironically, only a little more than a week ago, RHGS President Steven Butler told an audience who'd come to hear him deliver a lunchtime lecture presentation on Historic Downtown Richardson, "I just have to say, of all the friends of the Richardson Historical and Genealogical Society, the Library is by far, I think, our best friend! They are really good to us here, and we appreciate it."

Once a new venue is located, members will be informed by email, Next Door, Facebook, and the calendar on this website.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Doctor Butler lecturing at Richardson Public Library

Last week, on Wednesday, February 15, as part of the Richardson Public Library's lunchtime lecture series, RHGS President Steven Butler, wearing an RHGS Sesquicentennial tee-shirt, presented a "A Virtual Tour of Historic Downtown Richardson" to an audience that numbered more than 50 people, a group that included a former city councilman, and several older residents who could remember the boom times of the 1950s. From all appearances, Dr. Butler was well received.

Wednesday, February 14, 2023
There's good news to report today!

Yesterday (Tue., February 13, 2023), the RHGS received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service informing us that our application to have our non-profit status restored had been approved. That means that we can finally open a bank account that doesn't charge a monthly fee, open a PayPal account, and also, receive donations from generous patrons who can be confident that their gifts to the RHGS will be tax-deductible!

Wednesday, January 24, 2023
Today, RHGS President Steven Butler loaned the Richardson Public Library a collection of 1973 Richardson Centennial Buttons that he recently acquired, to be displayed in the basement Reference Section during the run of the Richardson Sesquicentennial this year (2023). Here is a photo of Dr. Butler and Librarian Stacey Davis examining the buttons.

Stacey Davis and Dr. Butler with buttons

Thursday, January 19, 2023
In December 2022, shortly before the winter holiday season began, RHGS President Steven R. Butler sat down with Isis Long of the City of Richardson Communications Department, to discuss volume one of his book, A Sesquicentennial History of Richardson, Texas. Recently, the approximately hour-long interview, whittled down to a more manageable three minutes and twenty-nine seconds, was placed on Vimeo by the City. Click on the following link if you would like to view the clip, entitled Steven Butler - Richardson 150th.

Dr Butler speaking about his book

Friday, November 18, 2022:
On Wednesday evening, November 16, 2022, the officers of the RHGS met to discuss a variety of topics, not the least of which was a "wish list" proposal, drawn up in priority order by RHGS President Steven Butler, of things that the society could do to preserve and enhance the historic charactor of Old Downtown Richardson, in a cooperative effort with the City of Richardson and downtown property-owners. President Butler reported that the City is interested in these proposals and have shown interest in holding a Roundtable where they could be discussed. A copy of these proposals is AVAILABLE HERE AS A PDF. RHGS officers also approved support for a proposed HUFFHINES STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT.

COR communications director Greg Sowell at Nov 6 RHGS meeting

Thursday, November 10, 2022:
On Sunday afternoon, November 6, 2022, the second meeting of the reactivated Richardson Historical & Genealogical Society took place in the basement training room of the Richardson, Public Library. After the meeting was called to order, City of Richardson Communications Director Greg Sowell (seen in photo, left) informed members about the City's plans for the forthcoming 150th anniversary of the founding of Richardson and invited the RHGS to take an active role in helping COR (City of Richardson) celebrate and commemorate this important milestone. Afterward, following Secretary Ginger Mayo's reading of the minutes of the previous meeting and an unsuccessful attempt to find a replacement for the society's recently-resigned treasurer, President Steven Butler presented "A Brief Overview of the History of Richardson," AVAILABLE HERE AS A PDF.This was followed by a group discussion of ways by which the society could help preserve historic buildings and call attention to Richardson's history. The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Sun., Dec. 4, 2022.

Sesqiuicentennial Souvenir Book Cover

Sunday, November 6, 2022:
Pictured left is a prototype cover for the RHGS Sesquicentennial Souvenir Book, planned for publication sometime in the spring of 2023. Featuring both historic and contemporary photos, maps and documents, the book will tell the story of Richardson's growth and progress over the course of the past 150 years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022:
Today, Richardson Historical & Genealogical Society President Dr. Steven R. Butler visited the Richardson Public Library, at 900 Civic Center Drive, where RHGS library liaison Stacey Davis accepted, on behalf of the library, a 150-year-old Houston & Texas Central Railway gold bond, that Dr. Butler recently acquired and is loaning the library for the duration of the 2023 Richardson Sesquicentennial year. It is now on display in the basement Reference Library. What makes this document special is: 1.) it was issued by the railroad that created Richardson; 2.) is was issued in 1873, the year that Richardson was founded; and 3.) it bears the signature of Richardson's namesake, A. S. (Alfred Stephen) Richardson.

Stacey Davis and Steven Butler with H and TC bond

Richardson Recorder May 1982

Wednesday, October 19, 2022:
Recently, a single issue of a vintage RHGS publication, The Richardson Recorder, was found in the RHGS archives in the Richardson Public Library. Click on the image (left) to read it (PDF).

Sunday, October 2, 2022:
On Sunday afternoon, October 2, 2022, following a more-than-three-years-long period of inactivity, the Richardson Historical and Genealogical Society was revived by a concerned group of citizens who gathered at the Richardson Public Library's basement meeting room to hear Dr. Steven R. Butler, author of A Sesquicentennial History of Richardson, Texas (2 vols.), who called the meeting, present a list of reasons why he thought the organization should be reactivated, not the least of which was the city's anticipated Sesquicentennial in 2023. Approximately twenty persons attended the meeting, including Richardson City Councilman (Place 4) Joe Corcoran, library liaison Stacey Davis, and former RHGS president Frances Long. At the conclusion of Dr. Butler's remarks, a resolution to reactivate the society was passed by acclamation and signed by sixteen of those present, who also elected, by acclamation, the following new officers: President, Steven R. Butler; Vice-President, Kim Emig; Executive Secretary Ginger Mayo, Assistant Secretary, Elaine Zweig, and Treasurer, Sue Roberts.

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