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History in motion

Profile image for By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer
By Bj Lewis / Staff Writer

Exhibit to focus on county transportation

The Denton County Office ofHistory and Culture will offer a sneak preview of the newest exhibit, BigWheels Turning, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum,110 W. Hickory St.

The exhibit, which featuresitems owned by the county and others here on loan, focuses on the evolution oftransportation in Denton County.

Friday’s preview is free andopen to the public. Barbecue and sweet tea will be served.

“It’s very timely, especiallyin light of the fact we’re breaking ground this Thursday for the expansion ofI-35E, which is a landmark project for Denton County and North Texas,” saidCounty Commissioner Andy Eads. “This exhibit will feature a variety of modes oftransportation — horseback, horse and buggy, railroads, vehicular roadways, theformer inter-urban system here in Denton — and it will be expanding to includean exhibit on DCTA and our aviation history.”

One thing of note, Eads said,is a painted mural recreated from photographs showing the mural that appearedin the train depot in Denton.

“We have a variety of objectsthat include the bell off a train and a saddle bag custom-made for a pastor whoroad horseback from congregation to congregation,” Eads said.

Peggy Riddle, director of theDenton County Office of History and Culture, said the exhibit, which officiallyopens next week, will debut a few new features for the county museum. It willbe the first bilingual exhibit, with labels printed in both English andSpanish, and it is going to incorporate QR codes if people want to learn moreabout an exhibit, Riddle said.

Also, the museum will debutits media room that will be showing different films on transportation in DentonCounty.

“The first one we will showwas one done in 1913,” Riddle said. “It shows people walking, in carriages,cars, every type of transportation.”

Riddle said she hopes to havea history short film for every city and community in Denton County. She’s alsohoping that the new transportation exhibit will encourage others to do morecounty research.

“There hasn’t been as muchdocumented history of Denton County. I think it is still ripe for people toresearch. A lot of topics were covered in early newspapers, but not in depth.There are some oral histories,” she said. “We’re hoping to get some folksinterested in documenting Denton County history more. There is so much moreresearch that needs to be done, and maybe this will encourage others to help uswith that.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.