South Shore Drive Trivia

Following is a collection of newspaper articles, published primarily in the Dallas Morning News over the past 80 years, relating to events, features and stories on South Shore Drive. If you have any additional stories or photographs of the time, please drop us a note and we will be happy to include your material.

Liquor-Laden Roadster Abandoned in Creek (1929)

“A roadster containing sixty-two gallons of whisky was confiscated by police on Tuesday morning after the car was abandoned by its driver in a creek on South Shore Drive in Oak Cliff. The driver drove the car into the creek and fled when pursuing police drew near. An armed man arrested less than two hours later in Dallas was suspected of being the driver.” (©Dallas Morning News, June 29, 1932, Section I, Page 5)

Would Cut Cedar Creek Dam (1938)

“Residents of the Beckley Club want the dam across Cedar Creek torn away so water forming Lake Helen will not gather there, according to Herman Munster, 132 South Shore Drive. Residents say the water is shallow and silt gathers, making the lake undesirable. Mr. Munster said property owners plan to petition the city to tear down the dam so Cedar Creek will not be obstructed.” (©Dallas Morning News, July 3, 1938, Section II, Page 3)

Boys Oppose Draining Lake, 1938Beckley Club Condemns Dam (1938)

"Members of the Beckley Club Improvement League Monday night decided to circulate a petition this week among property owners and resients of the Beckley Club area requesting the city to destroy the dam which impounds waters of Cedar Creek to form Lake Helen on the ground that the lake is contaminated and has become a health meance. Conly K. Stevens, league vice-president, said the lake has become nearly filled with silt; in some places it has filled in about ten feet, and that the water is contaminated and emits a bad odor noticeable for half a block. A committee of the club plans to present the completed petition to the City Council next Friday. The club also adopted by-laws recently drawn up. Mr. Stevens presided in the absence of Lynn Landrum, president, who is away on vacation." (©Dallas Morning News, September 13, 1938, Section I, Page 11)

Fate of Lake Helen Up to Work Director (1938)

“Demolition of the dam creating Lake Helen in Beckleywood addition, south Oak Cliff, will be ordered if Public Works Director A.P. Rollins recommends such action, City Councilmen said Friday. Herman Munster, 132 South Shore Drive, presented a petition for such a step, pointing out that the lake has practically silted up and is no longer desired.” (©Dallas Morning News, September 24, 1938, Section I, Page 6).

Council Weighs Plan to Drain Lake Helen (1938)

"A hole may be cut in the bottom of Lake Helen dam in order to drain the one time beauty spot in Beckley Club addition in Oak Cliff, City Councilmen decided Monday. In order to destroy the dam as requested by residents of the addition, the city would have to spend $4,272 to relocate a pipe now carried on the structure, and permission must be obtained from citizens who originally had the dam built. Councilman Willis Gunn suggested the plan of simply cutting a hole in the bottom of the dam to drain the water and officials said they would investigate that immediately and make a report." (©Dallas Morning News, November 15, 1938, Section I, Page 8)

City to Drain Stagnant Lake By Hole in Dam (1938)

"A hole will be cut in the Lake Helen dam in Beckleywood Addition to drain a stagnant pool that once was an attractive reservoir, if owners of the structure will give their permission for such action, Assistant City Manager L.B. Houston said Wednesday. Owners of the structure, most of them people who settled in the addition when it was first developed, petitioned for destruction of the dam recently. City officials did not want to destroy the dam, however, because it supports a water line and a change in the pipe would have cost several thousand dollars." (©Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1938, Section II, Page 1)

Beckley Club Residents Want Improvement in Lake (1939)

"Residents of Beckley Club either want the dam across Cedar Creek that forms Lake Helen removed so the water can flow freely or they want the area taken over by the Dallas Park Board and maintained as a permanent lake. Herman Munster, 132 South Shore Drive, said property owners want the lake if it can be properly maintained but are opposed to it being allowed to remain in its present unsanitary condition. "Residents of Beckley Club have volunteered to cut a six-foot hole through the dam if the city will furnish us with an electric drill," Mr. Munster said, "so it can be drained when needed. A steel gate should be placed against the opening to hold the water when drainage is not necessary." Property owners assert the lake, if given proper care, can be made a recreational center for Beckley Club." (©Dallas Morning News, September 26, 1939, Section II, Page 12)

John Webb, 59, State Editor of Herald, Dies (1941)

“John Anderson Webb, 59, state editor of the Dallas Times Herald and well-known Southwestern newspaperman, died suddenly of a heart attack Friday night at his home, 114 South Shore Drive. Mr. Webb was stricken about 7 p.m. and death followed within fifteen minutes. For twenty-two years Mr. Webb had been identified with the Times Herald, for a long time as copy desk man and later as state editor. He also served with the Texas Election Bureau in tabulating and disseminating state election returns. Born near Palestine, Mr. Webb taught school in Houston County ten years during the early part of his life. He married in 1905 and later worked on papers in Galveston, Forth Worth and Waco, coming to Dallas from Waco in 1918. He was active in Dallas in Masonic work and was a thirty-third degree Mason, belonged to the Washington Lodge and to the Texas Consistory. He was a member of the Baptist church.” (©Dallas Morning News, January 25, 1941, Section I, Page 9)

Herman Munster, Oak Cliff Civic Leader, Dead (1944)

“Funeral services for Herman Munster, 57, of 132 South Shore Drive, Oak Cliff civic leader, who died Tuesday will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Oak Cliff Methodist Church by the Rev. H.C. Henderson, pastor, and Dr. Albert L. Scales. The Masonic burial service will be conducted at Laurel Land Memorial Park by the Landmark Lodge. Munster had been for thirty-five years a baker in Dallas, twelve as vice-president of the Oak Cliff Baking Company. He had served as vice-president and director of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the Oak Cliff Kiwanis Club and the Oak Cliff YMCA. Born in Berlin, Germany, he came to Dallas with his parents when only three months old. In his boyhood, Munster started working for bakeries and while a young man became associated with Jake Golman, with whom in 1930 he organized the Oak Cliff Baking Company. (©Dallas Morning News, August 2, 1944, Section II, Page 3)

Wooded Homesite Planned For Privacy and Fine View (1951)

Like most gardeners, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Garcia wanted two things especially when they planned their home: Privacy and a fine view. And they achieved it very easily, at 226 South Shore Drive. They chose a lot almost an acre in area, in a bit of natural woodland. The home stands in the midst of a grouping of elms, oaks and cedars, some of which were removed to make room for the house and front yard. On one side, the driveway leads to the garage. On the other, there are the trees. A wood slopes down across the road from the front of the house. At the back, a lawn leads to a group of colorful sumacs at the foot of a high cliff. Here is where the view and privacy come in. A large picture window in the living room gives a view of a redwood terrace, with red-colored cement floor, a cement patio just back of that, then of the lawn and the cliff rising upward from it.

226 South Shore, 1951It is the natural growth on the 60-foot high cliff that gives Mr. and Mrs. Garcia the most pleasure. In spring there are redbuds blooming against the bare branches of oaks, elms, wild chinaberries, and bois d'arcs. In the summer, there is the soft, cool green of dense foliage. The autumn color of swamp holly, sumacs, and oaks makes an unforgettable glow. Even in winter, the cliff is beautiful, especially when snow softens its contour. That, agree the Garcias, probably is their favorite of all the views from their picture window. A birdbath is in the back yard. Wild sarsaparilla vines climb the fence at one side. Walls and furnishings indoors bring outside in. Mrs. Garcia chose chartreuse for her walls, not only because it was her favorite shade, but also because it complemented the dark green and red upholstery of the contemporary furniture. Pot plants are on tables both inside and outside the large window. A lovely contrast is the lovely wide red brick fireplace, with tile American and Spanish coats of arms, and the dark china closet containing the chartreuse china. Strings of peppers hang on the redwood wall of the porch. Sage grows with gardenias and pyracantha just back of the house. A tall lamppost holds a dark metal lamp near the patio where the forthcoming barbecue pit will be. There is a pecan tree at the back. It has nuts but the Garcias rarely get one. The squirrels, of which there are many in th woods, always beat them to them. Later on a friend will help Mrs. Garcia put in a lily pool. "With privacy and a lovely view already achieved, we can take our time getting all the other projects finished," she said. She might have added "restfulness" to the view and privacy for that is exactly what one feels on entering the grounds. [In the photo,] Mrs. Henry Garcia is enjoying both the beauty and quiet of a tree-covered 60-foot high cliff just back of a modern city home. She and Mr. Garcia planned it this way when they built on a strip of woods at 226 South Shore Drive and set a large picture window in their back living room wall. (©Dallas Morning News, December 16, 1951, Section III, Page 21).

Drumsticks Make Way For Gavel (1960)

By Ruby Clayton McKee, Society and Club Editor of The News - “Mr. and Mrs. J. Stuart Todd made their first trip to Texas nine years ago and stayed. The young architect had just been graduated at the University of Michigan and was eager to start his career. Dallas promised possibilities and a job. After a few days of nostalgia for their native city of Ionia, Mich., the Todd’s adopted their new state. They accepted, not only the warm hospitality extended them, but also the opportunities for service in their newly found community. They became identified with civic drives, club, and church work. The attractive mother is the new president of the Junior Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts, a group of 130 civic-minded young women. Mr. And Mrs. Todd, their daughter Tamara who will be seven in August, and their son Duncan, five years old, make their home at 122 South Shore Drive.

122 South Shore, 1960

Mrs. Todd is one writer who does not aspire to write the great American novel. The Michigan State University graduate likes news reporting and worked on Michigan papers. While pursuing her journalism courses at the university she became versatile in another field - she played snare drums for the university band. Mrs. Todd also has taken violin lessons and currently sings in the choir at the First Unitarian Church to which she belongs. She and her husband are members of the board of directors of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts and collect modern art for their home.

Mrs. Todd is a member of the Oak Cliff Opti-Mrs. Club, Theta Sigma Phi natural professional fraternity for women in journalism, Sigma Kappa social sorority, the Architects' Wives Club and the PTA at Harrell Budd School, where Tamara will be in the second grade in the fall. She is a former board member of the Dallas Civic Opera Guild. Art and music are joint hobbies of the Todd’s' and when they are not at concerts or musicals they are often listening to their records. They are emphasizing the importance of music and art in rearing their children.Tamara and Duncan are learning this appreciation and frequently accompany their parents to arts galleries. Another family pastime is camping out. Soon the four Todd’s leave for the Rocky Mountains and their summer vacation under the skies. The children will have their special tent. Chief cook will be their father. On election of this comparatively newcomer to head one of the city's most distinguished groups, a member remarked, "Truly, we have chosen a leader."” (©Dallas Morning News, June 23, 1960, Section III, Page 1)

Rain 'Bomb' Hits Shelter Like A Blast (1961)

“An Oak Cliff woman Wednesday had a fall out with the fallout shelter business. Mrs. Maxine Smith of 240 South Shore Drive told the Dallas News that Wednesday's rains caused her $2,500 steel and reinforced concrete fallout shelter to cave in and flood. "It's like a 100-megaton bomb had hit it," she said. “It's all out of proportion, and the 4-inch concrete top crumbled like a pound cake. I think I could have built a better one with my sand pile”, she lamented after “trying to find just the right builder”. (©Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1961, Section II, Page 1)