"The Queerest House in Dallas County"

Back to Main Page
(Updated November 18, 2001)




     Did you ever hear of a man building a home for others? Certainly, you have. Did you ever hear of a collection, an association of men building a clubhouse, the main purpose of which, is to afford pleasure and comfort to many children for a short time during the season chosen; different crowds of children? No, you, perhaps, have not. But, that is what the Salesmanship Club of Dallas has done. These men sit on the cool porch of the big building they have erected on the shores of Bachman's Lake and listen to the merry chatter of children at play. These children are their guests. The house was built for the purpose. It is the club's trophy of the hunt for a heart.
    Nestling in a setting of trees and shrubbery on the shore of the lake is a veritable paradise for the orphan children of Dallas during the hot summer months. It is the Salesmanship camp and was built and furnished by the Salesmanship Club for the exclusive use of orphan children.


     The building is over 100 feet long and is built solidly and comfortably. It is designed as a permanent structure more with the idea of making it more of a home than a summer camp. It is practically glass inclosed as windows make up the walls on three sides. Underneath the building, which was elevated to give shady playing room, are separate dressing-rooms for the boys and girls to be used after bathing and swimming in the pool. Shower baths and sanitary toilets are located in each end of the building right off the big sleeping-rooms.
     On the north side of the building, there is a kitchen and the dining-room, the kitchen being equipped with a large range and acetylene gas stove, two provision-rooms and a very large ice box. The building was lighted with acetylene, but plans were perfected whereby electric lights were installed and in use the early part of July.
     For this summer, the camp has been greatly improved. It will be possible for the club to entertain seventy-five little visitors at one time, it being planned that each group shall stay two weeks out on the shores of Bachman's Lake. The little girls will be in the west end of the building, and the boys in the east end.
     After arrival at the camp, the children each pick their cot and locker, and after disposing of sundry articles, there is a rush for the out of doors, where the swimming pool immediately claims the majority and there is a splashing of youthful swimmers and divers. The pool is built of concrete and is furnished by artesian water, which is constantly flowing. After the pool comes the swings, merry-go-rounds, see-saw and slides. A baseball diamond is there, and under the clubhouse, elevated eight feet above the ground, is a large sand pile, where countless castles, tunnels and mud pies are made. There is a small burro named Rufe, who is loaded to capacity with a laughing, shouting cargo, and patiently plods along, seeming to understand that he is furnishing his part of a merry time.


Much to Do.

     There are so many things to see and do, that the day only seems to have begun when the call for the evening meal is heard, and a troop of hungry, tired children storm the dining-room. Then to bed, planning just how the morrow will be spent, as the sand man begins dropping sand in sleepy little eyes.
     From June 26 to July 10, children from St. Matthew's Home were at the camp and they were followed by little visitors from the Juliette Fowler Home. From Aug. 1 until the middle of September, guests will come from Buckner's in relays of seventy-five each. The camp is open to orphan children of all sects and creeds, and two weeks have been reserved for little children in the city under the care of the various churches. The camp was built for the orphan children and belongs to them. It isn't used for any other purpose.
     The most recent gift to the club was the use of a grand piano made possible by the courtesy of the John W. Lowe Post of the American Legion. It is hoped to have a radio set with a horn and amplifier in order that the little ones can hear concerts at night.
     Future plans for the club call for a boathouse to be built to take care of as many as ten boats. An awning is to be put over the swimming pool, new playground equipment will be added, and the menagerie built up. All during summer, members and their wives will have the little orphans in mind and many an evening will find cars wending their way toward the big camp on Bachman's Lake with pleasant surprises in sacks and boxes and toys for the Salesmanship Clubs' little guests. Officers are: Richard Haughton, president; James F. Rodgers, first vice president; F. L. Hockensmith, second vice president, Ray McDowell, secretary; Sam R. Lawder, treasurer, and J. Woodall Rodgers, Frank E. Moran, O. D. Brundidge and Ray Shelton.

- September 10, 1922, Dallas Morning News, Sec. II, p. 7.
- o o o -

Rest Camp Adds
746 3/4 Pounds to
Underfed Kids

     Concluding its most successful season, the Dallas Tuberculosis association's Bachman dam rest camp, Saturday, sent home 746 3/4 more pounds of children than it received at the opening of the summer.
     Two hundred and thirty-nine undernourished boys and girls, selected by welfare agencies and the association's doctors, attended the camp for two, three or four-week periods during the summer. They gained a total of 746
3/4 pounds during their stay, according to daily records kept by Mrs. Alta Jones, superintendent of the camp.
     The camp was closed Friday night with a big marshmallow toast and picture show party presided over by Public Utility Supervisor J. W. Everman (Johnnie, as the kids call him), president of the tuberculosis association.
     "I want to thank Community Chest contributors and others who support the association and its rest camp," Mr. Everman said. "Putting 746
3/4 more pounds on those kids means a lot to the future of the community--as well as to the happy youngsters."
     During last summer, 215 children enjoyed summer vacations, nourishing food, rest, supervised play and sunshine at the camp. They gained 650 pounds.
     There should be fewer drownings in the future, since 200 of the children at this summer's camp learned to swim.

- September 6, 1931, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Section III, p. 8, col. 2.
- o o o -