Clio Logo

The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture is located in the former city courthouse which was built in 1892 and designed by architect Max A. Orlopp Jr. in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The museum chronicles the city and surrounding region's social, economic, political and cultural history from prehistoric times to today. The Early Years exhibit covers prehistory to 1873; the Trading Center exhibit explores the period between 1874-1917 when Dallas grew to become an important economic center; the "Big D" exhibit looks at the years between 1918-1945 when the city became well known to the country; and the World Crossroads exhibit covers the period from 1946 to 2007, chronicling the city's emergence as home to big corporations, sports teams, among others. One of the many highlights on display are the handcuffs worn by Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy.


  • The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture was built in 1892 as the city's fifth courthouse.

The building was the fifth courthouse on the site. The first was a simple log cabin built around 1846. Dallas was eventually chosen to be the county seat and a brick courthouse was constructed in 1856. The subsequent courthouses grew in size but also burned down. The building that stands today stopped serving as a courthouse in 1968, a few years after a new one was built just across the street. 

"About Us." Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. Accessed August 13, 2016. http://www.oldred.org/about-us.

"The Present Dallas County courthouse." Texas Escapes. Accessed August 13, 2016.  http://www.texasescapes.com/DallasTexas/Dallas-County-Courthouse-Dallas-Texas.htm.