Deep Ellum in the 1920s. The photo looks north from what is approximately today’s Hall St., at the intersection of Main or Elm. In the background is the Texas Baptist Sanitarium, located at today’s Baylor Hospital. (Thanks to Steve Bozich and the Traces of Texas Facebook page for this photo.)
It was about 15 years ago at the Dallas Public Library’s downtown location that I came across, on their 8th floor, an original copy of the New Deal-era Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State. FDR’s Works Progress Administration compiled this guidebook through the work of the Federal Writers Program (with help from the Texas Writers Project and the Texas State Highway Commission), and the book is nowadays available to freely read online. The first edition was published in 1940.
There is a wealth of information on Dallas. The guidebook’s entry on Deep Ellum is also noteworthy. The language reflects white attitudes at the time:
Long-running Dallas neofolk/post-industrial act Awen, who are on Dais Records, and who’re labelmates with Drab Majesty and Them Are Us Too, appeared on PBS’ Antiques Road Show January 9, 2017. It presents a rare time a Dallas band has had national exposure. Grave City felt it had to be documented!
The band had a Freethinker volume from the 1880s that was valued between $200 – $300. Freethinker was a radical 19th century periodical that presaged the 1910s-1930s free speech movement.
Awen have been around in the North Texas area for about 17 years now. They have tried to bring the occult spirit of Current 93 and Death in June to the Republic of Texas for many years.
You can read an interview of mine with Awen and Gabhar (later called Dying and Rising) here.