Cedar Hill Museum of History

Cedar Street looking west from Main (about 100 years ago)

Where the past meets the present

Cedar Hill, first known as the cedar brakes, was founded around 1846 by a small group of settlers from the Peters Colony. They traveled to the Dallas area of North Texas on horseback and by ox-drawn wagon following trails beaten into existence by Indians, buffalo and explorers. They came seeking a place to build their homes, to socialize, worship and conduct business.

Attracted to the area by its lush natural beauty, the elevation and rocky slopes provided settlers a panoramic lookout and protection from intruders. The area also offered dense forests, rich Blackland soil, abundant creeks and streams, and opportunity.

Our forefathers turned this rugged territory into the thriving city it is today through hard work, ingenuity, foresight and sheer determination — a city steeped in family values, tradition and rich in history. See our page on the City of Cedar Hill website.

If you would like to join the Museum, download our membership application. The Cedar Hill Museum of History meets the first Tuesday of each month at 607 Cedar Street.

See our displays at the Cedar Hill Government Center, the Zula B. Wylie Library, and at the new Babe's Chicken Dinner House.

Tornado of 1856 Exhibit

Beginning in March will be an exhibit on the Tornado of 1856.  This merger of two twisters turned most of the village of Cedar Hill into sticks and mud, leaving only 2 structures.  

Cedar Hill Exhibit at Old Red Museum

See and hear the story of Cedar Hill from its early 1840’s origin in the southwest corner of what soon became Dallas County. The exhibit highlights how citizens worked together developing the community and overcoming tragedies.

Developed and installed by the Cedar Hill Historical Society, the exhibit will run from October 26, 2014 through January 25, 2015.

Among the stories featured are the devastating tornado of 1856, the establishment of the railroad in 1882, and unique tales of bank robberies by part of Bonnie & Clyde’s gang during the 1930’s. Also exhibited are some fossils of a rare 60’ swimming sea lizard found by a Cedar Hill farmer in 1933.

The exhibit is on the first floor of the beautifully restored Old Red Courthouse which was constructed in 1892 at 100 S. Houston Street.

Admission to the 1700 square foot gallery is $3. A discount voucher can be purchased for parking under the building for an additional $4. The special exhibit is part of Your Dallas, a series of exhibits coordinated through the Old Red Museum of Dallas County.

Visit the link below for more information.

Additional Info…

Outstanding Citizen

Patricia (Pat) Bateman was born to Dave and Geneva Summers in 1949.  Dave was a plumber in Cedar Hill and volunteer fireman from 1952 until 1984.  Geneva served in the fire auxiliary, owned “Juanita’s Café” in the 1950’s and then cooked for the CHISD Bray Elementary and High School cafeterias for 30 years.  Dave died in 1995 and Geneva in 2000.

In 1952 Pat’s father built their home at 112 S. Main.  She grew up on the town square with all the history and fun of a small town and remembers when the City Hall was built in 1961 across from her home.  She attended Bray Elementary School, Junior High and High School in Cedar Hill which were the only schools in the city.  She attended Mountain View College.  Pat worked from 1968-74 for Fidelity Union Life Insurance- Dallas, Customer Service or “Complaint Lady”.

In 1973 she married Boyd Bateman Jr.  Their daughter Shelly Ann was born in 1974.  Pat served on the PTA board and was room mom for Shelly through 11th grade.  During this time she was active in the First United Methodist Church in Cedar Hill.  Boyd, Shelly and Pat’s parents were also members.  Boyd, Pat and Shelly then became charter members of Christ Cornerstone Church in Cedar Hill.

In 1983, Pat began working for the Cedar Hill Library part time and then part time in Utility Billing working the window and helping customers.  This position became full-time, but since it was a small town she helped with secretary duties for Public Works, Water & Street Dept., Code Enforcement, Asst.City Manager, and Fire Dept., getting knowledge about many things.

 In 1987 she became Secretary to the Asst. City Manager and retired in January, 2012 as Ex. Assistant to Deputy City Manager Greg Porter.    Her husband, Boyd, retired in September, 2012; her daughter, Shelly, has been with Arlington Police Dept. for 13 years.  Pat plans to travel and spend time with her family&friends;.

Our Next Event

The Cedar Hill Museum of History board meets the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at 607 Cedar Street. 

Hours and Location

(972) 293-3806

607 Cedar Street
Cedar Hill, Texas 75104
in Historic Downtown

and by appointment
(Call 214 769-8425)

Now on Display

Charles E. Finsley
Memorial Fossil Exhibit

Friday through Saturday
11 am to 3 pm
by Alan Peters,

Paleontologist Alan Peters with Museum visitor Josh Porter