Denton County offices will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day

Office of History and Culture

 Past Exhibits

Common Threads: Denton County Local History Showcase

August 11, 2015 - August 26, 2016

Denton County has a rich history that continues to be preserved and collected by local historical societies and organizations throughout the county. These organizations and societies work hard to recognize and promote their local histories through displays of their museum collections, historic preservation projects, and opportunities for genealogical research. The Denton County Office of History and Culture is proud to collaborate with these groups from Argyle, Aubrey, Krum, Sanger, Pilot Point, Roanoke, and The Colony to share their stories that contribute to the rich history of Denton County.

2016 Denton County Black History Month

During Black History Month, the Denton County Office of History & Culture celebrated the legacy of African-Americans through a series of special exhibitions and talks.

During the month of February visitors to the Courthouse-on-the-Square viewed African-American inspired quilts by Barbara McCraw, Denton resident and nationally known textile artist. The exhibit, Quilt As Art: The Works of Barbara McCraw featured colorful quilt designs which use fabrics and patterns that represent aspects of African-American culture and identity. The Office of History & Culture also exhibited Behold the People; R.C. Hickman's Photographs of Black Dallas, a traveling exhibition courtesy of Humanities Texas.

2015 Denton County Hispanic Heritage Month

 In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the week beginning September 15th as National Hispanic Heritage Week, a week celebrating Hispanic culture, history, and their contributions to the United States of America. This cultural celebration was expanded in 1988 to what is now known as Hispanic Heritage Month, extending from September 15 to October 15. While Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the American citizens who have come from Hispanic backgrounds, it also coincides with the independence days of Mexico and several other Latin American countries.

The Hispanic culture prides itself on family oriented principles and their desire to improve their community. The Denton County Office of History & Culture and the Denton Chapter of LULAC commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month by raising awareness of Hispanic culture and inspiring figures. 

Dorothy Bertine's Watercolors

February 17, 2015 - September 15, 2015

Dorothy Bertine, a native of Southern Oklahoma, is an artist known for her works in watercolor. Her art follows the California Watercolor School of painting developed in the first half of the 20th century. Her studies in watercolor include nature scenes and historic houses. Dorothy Bertine received her master's degree in fine arts from Texas Woman's University and she resides in Denton. Her work is inspired by the architecture of the historic homes in Denton, and the exhibit featured many of these artworks.

Made in Denton County

June 14, 2014 - July 30, 2015

Have you ever passed an eighteen wheeler, sipped a drink from a paper carton, put on a high school class ring, or walked by a brick home and wondered where those items were made? The answer could very well be right here in Denton County. The way that a community’s identity and character are perceived can be strongly connected to what a place makes or produces. Music, food, clothing, and culture are just a few of the items that can establish a location’s personality in the mind of the outside world. Denton County has built a large and colorful reputation through the things made right here in our community. From semi-trucks to ecofriendly packaging, beer to brats, our county’s legacy is one of craftsmanship and complexity with innovation that is as diverse as its innovators.

BIG WHEELS TURNIN': The Evolution of Transportation in Denton County

October 8, 2013 - June 7, 2014

Much of Denton County's growth can be traced back to some form of transportation. Early days saw the hardships of Peters Colonists arriving by wagons and visitors coming by stagecoaches. Industrial development followed settlement of the area and cattle driving and railroads that brought prosperity and growth to the county. The creation of the automobile in the early 1900s revolutionized transportation yet again. Eventually the early roads, usually in terrible condition, saw improvement with farm-to-market roads and iron bridges that allowed farmers easier transport of their produce. Eventually the development of high-speed travel, such as airplanes, I-35 and the Denton County Transportation Authority, evolved Denton County into what we know today.

Families of Denton County: Pioneers of the Emerging American Middle Class

March 5, 2013 - September 30, 2013

The early families that settled in Denton County in the mid- and late-nineteenth century were not only pioneers and shapers of a county, but also of the collective identity of respectability and civility which was to be shared with the world.

The second half of the nineteenth century marked a turning point in the nation. Whether an industrial of rural area, this was the first time families across the country had available disposable income. Houses were no longer simply means for survival but were seen as a source of pride and a reflection of the owners' culture, civility, and identity. Elaborate furniture, decorations, and clothes were mass marketed and bought at unprecedented levels. The "home," which conjugates many meanings and connotations, was one of the most prominent symbols of the time, both personally as well as nationally.

Neon Cowboys & Pink Ladies: A Photographic Exhibitions of Southwestern Neon Signs From the 1970s

Presented by Mike Cochran

October 21, 2012 - February 28, 2013

Neon lights, literally "lightening in a tube" and had lit up the night for 100 years, changing and dominating the nightscape of the industrialized world. These intense colors can be seen from considerable distances and the glass tubes which hold the various colored gases can be fashioned into intricate, highly readable letters and shapes: it is the perfect medium for nighttime advertising.

Because they were fragile and hard to transport, neon signs were generally produced locally, which caused them to develop a distinct regional style. The icons of southwestern culture are represented from Texas to California the nights were lit with giant cowboys, bucking horses, sombreros, cacti, longhorns and the occasional dancehall girl. Neon became another form of folk-art, writ large...and intensely bright.

Death and Dying in the Victorian Era

September 29 - November 10, 2012

The Victorian approach to death and dying was both more intimate and more elaborately ritualized than today. This exhibit featured Victorian funeral rites and the Victorian practice of holding a wake in the home; how bodies were respected and how the occasion of death provided an opportunity to commemorate the lives of lost loved ones through customs both familiar and strange. Included in the exhibit was a number of fascinating artifacts on loan from the National Museum of Funeral History.