A new photography exhibit, “Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker – Two Lives in Two Worlds,” opens to the public at an evening reception on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011 in the main lobby of Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street.
Sponsored in partnership by the Southlake Historical Society and the Southlake Public Library, the exhibit includes historical photographs, documents and Native American items that highlight the dramatic story of nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped by Indians during a raid on Parker’s Fort (near present-day Waco) in 1836. For the next 25 years, Cynthia Ann lived among Comanche Indians and became a full tribe member. She and Comanche chief Peta Nacona had three children; their son, Quanah, grew up to be one of history’s best-known chiefs.
The exhibit reception is at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. Scheduled to speak are the exhibit’s creators, Doug Harman and Clara Ruddell, who will provide a historical overview of the importance of the Cynthia Ann and Quanah Parker story to North Texas history. Dr. Harman is a recognized speaker with a wide background in heritage tourism marketing and historic preservation. He served 27 years with the Fort Worth Convention and Visitor Bureau and is a member of the Tarrant County Historical Commission. Ms. Ruddell is actively involved in historic preservation, serves on the Tarrant County Historical Commission and is the Cultural District Visitors Information Center Manager for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. Also scheduled to attend the exhibit is the great-great-grandson of Quanah Parker, Ben Tahmahkera, who served as a consultant on the exhibit. Mr. Tahmahkera worked for 27 years in law enforcement and retired as a captain for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department in Fort Worth. He remains active in Comanche tribal government.
The exhibit was produced by the Texas Lakes Trail Region, one of the ten program regions of the Texas Historical Commission, and has been traveling to communities around Texas with the purpose of educating the public about Comanche heritage and the many Texas sites with historical significance. One Southlake site associated with the lives of the Parkers is the Lonesome Dove cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Tarrant County. Malinda Frost Dwight, one of the survivors of the attack on Parker’s Fort, is buried there and her descendant, Jack Cook, lives in Southlake and has been the cemetery’s long-time groundskeeper. The exhibit will be on display in the Southlake Library through Saturday, April 2, 2011. For more information about the Heritage Trails program, visit www.texaslakestrail.com. For more information about the reception or the Parker exhibit while on display in Southlake, visit www.southlakehistory.org.