NAME: La Reunion
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT:Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Mostly gone due to mining for concrete materials.
As one can tell from the name, the town must have had a French connection of some sort. And indeed it had. The town was founded in 1855 by followers of Francois Marie Charles Fourier, a French economic and philosophical thinker during the early nineteenth century. He believed the natural order of society was to place mankind into small cooperative communities where all members worked for the good of the whole. Land was purchased in 1855 near what is now the city of Dallas for the purpose of creating such a colony. The site chosen was less than desirable for agricultural development as most of the French immigrants were agriculturists. The colony did not have effective leadership and combined with unsuccessful agricultural production, the town began a steady decline. By the beginning of the Civil War, most of the colonists had moved elsewhere. Much of the area occupied by the colonists has been completely excavated for lime used in the manufacture of concrete. The Reunion arena in downtown Dallas perpetuates the name of the old French Colony. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth
UPDATE:La Reunion was founded in 1852 by Victor Considerant, who was a student of Charles Fourier. Fourier died in 1837. La Reunion is historically significant as is the last of the utopian communes by the followers of Fourier. The commune was actually a heavy mix of French and Belgian settlers. Contrary to your article, the French immigrants were not "mostly agriculturists". In fact, the majority of the settlers were artists, musicians and other creative people who knew little about farming. They were going to attempt to have a vineyard for their main source of income, but failed by trying to grow the grapes on the "chalk hills" close to the present-day bulk mail center on I-30 just outside of downtown Dallas. Also, there actually ARE remains of at least 5 structures of the commune, but they are buried in heavily overgrown forest areas and are spread out far and few between on both sides of present-day Ft. Worth Avenue. Their camouflage makes them extremely difficult to find. We were extremely lucky as one of the descendants knew about some ruins, but had never been able to find them. As we were cruising the area, we met a young man who actually used the foundations of these buildings (and an old well) as play areas when he was a small child! I may be wrong, but I believe that we have the only video footage of these ruins. It's very dark and hard to see some of it, but we plan on going back with equipment to trim back some of the overgrowth and re-shoot the ruins in an attempt to help preserve the memory these areas, at least on tape. Thanks for reading my ramblings! Mike Hathaway