The Irving Heritage Society was founded in 1978 as an outgrowth of the American Bicentennial Commission. Mr. and Mrs. Neill English and Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Bates, who directed the Commission, realized a permanent organization was needed to support a renewed interest in history, especially local history, and to maintain and preserve Heritage House. That same year, the Heritage Society was launched at the first vintage Valentine Tea on February 14.
The Society selected the depot logo because of Irving's beginning as a railroad town. Soon, the group found a new project, the establishment of Heritage Park. The project included restoration of the Caster cabin and the acquisition of a depot, caboose, vintage water tank, and windmill for the park.
Ongoing Society activities include:
- Co-sponsoring the former Irving Heritage Festival
- Washington Irving birthday events
- Vintage style shows
- Outstanding speakers and lecturers
- THE WHISTLE STOP NEWSLETTER
- Teas - Theme teas, Sunnyside tea for children, Valentine Tea (see list of former Sweethearts).
- Marking historical sites and Irving landmarks
The Society has cooperated with the
City of Irving's Preservation and
Redevelopment Board in:
- Naming the Historic Heritage District
- Sponsoring historic tours and trails
- Supplying encouragement and expertise for the founding and development of Bear Creek Heritage Park
Awards received by The Society include:
- Citations from the Texas Historical Commission,
the Dallas County Historical Commission, the
Irving Academy of Community Service, and the
Texas African American Heritage Organization
- "Best performance by civic or religious organization"
in Irving in 1991
- First and second place in the July 4th parades in
1988 and 1989
- First place in the 1988 Christmas Parade
- Best of Show - Irving Parks And Recreation in 1989
- Special Award - Irving Arts Center Tree Decorating Competition Dec 1994
- Dallas County Historical Commission–Old Red Award-1994
- Legacy Award by the La Cima - April 22, 2003 - Instrumental in pioneering and visionary achievement in the city, the Las Colinas Community and/or the La Cima Club.
A long-term goal of the society is the establishment of an Irving Museum.