History of Joppee

The historic Joppee neighborhood of Dallas is tucked away near the banks of the

Trinity River, and at the edge of the Great Trinity Forest in southeast Dallas.

As one of the few remaining “Freedman” towns in the nation, the Joppee community is ripe

with history. It is believed that the community’s name originates from a biblical reference

and translates to “beautiful” or “the beginning” in Hebrew.  “Joppee,” has also been 

been spelled: Joppa, Joppie and Joppy. Phoenetically, since the 1800’s it has been

Joppee and the community decided to maintain that spelling.  The community was

settled in the late 1860’s by freed slaves of the nearby Miller plantation, and is one of

the three remaining Freedman communities in Texas.  It is still considered one of the

best preserved Freedman communities in the United States.  Joppee hosted the first

Juneteenth festivities in Dallas, celebrating the day the Emancipation Proclamation

came into effect, June 19,1865.                                                                                       

Our Heritage

 

Joppee was founded in 1872 by  Henry CritzHines and freed slaves from the Miller Plantation. William Miller gave Hines a ferry, which was used to cross the Trinity River.

 

The railroad had been built and the ferry was becoming outdated, however Hines still

prospered. He married Matilda Miller, a former slave and later started a new community

called, “Miller’s Switch.” Although they were freed slaves, many chose to stay and work

for Mr. Miller, while the train was being built. 

 

They carved trees out of the forest for

cabins, then replaced them with shotgun houses, some of which are still standing today.

Many of the original Joppee residents were freedmen who migrated from East Texas

plantations.

Bridge Dedication

 

Freedman's Town Memorial Bridge was dedicated May 23, 2007 in honor of the Joppee Community Founders. Dallas City Leaders as well as the community gathered together for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, before walking over the bridge in unity.

Our Community

 

 

The quaint town of Joppee, has been able to preserve its “small town” feel in the midst of a city as large as Dallas. There are many upcoming projects, like theTrinity River Corridor Project which promises to give positive enhancements to this community.  

 

Joppee will be surrounded by a 20-60 million dollar golf course, in 2016; a 12 million dollar Equestrian Center, in 2015 and with another 3.5 million the City has promised to expand the neighborhood park, "South Central." in efforts to provide a trail connection into the Great Trinity Forest. The trailhead will offer a great view of the

Lower Chain of Wetlands, where park visitors will be able to see the many species of waterfowl that migrate through this area and the small forest animals that make it their home.

 

Foster's Crossing

 

On May 15, 1999, residents of Joppee marked a momentous occasion in the history of their community. They dedicated a street as Foster's Crossing in memory of renowned civic leaders P. H. and Laura Belle Foster;

 

They were highly respected for their leadership and commitment to their fellow citizens. The Fosters devoted much time and energy during their lifetime to the betterment of Joppee.

 

Foster's Crossing and bronze markers were  unveiled at the dedication and remain visible reminders of the couple's dedication to the South Central Dallas community where they lived.

 

 

 

 

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