Ever wonder where the Reunion Tower got its name? You’ll have to head back to 1855, when Dallas was in existence for only 14 years, to find a group of 200 mostly French settlers led by Victor Considerant who made their way from Houston by ox cart to setup a “Utopian Community” based on the ideas of Charles Fourier in what is now North Oak Cliff. Considerant had fled the armies of Napolean III after he’d staged a series of protests against the Roman Expansion. The community brought Dallas its first piano and beer brewery, and though it would collapse within a few years, many of the settlers who disbanded would later move to the city of Dallas and formed much of the cultural endeavors that made the young city stand out from other landlocked communities.
One of the La Reunion inhabitants, François Jean Cantagrel, would later return to France and become the Vice Mayor of Paris. Other notables included former Conductor of the Paris Odeon, Allyre Bureau.
The caliber of individuals that set out to call our side of the river home was incredible, and imagining these highly cultured people setting down stakes in North Oak Cliff is definitely worthy of celebration!
The Bastille on Bishop Festival honors our city’s rich French history by promoting the art,culture, history, and spirit of a nation who helped form our early identity.