Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Turkey Knob (Signal Hill)

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Institution Name: University of Dallas
Original/Historic Place Name: Turkey Knob (Signal Hill)
Location on Campus: Namur Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
n.d.natural landscape
Designer: not applicable
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. n.d.-present (2006)outdoor space

The campus of the University of Dallas includes Turkey Knob, one of the historic sites of Dallas County. The second highest point in the County, and the highest on the campus overlooking the Dallas basin, Turkey Knob (also known as Signal Hill) was a favorite hunting ground for turkeys, deer, and other game in pioneer days. In an earlier period, Turkey Knob was a campsite for American Indians. Its crest served as a lookout point, both to defend against enemies and to spot buffalo. The nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River provided fresh fish.

Elm Fork and Turkey Knob are also important to the history of westward expansion of the United States. For many Forty-niners and early emigrants heading west, Turkey Knob (located about a mile south of the Elm Fork) was an important landmark of the so-called California Crossing Road, where the Elm Fork could be crossed during the journey west.

In 1954, The University of Dallas, which opened in 1956, acquired the 400-acre tract. The area provides an impressive view of the Dallas skyline along with some virtually untouched wetland and woodland habitat.


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Last update: November 2006