Dallas House Where Oswald Lived to Go Up for Sale
A small nook off a dining room with just enough space for a twin bed has made a Dallas boarding house a point of fascination for the last 50 years, because of one man who occupied it for about six weeks in 1963: Lee Harvey Oswald.
The house has been in Patricia Hall’s family since about 1942, but she has decided that it’s finally time to let it go - as long as a buyer wants to preserve it and offers the right price for the onetime home of the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
"I understand the significance of the history of this house," said Hall, 61. "It doesn’t matter if you believe in a conspiracy or the lone gunman. The fact is that Lee Harvey Oswald lived here."
Oswald rented the 5-by-14 foot room on Oct. 14, 1963, from Hall’s grandmother, Gladys Johnson. He stayed at the red brick house with white trim during the week while working his new job at the Texas School Book Depository, and on the weekends he returned to the suburb of Irving where his wife lived.
Oswald briefly returned to the house on Nov. 22, 1963, about 30 minutes after Kennedy was fatally shot in downtown Dallas. Johnson’s housekeeper told the Warren Commission that Oswald hurriedly entered, grabbed a jacket and headed back out into the neighborhood. Soon after, Oswald fatally shot Officer J.D. Tippit, then was arrested at the Texas Theatre.
Hall said her grandmother, an admirer of Kennedy, was crushed by her connection to Oswald.
"My grandmother was very embarrassed and humiliated that her home would be associated with someone that would do something like that. She began getting death threats. She received a lot of hate mail," Hall said.
But Johnson also refused to vilify Oswald, known to her as O.H. Lee, who kept his $8-a-week room tidy and was even granted refrigerator access.
"She would only be true to what her observations were," Hall said.
Fay Puckett, Hall’s mother, ran the boarding house after Johnson’s death. Neither matriarch ever wanted to indulge sightseers, but Puckett did allow Oliver Stone to film scenes for his 1991 movie "JFK" there.