JFK - A Day In Dallas
#9 JFK50GT: Boarding House
Oswald Boarding House
Lee Harvey Oswald first came to stay at this boarding house on
October 14th, 1963. The house has since gotten a lot of attention
considering Oswald lived there for less than 6 weeks. The interest in the
residence is largely due to Oswald's return to the house immediately after his
assassination of President Kennedy. After discharging 3 shots and ditching his
rifle down the hall from his sniper nest on the 6th floor of the
Book School Depository, Oswald left the building and headed east into Dallas
towards a bus stop. After a brief bus ride of only a block since the traffic
was at a standstill and not moving westward towards Dealey
Plaza, he got out and walked several blocks until he was able to flag down a
taxi for the first taxi ride of his life. He directed the taxi to take him
several blocks away from the house and walked the rest of the way. Upon his
return to his room, he gathered up his handgun and remaining cash and soon
headed out again on foot. Before he got far, he attracted the attention of
Police Officer JD Tippit who pulled over in his
police cruiser to investigate his suspicions.
An assassin lived here. You may be able to buy this house.
The asking price recently was $80,000 for each week that Oswald stayed here.
Fortunately for perspective buyers, he was only here for 39 days.
Oswald rented his room in this house under the alias, O. H.
Lee. For $8 per week he got a very small bedroom with a small metal framed twin
bed and a dresser. He also had refrigerator and living room privileges. The
location turned out to be very convenient when the next day, he applied for and
received his job at the Texas School Book Depository, which gave him his access
to the 6th floor window the day the Presidential motorcade wound
down Elm Street, right next to his perch. The job as an "order filler" paid him
minimum wage ($1.25/hr) and began the day after he applied.
The owner who rented the room to Oswald was Gladys Johnson,
who lived there with her granddaughter (Pat Hall, the current owner) and 2
grandsons. The house was recently on the market for more than 4 months at an
asking price of $500,000 even though the Dallas Central Appraisal District tax
rolls value the property and the house at just over $60,000. Apparently despite
the historical tie-in with Oswald, no one else valued the property anywhere
near that, as the only offer was declined. The house has been taken back off
the market and Mrs. Hall is offering tours of Oswald's bedroom and the common
areas for $20 a person. It is common to see JFK tour buses drive by. As the
buses stop at the red light in front of the house, bus patrons look toward the
house (many of them probably looking for new clues), which hilariously gets
most of the other drivers at the light looking over their right shoulders to
see what all the fuss is about.