I visited the Ruth Paine house in Iriving, Dallas, last september. It was empty inside. Well, empty… A table, some chairs and a painting were left by the last occupants. Two months after my quick visit, the house is a home again. The Ruth Paine House Museum opens to public on November 6.
by PERRY VERMEULEN
The home that once belonged to Ruth Paine, the woman who befriended Marina Oswald and let her live there with her two young daughters, has been restored. The 1,250-square-foot house allows visitors to step back in time. Everything in it looks like it did in 1963, when the FBI knocked on the door several hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. That day, Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine did the laundry and cared for their young children like normal, while watching coverage of the presidential visit. But a few hours after the assassination, their lives were changed forever.
Step back in time
In this house, Oswald spent his last night as a free man. He left his wedding ring here, before leaving to his work in downtown Dallas. In the garage, many other personal belongings were later found by authorities. Paine lived in the house until 1966 and over the decades it had several owners before the city bought it in 2009. After a renter’s lease expired in 2011, Irving began restoring the home, which included everything from replacing windows to the garage door. Paine, 81, now lives in California. She visited her old home in Irving and said she was brought to tears by the museum’s re-creation. You will find an old-fashioned television set, a washing machine like one used by Ruth and Marina, and an iconic couch replica where Ruth Paine was interviewed by countless journalists.