DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - When Dallas resident Sarah Lamb first moved onto Gaston Avenue two years ago, she thought that it was pronounced 'gah-stone,' like the villain in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" movie. She only recently learned that it was named for William Henry Gaston, a captain in the Confederate Army.
"He's more known for being one of the founders of Dallas and giving the land for Fair Park," Lamb explained.
Gaston's service in the Confederate Army, though, now has Gaston Avenue on a list of 10 streets that could be renamed. The most expensive one to change would be Lemmon Avenue. Spanning 242 blocks, it would cost the City of Dallas an estimated $361,000 just to change the street signs.
Gaston Avenue, by comparison, would cost the city only about $41,000.
Lamb said that homeowners and businesses would pay a hefty price too, changing legal documents, advertisements and bills to reflect the new street address. "The deed, the loan on your house, the loan on your cars, registration, toll tags, checks," she listed.
So, Lamb started an online petition Tuesday to keep Gaston Avenue's name. Within just hours, she had collected almost 200 signatures. The city's task force on Confederate monuments is set to consider recommendations on Friday as to which, if any, streets should be renamed.
According to Lamb, she and many of her neighbors agree with the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Dallas, but consider the street where they live, work and drive to be a far more personal matter. "I think people have fond memories of the stately homes and the established businesses here, rather than having any ties to the Confederacy," Lamb said.
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