Ruth Paine House Museum – Irving, Texas

The Ruth Paine Home at 2515 W. 5th Street in Irving, Texas, United States, is the location where Lee Harvey Oswald spent the night before he assassinated United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, at Dealey Plaza. It was from the house’s garage that he removed the rifle he used for the assassination, which he had previously concealed there.

The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 16, 2014.

Located in the Dallas suburb of Irving, the Paine home was a key location in the John F. Kennedy assassination saga of 1963. The house, owned at the time by Michael and Ruth Paine, served as a temporary residence for Marina Oswald and her children. The Paines were separated and living apart, so Ruth had offered her home to Marina.

Marina’s husband, Lee Harvey Oswald, was living at a rooming house at 1026 N. Beckley in Dallas to be near his newly acquired job at the Texas School Book Depository in downtown Dallas. Oswald visited Marina and the children customarily on Fridays and spent the weekend at the Paine home, then return again to Dallas for work on Monday.

After his shift on Thursday, November 21, 1963, Oswald surprised co-worker Buell Wesley Frazier in asking for a ride back to Irving on Thursday instead of the following day. Frazier, a nearby neighbor of the Paines, also worked at the Texas School Book Depository, and he and Oswald commuted together daily to Downtown Dallas. Lee stated that Marina had made him some new curtains for his apartment and wanted to retrieve them.

On the morning of November 22, 1963, Oswald retrieved his rifle from the garage, where it was concealed in a blanket on the garage floor. Leaving early before anyone was awake, and leaving cash and his wedding ring on a bedside table, Oswald reportedly then wrapped the rifle in some bulk brown wrapping paper and proceeded a half block to the home where Frazier stayed.

He placed the package in the back seat and began the commute to the Texas School Book Depository. Hours later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated as his presidential motorcade passed directly in front of the building.

In 2009, the City of Irving purchased the property and began plans to restore the home. In an effort to return the home to its 1963 appearance, the city spent an estimated $100,000. Restoration began in 2011, and the Ruth Paine home was opened as a museum on November 6, 2013.

The Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving tells a little-known side story to the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. At first, it might seem rather macabre to visit the house where the accused Lee Harvey Oswald spent his last night of freedom. But within these walls was also a compassionate woman caught in a horrible web.

Ruth and Michael Paine purchased the house off Story Road for $6,000 soon after it was built. By 1962, the couple was estranged but friendly. Ruth lived in the house with her two children. Ruth met Marina Oswald at a party in April 1963 and became friends with the Russian immigrant and her unemployed husband. For the next eight months, the pregnant Mrs. Oswald and her daughter shared Ruth’s two-bedroom house.

Lee found a job at the Texas School Book Depository in downtown Dallas. He usually stayed in a boarding house in Oak Cliff, but visited Marina on Nov. 21 to pick up “curtain rods.” The next day a knock on Ruth’s front door changed her life forever. She had offered a friend Quaker hospitality and was repaid with the international spotlight.


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