Ruth Paine House Museum – Where Lee Harvey Oswald Stayed the Night Before the Kennedy Assassination, Irving

This little 1950’s home sits on a quiet street in a small neighborhood in Irving, but on November 22, 1963 it was anything but quiet as police and FBI swarmed the home, following the Kennedy Assassination in nearby Dallas. The modest little two-bedroom ranch home was then owned by Michael and Ruth Paine, although the couple was estranged. Ruth was allowing Marina Oswald and her two young daughters to stay with her, while her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald would visit on the weekends while working in Dallas at the School Book Depository. Lee Oswald had spent Thursday night at the home before heading to work on Friday, the 22nd. The rest is history, right?

View of the front of the Ruth Paine Home Museum in Irving

In 2013, the City of Irving purchased and restored the former Paine home, which had had many owners since the Paines. The City worked with Ruth Paine, who still lives in Texas, and using old family photos was able to recreate the home as close as possible to how it appeared in 1963. It’s truly a step back in time to enter the home.

Dining Room Table and high chairs in the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas

As the home is located in a suburban neighborhood, there are no signs alluding to the historic significance of the house, except a small one on the front porch. Guide tours, which are booked through the City’s website, are kept small. Our guide Kevin was incredibly knowledgeable. I don’t know if it’s possible to request him, but I would definitely attempt to schedule a tour on a day he was available.

Living Room of the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving

In the two bedrooms and in the garage, recording of actor’s portraying Ruth, Marina and Lee Harvey are shown on a screen.

Children's toys on the floor of the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving, Texas

With the exception of a seriously evil looking Lee Owald, the museum tries to offer an un opinionated view of the Paine home, and leave the conspiratory questions alone. Just down the street is the former home of Buell Frasier, the 19-year-old neighbor who helped Oswald get the job at the Book Depository and drove him to work on November 23rd. Frasier published his accounts of Oswald in a book in 2021, Steering Truth: My Eternal Connection to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald. (affiliate link) The book offers another view of the events on November 22.

Kitchen of the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas

I really enjoyed the tour, which I took with a friend who is like-minded in enjoying history. Seeing plates similar to those Lee Harvey Oswald might have eaten off of in 1963 isn’t going to solve any conspiracy theories for anyone, but for me it did help to humanize him as a husband and father, albeit not a great one.

Dining area of the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas
Bedroom in the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas
Living Room in the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas
Bedroom in the Ruth Paine House Museum in Irving Texas where Lee Harvey Oswald slept the night before the Kennedy Assassination.
Paine House Memorial Marker

For more information on the Kennedy Assassination, visit the 6th Floor Museum in Dealy Plaza in Dallas.

Ruth Paine House Museum 

2515 W. 5th St., Irving 

Click HERE to visit their website.    

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