Showing posts with label business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business. Show all posts

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Old Browning Hangar in Austin, Texas now revitalized.

An airplane hangar called the Browning Hangar in Austin, Texas has now been revitalized. For much of 2018 the old Browning Hangar was under construction. Work on revitalizing the Browning Hangar was completed in early August 2018. Today the Browning Hangar has now been revitalized while maintaining its historic design and is now serving as a mixed use structure.

Browning Hangar was once in service for the Robert Mueller Municipal Airport from 1945 to 1999. In 2000 the airplane was abandoned. Architectural Engineers Collaborative revitalized the airplane hangar in 2007. The sides and doors were removed in the same year. A protective roof cover was added. Restoration was started in 2007 and had ended in 2008. By 2017, the airplane hangar was completely open to both the public and private.

Browning Hangar still stands strong as 1 of the 3 remaining structures from the former Robert Mueller Municipal Airport including the control tower.

Friday, September 7, 2018

History of Colorado White School No. 2 explored in-depth.

The Colorado White School No. 2 was located north of Highway 71 in Austin, Texas. This school was known as Colorado School No. 3 aka Colorado White School No. 2. Colorado White School No. 2 was located slightly northeast of No. 2. Colorado White School No. 1 which was near Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Colorado Common School District operated this school from 1921 to 1952.


A short History of this school and Colorado School date back to the 1830s. Although the Colorado Common School District wasn’t established until after the Civil War. Most of the Colorado Schools were established after the Civil War.

In 1921, a single story masonry brick building at a height of 12 feet was constructed in to replace the log cabin school to accommodate growth in enrollment as the log cabin school became overcrowded due to lack of space in classrooms. A sign with the words "Colorado School" had been placed on top of the school painted in a blackish brown color.Roof replacement was installed in the same year.

Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students for Colorado White School No. 2. Some days 30 students attended school at best. Attendance was never very high due to the agricultural lifestyle. Students had to tend to family farms during harvesting season. Students had to pick cotton and work in the fields.

Students had to use outhouses located not too far away from the school as Colorado White School No. 2 did not receive indoor plumbing until near mid-20th century. 2 separate outhouses were located outside the school. The wait to use these facilities was long and time consuming. Some students and teachers simply used the forest that surrounded the area.

An additional room was added to the Colorado White School No. 2 in 1935. A number of additional rooms were later added to be expanded. Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students on daily basis during the 1930s. But the attendance rate still remained low as it historically was and has been.

By the 1940s, the Colorado White School No. 2 received indoor plumbing with 2 separate toilets inside the brick building. Water pipes were upgraded and fixed.

From 1947 to 1950, Colorado White School No. 2  was used as a community center and church. As part of the land agreement with Travis County and City of Austin, the school was to be zoned as a church and community if in the event the school were to close down due to overcrowding, structural error, or declining enrollment. Colorado School held religious services during operation as a church.

(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Crowded Rural Schools Lack Pioneer Facilities, January 26, 1947)


In 1950, the old Colorado White School No. 2 was all but abandoned by the school district as students were being shipped to other schools as part the consolidation into Del Valle ISD on part of Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Colorado Common School District.

The Colorado Common School District along with Travis County Schools & TEA was consolidating school districts & schools in Southeastern Travis County in the 1950s in an effort to collect more on property taxes, declining enrollment, and lack of funding. Schools and school districts that were consolidated into Colorado Common School District were Elroy, Creedmoor, Pilot Knob, Dry Creek, Hornsby-Dunlap, Maha, and Garfield.

1950 is also when the Del Valle schools became slowly integrated. Some schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was slow to come to liberal Austin and Del Valle, but it came easy as the racial integration process went smooth with no trouble.


The first 3 grades of the school were moved to another site on Vargas Road in 1954. The site is where Allison Elementary School is located today.  This was because the school was located dangerously close to Bergstrom Air Force Base. (Ref: Bill Brammer, Austin American-Statesman, 1954)

As cited from an Austin American-Statesman news article written by Bill Brammer from 1954, the “first three grades of the school were moved to another site about two miles away on Vargas Road.”
(Ref: Austin American-Statesman, 1954)


In 1955, the Colorado White School No. 2 was demolished after years of being abandoned. All that remained in 1956 was a gravel pit located on site of the former Colorado White School No. 2. That gravel pits sat out there for years before becoming overgrown by vegetation. Outbuildings sat in their positions. All outbuildings have been demolished. No trace of the Colorado White School No. 2 exist today.

In 1958, Austin Public Schools (now Austin ISD) sold the land to United States Government as the school was located dangerously close in a flight path being so close to Bergstrom Air Force Base. Davidson tract was located outside the former Bergstrom Air Force Base.

1958 is the year when the Del Valle schools became integrated. Schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was a smooth process for the large Del Valle school district with no hassle or race riots.

Today no trace remains of the Colorado White School No. 2. The site had been buried in 1955 with the construction of Popham school (Popham Elementary School) and Del Valle Junior High School. The site is now home to Travis County Fire Rescue and Austin Fire Department.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke ran 10k from US to Mexico.

In early 2018, Congressman Beto O’Rourke from El Paso, Texas ran 10k from US to Mexico as a symbol of unity. All this is to gain the Hispanic vote across the United States. He does want to work in our economy. Beto O’Rourke is also running for US Senate against Ted Cruz.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Remembering the Colorado Mexican School.

Colorado Mexican School is one of the many forgotten schools and institutions of Austin and Del Valle that have faded away with time and from people's memories. This news article explains the history behind Colorado Mexican School


The Colorado Mexican School was constructed in 1934 as a one-room  school facing south of the Colorado White School (Colorado School). The Colorado Mexican School was built on Old Del Valle Road near US 183 & Highway 71. Blacks student had sometimes attended the Colorado Mexican School. The school educated students in grades 1 through 7.

Average daily attendance was 26 to 30 students on daily basis. The attendance rate still remained low as it historically was and has been. Almost 100 students attended this school.

Prior to the opening of Colorado Mexican School, Hispanic students attended the Colorado White School before a separate school for Hispanics became available. Hispanic students were not required to attend school. Hispanic students had either attended the negro schools or white schools.

Of course racial segregation was implemented by law in Texas and southern United States, so schools were separated by race. Separate schools were built for white, black, and Hispanic students. Black students attended separate schools from white students. White students attended separate schools from black students. That is the reason why the "Colorado White School", "Colorado Mexican School", and "Colorado Negro School" existed.

Although the Colorado School had an Austin address, it served students from the communities of Del Valle, Austin, Montopolis, Bergstrom Village, Glenbrook, and Colton.


By the 1940s, the Colorado White School and Colorado Mexican School received indoor plumbing with 2 separate toilets inside the brick building. Water pipes were upgraded and fixed.

The Colorado Mexican School eventually became combined into one school by 1942. Roof replacement was installed in the same year. The Colorado Mexican School had a daily attendance rate of 100 students in 1944. 100 students was the average on a daily basis. A huge increase from the 1930s attendance rate. The rate remained the same even in 1945.

By the late 1940s, the segregated Colorado Mexican School experienced extreme overcrowding. Colorado Common School District was 1 of 4 school districts listed as a defendant in the 1948 court case of Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. Colorado School was listed as a prime example of racial segregation in the lawsuit against the state of Texas. LULAC brought suit against several school districts for denying Hispanic students the use of school facilities and educational services. The suit claimed Hispanic students were separated and segregated from white students even though under state law they were considered "White" or "Caucasian".

Although US Court found both the Colorado Mexican School and Colorado Common School District to be operating within the terms of the decree, overcrowding of the school witnessed would contradict the provision for “equal school instruction.”

By the late end of 1948, the school was closed due to overcrowding conditions. Travis County Schools Superintendent Irving W. Popham described conditions at Colorado Mexican School as “the worst Travis County has ever known.” Travis County Schools, Austin Independent School District (then Austin Public Schools which is now known as Austin ISD) and Colorado Common School District deemed the Colorado School unfit and inadequate for a learning environment due to overcrowding from a lack of space and growth in enrollment. Overcrowding was extreme. Travis County government officials determined the Colorado School deemed to be unfit and antiquated.

The Nuestra Senora La Luz Catholic Mission Church in Montopolis offered the use of its chapel for 53 first-grade students. The remaining 40 students stayed at the Colorado Mexican School until the school district finally closed down the school. Its students were shipped to other schools.

From 1948 to 1950, the Colorado Mexican School was used as a community center and church. As part of the land agreement with Travis County and City of Austin, the school was to be zoned as a church and community if in the event the school were to close down due to overcrowding, structural error, or declining enrollment. Colorado School held religious services during operation as a church.

(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Crowded Rural Schools Lack Pioneer Facilities, January 26, 1947)
(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Latin-American school segregation outlawed, June 15, 1948)
(Ref: Handbook of Texas Online, V. Carl Allsup, "Delgado v. Bastrop Isd”)


In 1950, the old Colorado Mexican School was all but abandoned by the school district. Grass was kept untrimmed. Windows and window panels were boarded with thin plywood. Vegetation had sprawled all over.

The Colorado Common School District along with Travis County Schools & TEA were consolidating school districts & schools in Southeastern Travis County in the 1950s in an effort to collect more on property taxes, declining enrollment, and lack of funding. Schools and school districts that were consolidated into Colorado Common School District were Elroy, Creedmoor, Pilot Knob, Dry Creek, Hornsby-Dunlap, Maha, and Garfield.

1950 is also when the Del Valle schools became slowly integrated. Some schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity.

1952 is the year when the city of Austin began annexing portions of the Colorado Common School District in both Austin and Del Valle. The Colorado Mexican School was within the city limits causing confusion with Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD school district boundaries. Because the Colorado Mexican School was within he Austin city limits, the school district had to find a new location for its own schools.

In 1958, grass vegetation took over the driveways as Colorado Mexican School was totally abandoned. The buildings were still standing by then. 1958 is also the year when the Del Valle schools became integrated. Schools were no longer separated by race or ethnicity. Integration was slow to come to liberal Austin and Del Valle, but it came easy as the racial integration process went smooth with no trouble.

In 1958, Austin Public Schools (Austin Independent School District bka Austin ISD) sold the land to United States Government as the school was located dangerously close in a flight path being near Bergstrom Air Force Base. Davidson tract was located outside the former Bergstrom Air Force Base.

In 1964, the Colorado Mexican School was demolished after years of being abandoned. All that remained in 1965 was a gravel pit located on site of the former Colorado Mexican School. That gravel pits sat out there for years before becoming overgrown by vegetation. All outbuildings have been demolished. No traces of the school or cistern remain today.


Schools such as this one should be preserved as a museum, converted to a dance studio, bank, or revitalized into government offices. This can be listed as an example of priorities placed in the wrong place. Historic preservation should be a secondary priority for a school district.

Something needs to be done to commemorate the Colorado Mexican School as a part the 1948 Federal Court ruling on Delgado v. Bastrop ISD. People don't recognize how LULAC fought for equal school instruction, services, and facilities. Efforts of LULAC also need to be brought to attention.

Colorado Mexican School was located at 1601 Old Del Valle Road, Austin, Texas, US 78742.



*Colorado Common School District was known to Travis County Schools officials and civilians as Colorado Common School District No. 36 or as School District No. 36.
*The Colorado School was simply just called "Colorado School" at one point in history.
*Colorado School had an Austin address despite being zoned to Del Valle ISD.
*Colorado School was adjacent to 2 other schools before the schools became molded into one school called "Colorado School" due mainly to racial integration following 1948. Thus Colorado Mexican School and Colorado Negro School were eventually combined into the Colorado White School.
*Old Del Valle Road was also known as Old Austin-Del Valle Road, Austin-Del Valle Road, and Del Valle Road.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Short history behind the 1933 building addition of the old Oak Hill School.

Oak Hill School got its second school building as enrollment expanded in 1933. The 1933 eastern addition was constructed during the Great Depression through work relief efforts. It was constructed out of stone masonry.  This small building addition served as an art room. It was also used for the cafeteria. There were restrooms installed for this building. The land for the former school was donated by James Andrew Patton. In December of 1993, the old Oak Hill School received city designation as an Austin Landmark and the property was zoned GR-CO.  

Short history of Hanna School in Hanna, Louisiana explained.

Hanna School was built in 1912 inside the small community of Hanna, Louisiana which is right outside of Shreveport. Red River Parish School District opened the school in 1912 for black students. Class sizes were often small. (Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 3, March 17, 1978)

Renovations to the school were made during the 1930s. Hanna School was segregated by race during the 1970s. Hanna School integrated in 1980 with black and white students in attendance. The school was considered by Red River Parish Board to be state of the art at the time.

Hanna School closed in 2001 due to asbestos. Asbestos was found in the walls and roof. By 2002, the school was abandoned. The school would soon fall into a state of decay. Reportedly several windows are missing and the second floor has collapsed into the first floor leaving a mess in a hallway. There is very little furniture remaining.

Red River Parish School District and Red River Parish Board have offered Hanna School for redevelopment in past years. However nothing has happened. Restoration is not an option due to high cost of asbestos removal and aging structural issues.

Hillcrest Farms history not forgotten revisited.

Hillcrest Farms is a name many Austinites have forgotten. The name “Hillcrest Farms” does not ring a bell to the current Austinites of today. Only a handful of few longtime Austinites are aware of the name Hillcrest Farms. Hillcrest Farms is a name many longtime Austinites have forgotten.

Inevitably Hillcrest Farms is one of Austin’s long forgotten institutions that has faded away with time. The Hillcrest Farms motto was “Stay where you are, we’ll bring it to you.”


In 1937, Harry L. Peterson started Hillcrest Farms in Del Valle, Texas less than a mile from the now Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA). Hillcrest Farms Inc. started with just Harry L. Peterson and two employees in 1937. Hillcrest Farms had only one truck to work from and 22 cows and work with. Harry L. Peterson was the first milk producer to sell pasteurized milk instead of raw milk in the Austin, Texas area and in Travis County.

50 quarts of milk a day were produced by cows from the Hillcrest Farms in their early days of operation. In the early years, milk was poured into quart sized glass bottles for home delivery.

From a business standpoint, Hillcrest Farms originally intended to be a home delivery business in the beginning. Harry L. Peterson intended for Hillcrest Farms to be a home delivery business being that he already owned land set up in an agricultural setting in Del Valle, Texas. Hillcrest Farms was all home delivery.

Harry L. Peterson and Fred Barge became business partners in 1955. On June 1, 1956, Harry L. Peterson incorporated Hillcrest Farms as an agricultural business called Hillcrest Farms Inc. Hillcrest Farms was the first dairy operation in Texas to equip a truck with a “milk tank” instead of cans. From then on, all Hillcrest Farms milk processors were to equip a truck with a “milk tank” instead of cans. 1969 was a peak year for Hillcrest Farms as that was the year more than 14,000 customers were served.

In 1970, Harry L. Peterson sold Hillcrest Farms to Jim Dobson and Brodie Keene. Tay Bond pledged $27,000.00 commission to Harry Peterson to be earned on the sale of property known as Hillcrest Farms to purchasers Brodie Keene and Jim Dobson in 1970. In 1970, Hillcrest Farms was also sold to Pure Milk.

In 1984, Jim Dobson and Brodie Keene sold a portion of their land to Del Valle ISD to build a school for which Hillcrest Farms would be named after for donating land. Hillcrest Farms was one of the last dairies in town to use real cream.

A small portion of Austin landmarks were named in honor of Hillcrest Farms. A Del Valle ISD school and road were named after the Hillcrest Farms both by the City of Austin and Del Valle. Such as Hillcrest Elementary School and Hillcrest Farms Road for example in this case.

In 2008, the City of Austin purchased several acres of land which was formerly owned by Hillcrest Farms to build a parking garage for Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) which is currently operated by FastPark & Relax. This parking garage was built to meet the demand of additional parking for ABIA. By 2012, several more acres of land were purchased from the former Hillcrest Farms.

As an agreement with the City of Austin, US Government, Austin Bergstrom International Airport, Travis County, and Texas General Land Office (GLO), associated parties came to terms resulting in an agreement allowing former part of the dairy land to remain undeveloped in as attempt of historic preservation. As a part of this attempt for historic preservation enacted by the City Of Austin, tourists entering and exiting ABIA can get a feel of agricultural lifestyle from 20th century Del Valle in Travis County. By remaining undeveloped, the dairy land will continue to operate in its natural habitat which is why you see longhorns cattle as you exit ABIA.


A small portion of Austin landmarks were named in honor of Hillcrest Farms. A Del Valle ISD school and road were named after the Hillcrest Farms both by Del Valle, Travis County, and City of Austin. The Hillcrest name is spread over Southeast Austin and Southeast Travis County.

• For instance, take Hillcrest Farms Road for example.

In 1975, Hillcrest Farms got a road named after the dairy called Hillcrest Farms Road also known as Hillcrest Farms Rd. To the left of the road is additional parking for ABIA operated by FastPark & Relax. To the right is natural farmland with a herd of cattle. In 2012, Hillcrest Farms Road was renamed to Spirit of Texas Drive.

• For instance, take Hillcrest Elementary School as another example.

Hillcrest Elementary School (fka Hillcrest School) was named after the Hillcrest Farms. Hillcrest Elementary School was located on land Hillcrest Farms owned which is why the school has the name “Hillcrest”. In 1984, Hillcrest Farms sold land to Del Valle ISD to build a school. In 1985, after a bond program enacted by Del Valle ISD, Del Valle residents voted for the school district to build a new elementary school. 1985 was the year Hillcrest Elementary School opened.

The Hillcrest School sat in its original location from 1985 to 1998 on Crozier Lane right next to Baty Elementary School (fka Baty School). Hillcrest Elementary School was relocated to William Cannon Road in Southeast Austin in 1998 due to the City Of Austin’s Airport Noise Mitigation Program which was responsible for relocating 6 Del Valle ISD schools in order for the ABIA Airport to be built and to operate. In 1999 the school was demolished. Hillcrest Elementary School is owned and operated by Del Valle ISD.


The Hillcrest Farms were located at 736 Bastrop Highway, Del Valle, Texas, US 78617 now known as 2200 Spirit of Texas Drive, Del Valle, Texas, US 78617.

History of Dogan School in Marshall, Texas explored.

Dogan School is one of the many forgotten schools in the state of Texas. Not much is known about this school or its history. This news article will attempt to find out the history behind this school.


Dogan School was named in honor of Wiley College president, M.W. Dogan. The original building was built to replace the New Town School. M.W. Dogan School was built as a two-story brick building on the West End of Marshall. The original school building had 10 classrooms. Dogan School was built in 1947 and opened in 1949.

M.W. Dogan School was opened by Marshall ISD for colored students. Dogan School was also known as M. W. Dogan Elementary School and M.W. Dogan School during its years of operation. The school was racially segregated. The school had a 100% black population.

Mr. W. J. White was the first principal of Dogan School. However he died before his first term ended. Price T. Young became the second principal of M. W. Dogan School serving from 1949 until 1964. His influence was huge on this school making such an impression.

During the 1972-1973 school year, the Dogan School had 248 black students and 39 white students. This was 3 years after Marshal ISD desegregated its schools.
(Ref: Brownwood Bulletin, Page 2, Friday, December 14, 1973)

Dogan School closed in 1981 during reorganization of Marshall ISD. The school would sit abandoned and vacant for 2 short years before being reused on a lease as a community center with the NAACP.

According to Marshall News Messenger, Marshall ISD School Board signed a lease agreement with the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for the use of M.W. Dogan School as a community center. The lease is for an indefinite term with a clause allowing for cancellation by either party with 30 days notice. A token $10 rental fee was asked. In exchange, the NAACP was expected to keep up the building and grounds.

The school board took no action in demolishing the school as they decided reuse and urban renewal was more important. Both NAACP and Marshall ISD own and maintain the school building. The building was sold to NAACP in the late 1980s.
(Ref: Marshall News Messenger, Page 18, Wednesday, August 10, 1983)


Other than being used as a community center, it has been sitting abandoned and vacant since then. Nothing else has happened.

Dogan School is located at the address of 2005 Dogan Street, Marshall, Texas, US 75670.

Friday, August 3, 2018

History of 79th Street School. A “School Away from School”.

79th Street School located in Shreveport, Louisiana has very unique interesting history to it. It started off as a store, an office building, an elementary, and then an alternative school. Caddo Parish School Board operated this school for 20 years before closing. Read about the unique and interesting concept of School Away from School in this news article.


The school building itself was built in 1955 as a single story 14,080 square foot building on 2.17 acres worth of land. The building was built as a single story masonry building, set on a standard concrete foundations and a concrete slab. Both its interiors walls and exterior walls were constructed of concrete masonry unit blocks with a brick veneer. The exterior doors are a combination of either wood or steel units and are set on either wood or steel frames. 

This building was used as store, an office building, and a storage unit before being converted into a school.

Caddo Parish School Board purchased the building and converted into a school in 1977. 79th Street School was in operation as a public school from 1977 to 1992. From 1977 to 1982 is when 79th Street School operated as an elementary school.


In 1982, Caddo Parish School Board repurposed 79th Street School into an alternative school called School Away from School. This alternative school was set up as an alternative learning center operated by the school district.

The School Away from School took in students with disciplinary problems, special needs, behavioral problems, and attendance problems. These Caddo Parish students cannot make the grade or attend classes in regular school because of disciplinary and or behavioral problems. It served as a last chance for some students.

One of the first things you would see when you walked through the door at School Away from School was a bright yellow poster that reads: "School skippers are losers. Be a winner." The poster says a lot about the school and serves as a reminder to some of the students about why they were there. Administration, staff, and the students felt that the school served a worthwhile purpose.

Like most schools, this school also has some discipline problems, such as fighting and use of vulgarity. Students who do well at the school return to their regular school either at midterm or the end of the year. For those who remain at School Away from School, grades and earned credits are recorded on the student's transcript in the home school. Graduating students receive diplomas from their home school. (Ref: Shreveport Times, School Away from School)

As cited in the Shreveport Times,

“The students would determine their own daily time schedule and rate of work. Every hour the students were given 10-minute breaks in which they are permitted to smoke, relax and use the vending machines. Much of the school's success can be attributed to this flexibility and freedom. Students like the system and are particularly pleased with the individual attention they receive.”

The setting for School Away from School is as far removed from regular school as is the student. There are no traditional classrooms, no desks in a row, no tardy bells and no study periods. Teachers do not stand before the class and give lectures. Instead, the teachers sit in sections modular units divided by subject and work with the students on an individual basis. The students sit at tables or study cubicles and are free to move about. They work individually and at their own pace on a variety of instructional materials. Students attend one hour of class for each subject they take and attend either the morning or afternoon sessions. The school offered 24 subjects in the area.

The remaining 26% percent are students with a wide range of problems. These include potential dropouts who would otherwise quit school, pregnant girls who want to continue their education, dropouts who wants another chance, students who need to work but still want to graduate and students who might need only one credit to complete their education.

Most of the cases are discipline problems. 75% percent of the students who attend School Away from School do so because of discipline or behavior reasons according to Principal J.B. Harville.”

(Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 33, December 11, 1983)

“To attend School Away from School a student must have been enrolled in regular school and had some sort of problem there. The student is referred to the school by application, which the principal of the regular school and the parent must sign. At the time of enrollment, the student signs a contract with the school, pledging that he will attend classes, make progress and present no discipline problems. Any student who breaks the contract may be dropped from the program.”
(Ref: Caddo Parish School Board AEP handbook)


In 1986 during the 1986-1987 school year, School Away from School was renamed to J. B. Harville which was simply known as Harville School to Shreveport natives. The school would be referred to this name until closing.

1992 is the year when the school closed. It students were sent back to their former schools after this alternative school had closed.

Caddo Parish School Board advertised the school to be up for sale in the Shreveport Times newspaper in July, 2 1993. The school district would sell the school property to whatever lender on 5 year lease. (Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 31, Friday, July 2, 1993)

Here is a reference of the advertisement,

“July 2, 1993 FOR LEASE BID NO: 71L-93 BID TITLE: LEASE OF 103 EAST 79th STREET TO BE OPENED: 10:00 A.M., TUESDAY, JULY 13, 1993 Sealed bids to acquire the following described five year lease will be received In the Purchasing Office of the Caddo Parish School Board until 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 13, 1993, at which time bids win be opened and publicly read aloud. Late bids cannot be accepted. ALL BIDS MUST BE SENT VIA U. S. MAIL OR HAND DELIVERED The sealed envelope containing the bid shall be marked: LEASE - 103 East 79th Street Lots 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 566, 577, 576, 579.”

(Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 31, Friday, July 2, 1993)
(Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 31, Saturday, July 3, 1993)


By 1997, Harville School aka 79th Street School was already abandoned and vacant for the most part. Everything salvageable was taken out of the building in 1998.

The Department of Environmental Quality ruled that all items in that school would have to be considered as asbestos-containing material and a complete demolition project would have to be done as an abatement job which is extremely expensive in 2016. Prior to any demolition, all asbestos-containing material must be removed. The complication with the 79th Street School property is that it is two connected buildings, one in which the roof collapsed into the structure allowing moisture resulting in additional environmental issues, mold and asbestos. The problem with 79th Street School is asbestos. (Ref; Shreveport Times, Page B9, Wednesday, March 9 2016)

Today as of 2018, the 79th Street School is now vacant and abandoned. A majority of the building has deteriorated over time and has been damaged by vandalism. The ceilings are in poor condition and damaged by rain weather. The roof has numerous leaks throughout the building. This school deteriorated beyond repair.

Now the School Away from School Program takes in youths with disciplinary problems, special needs, and attendance problems. It still is in operation by Caddo Parish School Board for Shreveport public schools.

79th Street School is located at 103 East 79th Street, Shreveport, Louisiana, US 71106.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Old Montopolis School is now facing demolition.

After Austin City Council was unable to agree to a purchase price for the site of the former Montopolis Negro School, Austin City Council will move forward with plans to take it through eminent domain proceedings even after months of negotiation as of July 2018. Austin City Council approved a measure to pursue eminent domain proceedings after being unable to agree on a purchase price as reported by Austin Monitor, Houston Chronicle, and the Austin Statesman.

Planning commissioners voted to deny a rezoning application for the former Montopolis Negro School property. Austin City Council is going to be seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School.

Property owner Austin Stowell has applied for the property to be rezoned from single family to community commercial with historic zoning granted for the school structure. Austin Stowell has already expressed dissatisfaction with the city's handling of the situation. The city has proposed paying $362,000 for the 0.85-acre tract of land.

The case has drawn controversy throughout the city of Austin, especially towards property owner Austin Stowell and historian Fred McGhee. This was also in large part thanks to the strong opposition of community members. Austin Stowell is aware of the historical significance of the school itself. However the historical significance of this property will not cease any demolition. More could have been done or implemented to save this property.

In any case, it will be a sad day for Austin, Texas when the Montopolis School is demolished. Many Montopolis residents have a sentimental attachment to this school and church.

Why Pennhurst State School really closed down.

This news article will explain why Pennhurst State School near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania really closed down. It did not close down due to popular belief of slavery or it being haunted.

Pennhurst State School did not only close due to popular belief of its inhumane conditions and unlawful abusive treatment towards patients. Pennsylvania Department of Mental Hygiene and the administration of Pennhurst State School were attempting to teach the mentally challenged real life skills so that they would function correctly on their own. Job skills were taught to these patients.

Pennhurst State School was shut down because the patients were used as laborers in the farm fields. Pennhurst State School used patients as unpaid laborers in their farming operations when the institution was still in operation. This led to the Pennhurst State School v. Halderman lawsuit and new Fair Labor Standards Act laws requiring patients be paid. Pennsyvlania Department of Mental Hygiene could not afford to pay its patients from their budget. So after the 1970s, farming operations ceased.

Patients were recruited to compensate for their staff shortages and inadequacies from lack of finances in the budget. So there was no job protection or no worker rights. Or any remuneration for that matter. People were used for a variety of functions in order to save the institution money. This was the state’s attempt to engage patients in constructive work and in constructive activities. Patients did pretty much slave labor.That was the sad reality.

The administration of Pennhurst State School was attempting to teach the mentally challenged things our stupid kids and many people can't do for themselves anymore.

Pennhurst State School was a concentration camp. Many activists have criticized the state failed to provide “appropriate treatment” in the “least restrictive” environment.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Quirky history behind the Abbey Dixie Drive-In revealed.

Abbey Dixie Drive-In is one of the many forgotten drive-in theatres across Texas and United States. There is already so much history behind this drive-in theatre yet the quirky unique history of this drive-in theatre has been forgotten over time. Abbey Dixie Drive-In operated in Seguin, Texas from 1950 to 1985 by Seguin Theatres Inc.

Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre has been referred to names such as follows over the years.: Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre, Abbey Dixie Drive In Theatre, Abbey Dixie Drive-In, Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre, Dixie Drive-In, Dixie Drive-In Theatre, and Dixie Drive In Theatre.


Abbey Dixie Drive-In was located where a part of the Guadalupe County Poor Farm once stood and where a prison farm was located. A prison farm shared the same property too as well. Originally the convict farm for Guadalupe County Poor Farm was a 202 acre area that Edward Nolle sold to Guadalupe County for the purpose of housing prisoners from the area.

On March 31, 1937, Edward Nolle transferred 31 acres of the property were to Guadalupe County to be used as a poor farm. The house you see near the intersection of East Kingsbury Street & Highway 123 was built in 1937 by Edward Nolle. Its address was 1405 East Kingsbury Street, Seguin, Texas, US 78155.

Edward Nolle sold the property and house to Arthur Schmidt in 1941. Arthur Schmidt later owned the property and had a slaughterhouse on the land. Sometime in the mid 1940s is when Arthur Schmidt sold the house and property to Robert Felsing Jr. with his family.

In 1949, Robert Felsing Jr. sold 10.11 acres of land to Seguin Theatres Inc with H. A. Daniels as trustee. By late 1949, Seguin Theatres Inc would assume full ownership of the 10 acres worth of property formerly owned by Robert Felsing Jr. as the company soon had full rights.


The Abbey Dixie Drive-In opened March 15, 1950 and was operated by Seguin Theatres Inc and headed by H.A. Daniels of the Daniels family. They also operated the Texas Theatre and the Palace Theatre. Abbey Dixie Drive-In was located at the address of 1406 East Kingsbury Street, Seguin, Texas, US 78155. (Ref: The Seguin Gazette, February 1950)

Harvey Jordan was the contractor and designer from Dallas, Texas that constructed the theatre. Abbey Dixie Drive-In was built on property owned by Robert Felsing Jr. The house near the intersection of Highway 123 (TX 123) & East Kingsbury Street was used as a ticket booth and employee offices for Seguin Theatres Inc. for a period of time. (Ref: Seguin Gazette, February 1953)

In 1954, Abbey Dixie Drive-In was converted to play wide-screen films and later CinemaScope. The Abbey Dixie Drive-In had all the latest innovations in equipment such as RCA individual car speakers. The Abbey Dixie Drive-In had all the latest innovations, simplex machines, electric bottle warmers, and all the latest concession equipment for the convenience of the patrons.

On the date of Friday, December 2, 1959, a fight had occurred at the Dixie Drive-In. However people had left the scene. What started the fight was unknown. (Ref: Denison Press, Page 6, Friday, December 4, 1959)

On April 30, 1960, H.A. Daniels established his Go Cart Speedway, located on the property of Abbey Dixie Drive-In. He geared his Go Cart Speedway more towards children than adults. The go-carts were added as the attractions so that the children could race cars before, during, or after films. Admission was 35¢ cents per ride.

What is unique about this drive-in theatre is that drive-in theatre also had a trampoline center. The trampoline center opened in 1960. (Ref: The Seguin Gazette, Page 4, June 22, 1960)


Grand jurors indicted two men on aggravated robbery charges in connection with the February 15 robbery of a teller at the Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre. Robert Earl Threadgill and Ricky Sherman were charged in the indictment with placing Patrick Aguilar in fear of imminent bodily injury by the use of a deadly weapon while unlawfully appropriating property. The two men were arrested along with a 16-year-old male from San Antonio after a DPS trooper and a Seguin police officer pulled over a vehicle on Highway 90.

Officers had been called to the drive-in at approximately 9 PM. by Patrick Aguilar, who told them a man had walked up to his ticket booth with a small-caliber pistol and demanded money, then left in a red or maroon late-1950s model pickup headed east on Highway 90.
(Ref: The Seguin Gazette, March 5, 1985)

Seguin Police received a report early Friday afternoon of a burglary at the concession stand at Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre. Owner Tom Van Bexar, reported that sometime between 1 AM and 8 AM, the concession stand was broken into and a number of items were taken, including a black and white portable television, hamburger patties, assorted candy, cigarettes, soft drinks, and other items. A video game arcade was also broken into and approximately $10 dollars in cash was taken. Total value of the missing items was estimated over thousands of dollars.
(Ref: The Seguin Gazette, April 14, 1985)

Abbey Dixie Drive-In closed on October 5, 1985. The citizens of Guadalupe County enjoyed the convenient location of the drive-in and counted on Seguin Theatres Inc to provide a great variety in movies there for over 30 years.


In a lawsuit filed September 4, 1987, H.A. Daniels, Diane D. Benson, and Seguin Theatres Inc. challenge the Guadalupe County Appraisal District's revaluation of 12.6 acres at the intersection of Highway 90 and Highway 123 Bypass where the Abbey Dixie Drive-In Theatre formerly was located. The property includes a 7.575 acre tract at Highway 90 and the bypass and an adjoining 5.03 acre tract fronting on the south side of Highway 90 east of the bypass.

In the initial 1967 reappraisal, the 5.03 acre tract was assigned market value of $492,786 and the 7.575 acre tract was appraised at $744,876 bringing the combined total market.
(Ref: Revaluation protestors file suits, Bob Thaxton, Thursday, September 24, 1987)

In 1999, the City of Seguin and Seguin Theatres Inc was working on a deal to have a multiplex cinema built on the site of the Abbey Dixie Drive-In by Third Coast Cinemas. But the deal never came through for whatever reason. Nothing happened for 2 years.
(Ref: Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, Page 5, Wednesday, December 1,1999)

Abbey Dixie Drive-In lost a chunk of their property when Highway 123 Bypass needed to be expanded and rebuilt in 1999. That portion of Highway 123 Bypass was completed.


Abbey Dixie Drive-In was demolished in 2001. Its parking spaces were paved over with hauled in dirt and planted with fresh new grass. Only the house remained by the end of late 2001.

Robert Felsing Jr. sold the property to Robert Felsing in 2005. Robert Felsing Jr. later sold the house to the Robert S Felsing Revocable Living Trust. Robert Felsing Jr. lived there again from 2005 to 2006.

The last occupants known to be living in the house were Robert Felsing Jr. and Robert S Felsing. Its last date of occupancy was 2013. In 2014 the property was abandoned. In June 2016, the property along with the house was put on the market for sale by Anders Pierce Realty at a price of $285,000. (Ref: Corner Post Real Estate)

Today the 2 acres of property and house that was once owned by Robert Felsing Jr. is currently up for sale for any potential buyers that are interested. The 2 acre lot is vacant and unused. The land property is currently owned by the Robert S Felsing Revocable Living Trust.


Abbey Dixie Drive-In was located at 1406 East Kingsbury Street, Seguin, Texas, US 78155. Their headquarters was located at the address of 1405 East Kingsbury Street, Seguin, Texas, US 78155.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Old Montopolis School now facing demolition.

Unable to agree to a purchase price for the site of the former Montopolis Negro School, Austin will move forward with plans to take it through eminent domain proceedings even after months of negotiation as of July 2018. Austin City Council approved a measure to pursue eminent domain proceedings after being unable to agree on a purchase price as reported by Austin Monitor, Houston Chronicle, and the Austin Statesman.

Planning commissioners voted to deny a rezoning application for the former Montopolis Negro School property. Austin City Council is going to be seizing the site of the old Montopolis Negro School.

Property owner Austin Stowell has applied for the property to be rezoned from single family to community commercial with historic zoning granted for the school structure. Austin Stowell has already expressed dissatisfaction with the city's handling of the situation. The city has proposed paying $362,000 for the 0.85-acre tract of land.

The case has drawn controversy throughout the city of Austin, especially towards property owner Austin Stowell and historian Fred McGhee. This was also in large part thanks to the strong opposition of community members. Austin Stowell is aware of the historical significance of the school itself. However the historical significance of this property will not cease any demolition.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Revisiting Grove Trailer Court of Austin, Texas.

Grove Trailer Court is one of the many forgotten trailer parks of Austin, Texas. Not much at all is known about the Oak Grove Trailer Court. Very few Austinites know of or have whereabout of knowledge regarding Oak Grove Trailer Court itself. Only older Austinites know about this trailer park. This news article will attempt to explain the history behind Grove Trailer Court.


Prior to 1948, a man named Vernon Eugene Grove owned 363 acres of what used to be called Grove Trailer Court. Vernon Eugene Grove owned the land since 1922. Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. lived on the same land since birth.

In 1948, Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. purchased land via a deed from his father Vernon Eugene Grove from his estate via an estate deed after he passed away. After Vernon Eugene Grove Sr. passed away, the land reverted to Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife on a estate deed and residuary trust.

A road called Grove Drive was laid out and plotted in 1948 at the exact time the first bridge was constructed. Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife Joyce L. Grove built a house on the property later. Dr. Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. was a private practitioner from Austin, Texas.

Grove Trailer Court was established as a trailer park in 1950 by Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife Joyce L. Grove. They both owned land that was a part of their own farmland and decided to establish a trailer park that would become Grove Trailer Court. They used 11 acres out of 13.11 acres to create the trailer park. A 2 story house was built in 1950.

Grove Trailer Court was established at the address of 6200 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741 located near the intersection of Grove Drive & Montopolis Drive.

The scenic riverside view of the Colorado River made the trailer park an idea location for people to live there. Grove Trailer Court was located less than an acre away from the Colorado River.


Grove Trailer Court began showing up on maps by 1956. On the 1956 topographical map for Montopolis Quadrangle, “Grove Trailer Court” appeared under the name “Trailer Park”. A gaging station appeared west of Montopolis Bridge. A second bridge was built in 1956 which still stands today.

The trailer park would later grow to expand up to 13.11 acres by 1961. 2 new gaging stations were installed in 1970. Grove Trailer Court grew up to expand towards 15 acres by 1973. Over 100 residents lived at Grove Trailer Court by 1973.


Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. sold the land for Grove Trailer Court to the City of Austin on the date of 5/6/1981 on a warranty deed. By agreement on the warranty deed, the city could take over the land when Vernon and his wife Joyce were deceased.

By 1994, Grove Trailer Court was demolished and discontinued due to the location being located in a 25 year floodplain. 2 times every 25 years or so, it would flood. Or at least when Austin received heavy amounts of rain. This would flood the trailer park and cause heavy amounts of damage.

The City of Austin made part of the Grove Trailer Court become the Lakeshore Park in 1995. City of Austin replanted glass plats over the roads from the former trailer park.

The road that once connected to Grove Trailer Court continued onto Montopolis Bridge. The road was called Grove Drive. Grove Drive was named after Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife Joyce L. Grove. An actual road past the trailer park connected to Montopolis Bridge.

By 2003, all 32.53 acres of the property belonging to Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. had been demolished. The 363 acres of 6200 Grove Drive became Roy G. Guerrero Park and Montopolis Sports Complex in 2003. The land became vacant land by 2004 as the City of Austin took control over the Estate of Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. at the time from an executor deed and a special warranty deed.


Grove Trailer Court has been mention and reported on in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper a number of times over the years. For instance in 2015 about if Spanish missions really existing in Austin. (Ref: Austin American-Statesman, Did Spanish missions really exist on Austin bluffs in 1730?, Steven Gonzales keeps an eye out for evidence in the Montopolis hills., June 25, 2015)

The property of 6218 Grove Drive became Grove Gardens in 2015. This vacant lot was once home to Grove Trailer Court. Matt Simon owns this property today along with City of Austin. Old bamboo has been cut down and new bamboo has been planted in place. Grove Gardens was not cleared of bamboo in a single weekend.

Grove Gardens is a riverside lot in the historic Montopolis neighborhood of Austin undergoing a permaculturally minded transition to an ecological campground. Matt Simon has plans to turn this vacant lot into a community garden similar to the Cherry Creek Community Garden on Bayton Loop near Westgate Boulevard.

Today in the 21st century, Grove Trailer Court remains one of the many forgotten trailer parks of Austin, Texas. A weathered sign for the Grove Trailer Court is all that remains of this trailer park enclave.


Grove Trailer Court was located at the address of 6200 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741. Grove Trailer Court Headquarters were located at 6218 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741.

Whatever happened to Four Seasons Mobile Home Park in San Antonio, Texas?

For those of you wondering whatever happened to Four Seasons Mobile Home Park in San Antonio, Texas, this news article will explain in brief detail about what happened to this San Antonio trailer park.Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was a trailer park located in San Antonio, Texas that operated from 1963 to 2008.

In 1998, an administrative law judge from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission held alleged violations against Four Seasons Mobile Home Park, LLC for unauthorized discharge of wastewater into the adjacent Salado Creek and by failing to submit an application to obtain a discharge permit. Salado Creek was the waterbed creek that Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was alleged to have discharged wastewater into. For 2 years, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park did nothing to obtain a discharge permit or correct legal errors on their part.

An order was entered on March 10, 2000 for $15,000 in administrative penalties to Four Seasons Mobile Home Park by Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. A payment of $15,000 dollars for Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission was due.

On the date of 8/30/2006, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was mailed a $15,150 dollar penalty charge from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality via an earlier notice from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. The additional $150 dollar charge came from failing to obtain a water discharge permit and for failing to pay additional charges.

The reasons why Four Seasons Mobile Home Park closed in 2008 is because of failure to pay fines from for unauthorized discharge of wastewater and by failing to obtain a discharge permit.

The City of San Antonio moved its then residents during a 2008 city buyout plan where residents whom lived in trailer parks located in floodplains were relocated. City of San Antonio moved its then residents to trailer parks across San Antonio while its other residents simply moved themselves.

As of July 2018, 2 trailers remain on the property. Chuck Weekly still owns, maintains, and lives on the Four Seasons Mobile Home Park property. His family members, along with a woman named Sarah Flores, live on the property. Today the trailer park is a former shell of itself and what it once was. No Trespassing signs are posted all over the fences at front entrance. The trailer park is private property.

Four Seasons Mobile Home Park is now inactive and no longer in business.

History behind Four Seasons Mobile Home Park in San Antonio, Texas nearly forgotten.

Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was a trailer park located in San Antonio, Texas that operated from 1963 to 2008.

Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was founded by Chuck Weekly, Mary McKay Weekly, and Charles T Weekly in 1962. Chuck Weekly, Mary McKay Weekly, and Charles T Weekly were directors and owners of Four Seasons Mobile Home Park. The idea to establish a trailer came about when there was a lack of trailer parks that were geared towards senior living in San Antonio, Texas.

Groundwork for the roads inside of this trailer park in the following year. 6 trailers were moved onto the property in 1963. By the end of the year 1963 is when 10 trailers were hauled onto the property. A swimming pool for its residents was installed in 1966.

The trailer park expand southbound in 1973 by just a few acres. In 1973, a water tower was installed for the trailer park and its residents. 100 residents lived at the trailer park at the time, many of which were senior citizens.


Four Seasons Mobile Home Park, LLC was established as a domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC) on the date of 12/03/1993. Over 200 residents lived at Four Seasons Mobile Home Park during that time. Many of which were senior citizens.

In September 1993, a state-county detention facility was proposed to be built at the site of Four Seasons Mobile Home Park. However its residents highly opposed the proposed plan for state-county detention facility was proposed to be built and protested against it at San Antonio City Hall. Several hundred residents attended a meeting on a Thursday night at Judson High School.

(Ref: San Antonio Express-News, Metro Briefs Hearing tonight targets planned detention facility, September 13, 1993)


In 1998, an administrative law judge from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission held alleged violations against Four Seasons Mobile Home Park, LLC for unauthorized discharge of wastewater into the adjacent Salado Creek and by failing to submit an application to obtain a discharge permit. Salado Creek was the waterbed creek that Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was alleged to have discharged wastewater into. For 2 years, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park did nothing to obtain a discharge permit or correct legal errors on their part.

An order was entered on March 10, 2000 for $15,000 in administrative penalties to Four Seasons Mobile Home Park by Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. A payment of $15,000 dollars to Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission was due.

Chuck Weekly sold the land to Ernest M Dyal on the date of 1/28/2001 with the sale being finalized on the date of 1/29/2001. Samual Casanova and Kimberley Casanova purchased the land from Ernest M Dyal on the date of 1/29/2002. The water tower was disassembled in 2002. Its concrete slab foundation is the only thing remaining.

On the date of 8/30/2006, Four Seasons Mobile Home Park was mailed a $15,150 dollar penalty charge from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality via an earlier notice from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. The additional $150 dollar charge came from failing to obtain a water discharge permit and for failing to pay additional charges.

Four Seasons Mobile Home Park closed in 2008 after failing to pay fines from the 2000 administrative penalties issued against them for unauthorized discharge of wastewater and by failing to obtain a discharge permit. City of San Antonio moved its then residents to trailer parks across San Antonio while its other residents simply moved themselves. The City of San Antonio moved its then residents during a 2008 city buyout plan where residents whom lived in trailer parks located in floodplains were relocated.


As of July 2018, 2 trailers remain on the property. Chuck Weekly still owns, maintains, and lives on the Four Seasons Mobile Home Park property. His family members, along with a woman named Sarah Flores, live on the property. Today the trailer park is a former shell of itself and what it once was. No Trespassing signs are posted all over the fences at front entrance. The trailer park is private property.

Front main office building, the single story house visible by the front entrance, and another trailer are now abandoned. Those are the abandoned structures on this property. The pool has been emptied out and is now inactive.

Four Seasons Mobile Home Park is now inactive and no longer in business. However the company's filing status is listed as “In existence” online. (Which is odd.)


The address for Four Seasons Mobile Home Park is 9613 South Presa Street, San Antonio, Texas, US 78223-4348. Their other mailing address is PO Box 33713, San Antonio, Texas, US 78265-3713. The landline for Four Seasons Mobile Home Park is +1-210-633-3535. For those living in the United States and Canada, call 210-633-3535.

Short architectural history behind Queen Victoria School in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada explored.

Queen Victoria School was built for the Hamilton-Wentworth School District during 1964 in the middle of Corktown neighbourhood of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The school would open in 1965. Hamilton-Wentworth School District operated Queen Victoria School from 1965 to 2007.

Queen Victoria School was an elementary school (primary school) that also went under the name Queen Victoria Elementary School. At first it was known as Queen Victoria School and later Queen Victoria Elementary School.

The 1964 Queen Victoria School building was noted for its interesting architecture. All of its classrooms were built in trapezoid form in the shape of trapezoids. Parts of the school building were similar to a toblerone candy bar. The school had a unique parking lot layout. The parking lot was located underneath the school building itself. The building can be noted for its googie architecture.

Queen Victoria Elementary School used as a filming location for the movie Hairspray in 2005. The filming company used the site for 9 months to record school scenes for the movie Hairspray.

Queen Victoria School was closed in 2007. Plans were made by Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board to demolish Prince of Wales School and Queen Victoria school in May 2007. The school was demolished in July 2007. (Ref: Hamilton Spectator, Plan to demolish Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria schools, Spring 2007)

A new school building was rebuilt in place of the original school in September 2007. In 2009, the new Queen Victoria Elementary School opened and still operates today. Hamilton-Wentworth District School District takes credit for keeping their schools modern.


Architects and residents critiqued the old school building of Queen Victoria School as being built tough. Most local architects wanted the old school building to stand in place for continued use. Local architects claim “the school building could and would last hundreds of years if properly maintained”. Local architects criticized Hamilton-Wentworth District School for letting maintenance lapse just to have an excuse to get money from taxpayers.

Some residents criticized the school for its 60s architecture stating that the old Queen Victoria School was “built like a prison”. Some even criticized the roof and shape of its classrooms for built in form of trapezoids. Some residents have gone as far as to call the old Queen Victoria School building “ugly”. (Ref: uer.ca)

However most parents of students enrolled at Queen Victoria Elementary School are happy and satisfied with the new school building. A majority of parents and faculty supported the  construction of a new school building at the site of the original school building that was originally in place.

Queen Victoria School is located at 166 Forest Avenue, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Inside the extensive history of Austin State School - Farm Colony and Travis State School!

Travis State School (first known as Austin State School - Farm Colony) was a living center that was operated as a farm colony, work facility, and educational facility a farm colony becoming eventually a work facility and an educational facility for the mentally retarded citizens of Texas operating from 1934 to 1996. The institution taught the mentally retarded how to be self-sufficient.


Origins of the Austin State School - Farm Colony can be traced back to the location of Austin State School itself. Austin State School - Farm Colony was established on the campus of Austin State School itself in 1925 by Texas Board of Control and Dr. J. W. Bradfield. (Ref: State Board of Control, 1925).

Texas Government along Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation (TX MHMR) had felt a need to place mentally retarded citizens in a separate home away from the rest of society. The mindset of society was to place mentally retarded citizens far away from so they wouldn’t ever have a need to come into the metropolis as Austin State School was set up as an autonomous community. The ideology (idea) was for the mentally retarded to produce farm products for other ‘State Schools’ and institutions. This taught the mentally retarded how to be self-sufficient.


In 1930, Texas Governor Miriam A. Ferguson and Austin State School superintendent Dr. J. W. Bradfield proposed an idea to the Texas Board of Control along with Texas Mental Health Mental Retardation to create a farm colony, work facility, and educational facility for the mentally retarded citizens of Texas. This was because the farm colony on the Austin State School campus was running out of room and needed to be expanded elsewhere.

The Texas Government had purchased 241 acres of land from Greg Wilson, Annie LaRue Scott, and six other residents in the year of 1932 in the Decker neighborhood of East Austin. In 1933, the Texas legislature established Travis State School as the Austin State School - Farm Colony as an annex/branch of the Austin State School. (Ref: TXMHMR Public Information Office, 1989).

The farm colony itself was located at FM 969 and Decker Lane 8 miles east of Downtown Austin located near the Colorado River. East Austin, further away from US Highway 183 was all farmland with ranches which resulted in an ideal location for Austin State School - Farm Colony.

The farm colony started as a true farm community in 1934 when the first inmates were transferred from Austin State School to the Farm Colony in October 1934 which at the time had only one building. The first of several permanent dormitory buildings was erected in 1934. Austin State School - Farm Colony (Travis State School) was set up as an autonomous community.

At first, Austin State School - Farm Colony was just for men and eventually women. Children came later. ‘State School’ facilities were gender segregated due to a prevalent belief from the time period that associated mental retardation with promiscuity, alcoholism, and immoral behavior. However, there were female students even in 1934 despite the original intentions of the institutions for males only.

The Austin State School - Farm Colony was established for able-bodied, white males (including those who spoke Spanish), 8 years of age and older, who were unable to be “further  benefited” by the Austin State School, but who could “do manual work, help raise garden and farm products, care for livestock and poultry, and thus partially support themselves and the parent institution” (Ref: State Board of Control, 1936).

368 inmates were housed at Travis State School in 1938. 8 had grounds parole and were able to leave campus. The patients are all males. The buildings are two-floor brick and terrazzo construction and are well-equipped and furnished. (Ref: State Board of Control, 1938).

In 1939, student population was 450. Only 7-8 students had ground paroles. Salaries for farm work was $27 per month. Eventually due to inflation the pay rate was raised to $40 per month. Employees worked 12 hours a day. Dentists worked 8 hours a day. There were 45 female students working at the farm colony. A staff of 45 women employees and 90 male employees took care of 450 students on a daily basis. Conditions were not too primitive. (Ref: State Board of Control, 1939).

A graveyard was plotted by Texas Board of Control and was established where the water tower is today in the year of 1939. It was estimated that over 20 burials out of the dozens of residents and inmates were buried at this location.


However on January 14, 1941, the Texas Legislature and Texas Government were considering closing down the farm colony due to the fact that the farm colony was a total failure as the farm colony could not produce enough to maintain for the patients at the institution and other institutions run by the state. The Texas Legislature deemed Austin State School - Farm Colony as a “dismal failure”. However the farm colony continued operating and remained open. (Ref: State Board of Control, 1941).

By 1941, construction for the 6 two story buildings was completed. The farm colony then had around 480 inmates. The Texas Legislature deemed a need for Austin State School - Farm Colony to remain open during World War II in order to be self-sufficient.

By 1945, the farm colony had six buildings with offices. Small houses for the attendants and nurse were hauled in from other institutions across Texas.

1949 brought big changes to Travis State School.The farm colony became a separate institution from the Austin State School in 1949 despite having the name ‘Austin State School’ which it was always a part of. The farm colony was always called Austin State School - Farm Colony despite was others say. A plant nursery operated at Travis State School from 1933 to 1990. The school grew their own vegetables. Beef and pork were raised in the farm colony.

By 1955, TX MHMR had acquired an additional 195 acres from 8 more residents all of whom owned farmland. The Austin State School - Farming Colony campus eventually grew to encompass 68 buildings that spanned to the 436 acres you see today owned by KIPP Austin.

Austin State School - Farm Colony had a working farm and dairy in 1956. A cannery was built where the crops were canned and packaged for consumption for the other state institutions.


Farming operations at the facility slowly ceased in January 1961 due to the fact that the farm colony was a total failure. The farm colony could not produce enough to maintain for the patients at the institutions. The farming operations did not cease due to mental health care reforms in the 1960's from popular belief. To reflect this change, Austin State School - Farm Colony was renamed to Travis State School in January 1961.
(Ref: Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, TRAVIS STATE SCHOOL)

At this point is when the Austin State School - Farm Colony was limited to older, severely retarded males transferred from the Austin State School. Both mentally handicapped individuals and physically handicapped individuals lived at Travis State School. Mostly mentally handicapped individuals lived there. Most of the residents were non-verbal.

Travis State School is very similar in setup to Marbridge Foundation and Down Home Ranch. In fact, Marbridge Foundation was modeled after Austin State School and Travis State School itself.

A dairy was operated at Travis State School until 1965. The dairy herd was auctioned-off on October 5, 1965. The dairy farm was de-established and demolished in the same year. Austin State School - Farm Colony was intended to provide a home for mentally retarded male patients who could no longer further benefit from training at the Austin State School and who were able to do work.

In 1966, construction of a new workshop facility was planned and the site of the original cemetery plot was where the new building could be placed and utilized. The MHMR Board voted to formally “abandon” the old cemetery (which had not been used for interments for 25 years) and to remove the remains to the official long-established Travis State School Cemetery.

The water tower was constructed over the first cemetery (the old Travis State School Cemetery) and graveyard in 1966. In the process of relocation, the first cemetery had been partially destroyed. There are still burials intact beneath the water tower. The new Travis State School Cemetery was replotted and relocated in 1966. The water tower still remains standing today.

Travis State School had its highest peak of patient enrollment of 1,800 patients/students in 1968 all of whom had been transferred from other institutions. A swimming pool was installed at Travis State School in 1968. Travis State School was the first state school in Texas to have a swimming pool for therapeutic purposes. Later included was a sewing room, storerooms, more offices, and a carpentry shop.


In the year of 1970, Travis State School received a grant from the Hospital Improvement Project which made it possible for the use of a unit system of treatment. A new Vocational Evaluation and Training Center was opened and staffed through a grant from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission. Female students were first admitted in 1973 for the first time since the institution gradually opened in 1934.

The reasons why Austin State School - Farm Colony ceased operations was due to revisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1974 and the oil recession of the 1970s that greatly effected the United States economy. Texas Government discovered the free labor residents and inmates provided was considered somewhat exploitive especially for the high functioning residents. High functioning residents were assigned to take care of low functioning residents. The State of Texas could not afford to pay residents and inmates as workers. So residents and inmates worked for free. This in turn was a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1974.

The courts ruled in 1974 residents and inmates in these institutions run by the State of Texas (federal, state-run, or otherwise) were entitled to protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This was a tragedy for some of the residents and inmates residing in these institutions. They had no sense of purpose and had idle time sitting on the ward despite that state run programs were still readily available.

200 residents of the Travis State School lost their jobs and 266 more jobs were phased out at the Austin State School. Prior to the court ruling, state law prohibited the institutions from paying more than $5 a week to the patients who performed jobs. A federal court decision ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to begin enforcing wage and hour provisions in state-run mental institutions across the US. (Ref: Waxahachie Daily Light, Page 7, August 20, 1974)


The Texas Government and TX MHMR had began changing its focus from institutionalization to integrated placement in local communities as this trend was becoming nationwide in the United States in the 1980s. ‘State Schools’ began to see a decline in enrollment. This was a result from efforts in deinstitutionalization. By then, state officials began following this trend. The Texas Government and TX MHMR had began changing its focus from institutionalization to deinstitutionalization. (Ref: Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, TRAVIS STATE SCHOOL)

By 1981, all farming operations at the facility ceased for good. All what was left in its place was the institution and its shop buildings. The shop buildings became storage for maintenance utilities. Despite that, the nursery was still in operation until 1990.


The Travis State School functioned as an Independent School District (ISD) from 1981 to 1988. The school was mostly compromised of multi-handicapped students who were non-verbal. Several of them had suffered scoliosis. 25% percent of residents living at Travis State School were quadriplegic.

After the year of 1988 due to lack of enrollment and federal funding, Travis State School relied on the Manor Independent School District to provide academic instruction through its "mainstreaming" program instead. The Travis State School Independent School District and Austin State School Independent School District were shut down by the state due to lack of enrollment and deinstitutionalization.


In the 1990s, Travis State School was renamed to Austin State School Annex but still kept the name ‘Travis State School’ as many people referred to the institution by such name despite what others say. Texas has always historically been behind most US states to serve people with mental retardation within their own communities along with Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Illinois. 

The 1990s saw an even further decline in ‘State School’ enrollment due to deinstitutionalization and healthcare laws. Effects of deinstitutionalization became statewide. Statistics in newspapers, reports, and books showed otherwise. In 1992, Travis State School had 604 patients and 1,270 employees with a total of 86 buildings at its 436 acre property. In 1994, only 104 patients remained. They were unharmed.

In 1994, the State of Texas and City of Austin proposed a 1,000 inmate facility for a new state jail to alleviate crowding with the population in state jails. In 1996, the Travis County State Jail/Travis State Jail was built and completed. For a short while, Travis County State Jail/Travis State Jail was privately run by privatized prison industrial complex company Wackenhut Correctional Facilities from 1994 to 2001. The land where Travis County State Jail/Travis State Jail occupies is where the Farm Colony originally was for Austin State School - Farm Colony.

Due to an abuse case at Travis State School along with lawsuits such as Lelsz vs. Kavanagh and Ruiz vs. Estelle, Travis State School closed down as an agreement in a lawsuit settlement with the state of Texas and US Government in 1996. The lawsuit was both statewide and federal, thus resulting in the federal lawsuit of Lelsz vs. Kavanagh.

By 1996, Travis State School closed for good. By then all remaining 41 patients were relocated to nearby institutions such as the Austin State School (now Austin State Supported Living Center). Construction at Travis State School lasted from 1996 to 1998. Debris was left over from pervious construction teams who relocated nearly everything. Some items and various other objects were left onsite. Buildings fell into various states of decay and disrepair.

TX MHMR was involved in another lawsuit called Turner, Rona and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) vs. Travis State School in 1996 which alleged violations of the Equal Employment Act.

In 1996, local real estate developer Peter Barlin had bought the land Travis State School was located on from Texas Board of Control. The idea for Peter Barlin purchasing the Travis State School land and buildings was to create a private version of the public housing agency called Vision Village. His main intention was to create public housing. Vision Village was supposed to be a neighborhood for low income housing. The City of Austin gave him a $1 million dollar incentive for this land development. Organizers borrowed nearly $4 million from Austin, Travis County and a local bank in 1997.

However plans fell through when Vision Village lacked the management expertise and fund-raising ability to build the housing it promised. Local real estate developer Peter Barlin had been charged criminally with penalties such as embezzlement, conspiracy, money laundering, mismanagement, and fraud. More than $5 million had been poured into the project. Peter Barlin had owned the former Travis State School site that was once set aside for Vision Village, a project that never got off the ground despite more than $1 million from the city. The Vision Village costs had ran deeper than dollars however.

Travis State School sat abandoned and vacant for a period of time from 1997 to 2004. During that time is when the building became vandalized and squatted. Graffiti covered several buildings, some of which been demolished.


In 2004, KIPP Schools (KIPP Austin) had purchased the property from Peter Barlin and the State of Texas via TX MHMR from Texas Board of Control. Some buildings however were still abandoned. These buildings were renovated overtime. Only few buildings were demolished. The Travis State School Cemetery had fallen into disrepair. Security had not been set up to protect and secure property on a 24 hour basis yet. However most of the property still sat vacant and abandoned.

This made it easy for scrappers to steal and vandalize the buildings for copper metal in order to gain a profit. One famous example would be local criminal Reginald Dane Parker. Local criminal Reginald Dane Parker had apparently been stealing copper wire there from the location site before for years. The timeframe Reginald Dane Parker had been stealing copper wire from Travis State School was from 2001 to 2005. Reginald Dane Parker was arrested and jailed by law enforcement officials in 2005.

By 2011, KIPP Austin had fully settled onto the land of the former Travis State School site. However the 8 dorms that weren’t in use were boarded up and closed off. The 9 warehouses are in various states of disrepair. Austin Police Department had set up their Child Protective Services division there in the year of 2011 as well.

In 2015, KIPP Schools contracted with local business ASC Management to secure the property as an effort in security measures. Closed-Camera surveillance cameras are now present and 24 hour security is actively on sight. Gates now hover over the buildings. Unoccupied buildings that were boarded up or abandoned are now currently in use. These building have been upgraded by being renovated. Currently businesses such as KIPP Austin, Austin Discovery School, KIPP Cafe, Austin Police Department, and Child Protective Services now occupy the land property. A small handful of former warehouses are in various states of disrepair.



[Here’s why Travis State School really closed!]

[John Lelsz Sr. with his wife, Ruth Lelsz, had filed a lawsuit that claimed Texas ‘State Schools’ along with other institutions of this kind violated the constitutional rights of their residents in 1974. Abuse was rampant in these institutions. criminal negligence, Patients were living in unsanitary condition provided by extremely inadequate living conditions. The lawsuit was Lelsz vs. Kavanagh. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 1991.

Travis State School closed down due a federal lawsuit called Lelsz vs. Kavanagh. Complainant John Lelsz Sr. and his wife Ruth Lelsz alleged their son, John Lelsz Jr. was physically abused and overtly medicated. John Lelsz Jr. was housed at Travis State School and Austin State School. John Lelsz Jr. was a blind and retarded patient who was physically aggressive with others and prone to violent outbursts. As a result he was overmedicated by Travis State School and Austin State School staff and the medical faculty.

When his parents went to visit him at Travis State School and Austin State School, they notices bruises, scars, and various other lacerations on his body.John Lelsz Jr. had acquired a head gash requiring six stitches, a black eye and swollen face while at Austin State School. Austin State School staff had used cattle prods to administer electroshock therapy on John Lelsz Jr. was a very difficult patient. Both parents filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas. Such said lawsuit eventually reached Federal Court. This led to the closure of the Travis State School in 1996.

By 1998, Travis State School closed for good. By then all remaining 41 patients were relocated to nearby institutions such as the Austin State School (now Austin State Supported Living Center). By 1999, lawsuits of Lelsz vs. Kavanagh and Ruiz vs. Estelle were mostly settled with the fact most of the complainants, plaintiffs, defendants, defenders, lawyers, and attorneys, were somewhat not satisfied with the Texas Governments’ actions with some justice being unserved to the victims and those whom were harmed.

As a result of delayed justice, John Lelsz Jr. was removed from Austin State School to a psychiatric institution in Arkansas in 1997. Since then his family relocated him back to Texas. His parents have since passed away. John Lelsz Sr. passed away in June 1995.]


[As for the government properties of Austin State School - Farm Colony and Travis State School…]

[The Travis State School Cemetery still remains onsite hidden away from KIPP Austin campus. The cemetery has fallen into disrepair. Many graves, tombstones, and other identifiers such as markers remain untouched despite the future plans from the Texas Government to remove such graves. The Texas Government decided to leave the graves untouched. The Travis State School Cemetery has fallen into disrepair.]

[Austin State School - Farm Colony had moved back to its original location at the “original” Austin State School (now Austin State Supported Living Center) in 1998. Austin State School - Farm Colony has now been reduced to a garden to a size of 4 rows as of 2016. The farm colony is a former shill of what it once was. No longer are extreme amounts of tax dollars being poured into the farm colony. The farm colony no longer exists.]


Austin State School - Farm Colony and Travis State School was located at 8509 FM 969, Austin, Texas, US 78725.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Grove Trailer Court of Austin, Texas forgotten revisited.

Grove Trailer Court is one of the many forgotten trailer parks of Austin, Texas. Not much at all is known about the Oak Grove Trailer Court. Very few Austinites know of or have whereabout of knowledge regarding Oak Grove Trailer Court itself. Only older Austinites know about this trailer park. This news article will attempt to explain the history behind Grove Trailer Court.


Grove Trailer Court was established as a trailer park in 1950 by Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife Joyce L. Grove. They both owned land that was a part of their own farmland and decided to establish a trailer park that would become Grove Trailer Court. Dr. Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. was a private practitioner from Austin, Texas. Grove Trailer Court was established at the address of 6200 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741. Which located near the intersection of Grove Drive & Montopolis Drive.

They used 11 acres out of 13.11 acres to create the trailer park. The scenic riverside view of the Colorado River made the trailer park an idea location for people to live there. Grove Trailer Court was located less than an acre away from the Colorado River.

Grove Trailer Court began show up on maps by 1956. On the 1956 topographical map for Montopolis Quadrangle, “Grove Trailer Court” appeared under the name “Trailer Park”. A gaging station appeared west of Montopolis Bridge.

The trailer park would later grow to expand up to 13.11 acres by 1961. 2 new gaging stations were installed in 1970. Grove Trailer Court grew up to expand towards 15 acres by 1973.


Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. sold the land for Grove Trailer Court to the City of Austin on the date of 5/6/1981 on a warranty deed. By agreement on the warranty deed, the city could take over the land when Vernon and his wife Joyce were deceased.

By 1994, Grove Trailer Court was demolished and discontinued due to the location being located in a 25 year floodplain. 2 times every 25 years or so, it would flood. Or at least when Austin received heavy amounts of rain. This would flood the trailer park and cause heavy amounts of damage.

The City of Austin made part of the Grove Trailer Court become the Lakeshore Park in 1995. City of Austin replanted glass plats over the roads from the former trailer park.

The road that once connected to Grove Trailer Court continued onto Montopolis Bridge. The road was called Grove Drive. Grove Drive was named after Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. and his wife Joyce L. Grove. An actual road past the trailer park connected to Montopolis Bridge.

By 2003, all 32.53 acres of the property belonging to Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. had beed demolished. The land became vacant land by 2004 as the City of Austin took control over the Estate of Vernon Eugene Grove Jr. at the time from an executor deed and a special warranty deed.


Grove Trailer Court has been mention and reported on in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper a number of times over the years. For instance in 2015 about if Spanish missions really existing in Austin. (Ref: Austin American-Statesman, Did Spanish missions really exist on Austin bluffs in 1730?, Steven Gonzales keeps an eye out for evidence in the Montopolis hills., June 25, 2015)

Today in the 21st century, Grove Trailer Court remains one of the many forgotten trailer parks of Austin, Texas. A weathered sign for the Grove Trailer Court is all that remains of this trailer park enclave.


Grove Trailer Court was located at the address of 6200 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741. Grove Trailer Court Headquarters were located at 6218 Grove Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78741.

Whatever happened to Circle B Homes?

Circle B Homes has to do with the housing industry. Circle B Homes was a manufactured home sales lot located at 6610 East Ben White Boulevard in Austin, Texas from 1998 to 2006 that was owned by Sam P. Bath, Jr., and Larry Cousins. Sam P. Bath was president for Circle B Homes and Larry Cousins was a salesman for Circle B Homes.
(Ref: Austin American Statesman, Circle C, Circle B: What's in a letter?, December 8, 1999)

Some might remember the “Top Dollar on Trade'' sign out by the highway and a couple of wire palm trees by the entrance covered the front. Some might even remember seeing the pink Circle B Homes sign right outside of State Highway 71.

Circle B Homes provided a minuscule effort for the housing industry in Southeast Austin and Montopolis. Only hundreds of mobile homes were manufactured a year at Circle B Homes. Home sales is what Circle B specialized in. Circle B Homes operated under the name Circle B Mobile Homes.


In 2004 when Alvie Campbell and Julia Campbell purchased a manufactured home from Circle B Homes is what led tot he decline of the business itself. Sam P. Bath and Larry Cousins never knew ahead of time when or if they were going to close their business.

Alvie Campbell and Julia Campbell purchased a manufactured home from Circle B Homes in 2004 and had also purchased the land on which the manufactured home was located. The home was manufactured by Cavco Industries, Inc. (Cavco). This led to an arbitration agreement dispute that would last up to 45 months from 2004 to 2006.

Over the next 45 months, the Campbells pursued their claims against these defendants (Circle B Homes, Cavco, and 967 among others) by serving discovery, responding to discovery requests, and responding to dispositive motions filed by Cavco, 967, and Cottonwood. Circle B's litigation activities during that time included responding to the Campbells' discovery requests, responding to limited discovery from co-defendant Cavco, serving the Campbells with requests for disclosure. Cavco noticed two depositions that ultimately were not taken.

Alvie Campbell and Julia Campbell were subject to a valid arbitration agreement and Circle B did not waive the right to arbitration. The two depositions were not taken as noticed by a co-defendant participating in depositions of Alvie Campbell and Julia Campbell.


In August 2006, the Campbells filed suit against Circle B Homes asserting causes of action arising out of the negotiation and sale of the home and land. Specifically, the Campbells alleged causes of action for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, trespass to chattel, negligence, negligence per se, common law fraud, fraud in a real estate transaction, and civil conspiracy which were among the several charges brought against them.

Circle B faced financial hardships stemming from a lawsuit in 2006. Sam P. Bath Jr. and Larry Cousins were found guilty for breach of contract and cited for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. 2006 is when Circle B Homes closed down.


All the mobile homes and trailers that once resided at the location have now been relocated. Any permanent structures were destroyed. The only remains left are the roadways, entrance, parking lot, and sign for Circle B Homes out by TX 71 (State Highway 71).

Circle B Homes was located at 6610 East Ben White Boulevard, Austin, Texas, US 78741.