Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Monday, December 31, 2018

Warren Webster and Co. Building of Camden, New Jersey to be demolished.

The city of Camden, New Jersey had put up a demolition bid for the Warren Webster and Co. Building. The contract provides demolition for removal of one commercial building on 6/28/2018. All footings will be removed from final site gradings. Concrete slabs will be restored. (Ref: https://www.ci.camden.nj.us/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ad-Bid-18-22-1601-and-1625-Federal-Street.pdf)

Bids will not be received after the time specified for the opening of the bids. Bids received after the hour appointed will be deemed invalid and returned unopened to the Bidder. Specifications may be obtained at the Office of the Purchasing Agent, Room 213, City Hall, 520 Market Street, Camden, New Jersey 08101. Any questions concerning this bid, please contact the City of Camden Purchasing Bureau at 856-757-7159 or fax questions to 856-541-9668.

Lead removal is no longer pending. A Phase I Environmental assessment has already been completed by Camden Redevelopment Agency under EPA funding.The Phase I Environmental assessment was performed in order to comply with All Appropriate Inquiry before the site can be sold to a developer for redevelopment. There are no current redevelopment activities. Contractors are not going to have difficulty removing the building.


The Warren Webster and Co. Building was constructed in 1888 entirely out of brick. Warren Webster and Co. occupied the building from 1888 to 1923. The building was sold to Felton-Sibley Paints in 1924. The site was also utilized by the Victor Talking Machine Company as a warehouse to store materials from the until 1935. Borden Chemical operated a facility there from 1967 to 1981.
(Ref: Philadelphia Inquirer, Page 42, Thursday, May 15, 1969)

The Warren Webster and Co. Building has been abandoned since 1981 when Borden Chemical shut down its operations. The property and building were destroyed by a fire in the mid-1980s and has remained vacant since then. (Ref: https://archive.epa.gov/epapages/newsroom_archive/newsreleases/73da070f4e96831185257720005b2c71.html)

The City of Camden acquired the property in February 1999. This building and its property was last owned by New Jersey Transit when they purchased the property from City of Camden in 2002. (Ref: http://njparcels.com/sales/0408_1184_5)

For now the Warren Webster and Co. Building sits abandoned and dilapidated in various states of ruin until a bidder purchases the bid.

The Warren Webster and Co. Building is located at 1625 Federal Street, Camden, New Jersey, US 08105.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Donald Trump to sign hemp bill into law.

The Marijuana Times, High Times, and KiwiFarms.net report that the US Congress passed a bill to legalize hemp and President Donald Trump says he will sign the bill into law. The bill President Donald Trump will sign into law is called the 2018 Farm Bill. (Ref: https://kiwifarms.net/threads/u-s-congress-passes-bill-to-legalize-hemp-trump-says-he-will-sign-it-into-law.50895/)   

The 2018 Farm Bill includes a provision to legalize hemp throughout the entire country. This bill will allow farmers to grow it as any other agricultural commodities available once the bill takes effect. It will be the first time in decades that hemp will be finally legal after the bill is finalized. Hemp soon will become legalized. (Ref: https://themarijuanaherald.com/news/u-s-congress-passes-bill-to-legalize-hemp-trump-says-he-will-sign-it-into-law/)

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have passed some type of policy allowing hemp to be cultivated at the state level. States such as Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota are considering legalizing hemp to help the industry.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Copper sediment samples found in Texas HHSC water supply.

On the date of 10/4/2018, an employee of Texas HHSC found copper sediment in the water coming from a water fountain. The copper sediment sample was recorded and documented on the date of 10/4/2018. Later that very day is when an employee taped the copper sediment sample on top of the water fountain. This was an attempt to warn and inform Texas HHSC employees along with contractors about copper in their water supply coming from a particular water fountain.

Copper sediment sample from 10/4/2018.
Copper sediment sample from 10/4/2018.


Sticky notes were posted on the water fountain with the captions of “Mmm… copper” and “Can we drink this or nah”. One sticky note has a humorous remark poking fun at this situation with a caption saying “Enjoy a glass of water. Have a copper more while you’re at it”.

Sticky notes with humorous remarks.
Sticky notes with humorous remarks.
Another sticky note with a humorous remark.
Another sticky note with a humorous remark.

The Texas HHSC has had some major plumbing issues over the years it’s been open. However this is not surprising considering there was a rat infestation which caused a $60,000 vermin infestation last year in 2017 at the Texas HHSC building. Sewer rats were found in water pipes causing damage. (Ref: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/29/texas-health-regulators-overrun-several-hundred-rats/)

Any exact plans as to how the removal of copper in the Texas HHSC water supply have not been confirmed or made public yet.


Copper sediment found in a water bottle.
Copper sediment found in a water bottle.

What happened to Building 27 at Willowbrook State School?

Building 27 at Willowbrook State School was built in 1941 and completed in 1943. The building was designed to be a male infirmary and is a one-story structure constructed out of brick. This building along with Building 25 and Building 29 were designed to be for non-ambulatory patients. (https://s-media.nyc.gov/agencies/lpc/arch_reports/689.pdf)

Many of its patients were nonverbal and required continuous care. Many could not walk or speak. Building 27 housed 140 profoundly retarded (IQs under 20) adolescents of both sexes. Only a few were toilet trained which is why the building reeked of urine and feces.
(https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CRECB-1972-pt5/pdf/GPO-CRECB-1972-pt5-1-1.pdf)
(Ref: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1973/10/5/for-a-friend-in-the-snakepit/)

Building 27 was featured in the 1972 documentary Willowbrook : The Last Great Disgrace recorded by Geraldo Riviera for his news exposé. These patients did have clothes on. But the one thing that couldn’t be hidden is that there were no training programs. That all these patients did was sit during the day.
(Ref: http://index.geraldo.com/folio/willowbrook)

Today Building 27 is now a part of CUNY College of Staten Island. The perimeter is fenced off with a chain link fence. Building 27 is now being used for storage along with Building 25. The abandoned former Willowbrook State School buildings are owned by the College of Staten Island.

Students who attend CUNY College of Staten Island claim they hear voices coming from these building as they believe the campus is haunted. Some students and local residents have claimed to hear voices coming from Building 27 and Building 25.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Copper sediment found in Texas HHSC water supply.


On the date of 10/4/2018, an employee of Texas HHSC found copper sediment in the water coming from a water fountain. The copper sediment sample was recorded and documented on the date of 10/4/2018. It was then that an employee taped the copper sediment sample on top of said water fountain. This was an attempt to warn and inform Texas HHSC employees along with contractors about copper in their water supply coming from a particular water fountain.

Copper sediment sample from 10/4/2018.
Copper sediment sample from 10/4/2018.
Sticky notes were posted on the water fountain with the captions of “Mmm… copper” and “Can we drink this or nah”. One sticky note has a humorous remark poking fun at this situation with a caption saying “Enjoy a glass of water. Have a copper more while you’re at it”. The grammar found on those sticky notes has atrocious grammar errors.
Sticky notes with humorous remarks.
Sticky notes with humorous remarks.


















Copper sediment found in a water bottle.
Copper sediment found in a water bottle.
The Texas HHSC has had some major plumbing issues over the years it’s been open. However this is not surprising considering there was a rat infestation which caused a $60,000 vermin infestation last year in 2017 at the Texas HHSC building. Sewer rats were found in water pipes causing damage. (Ref: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/29/texas-health-regulators-overrun-several-hundred-rats/)

Any exact plans as to how the removal of copper in the Texas HHSC water supply have not been confirmed or made public yet.







Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Man who fakes Down syndrome gets arrested.

A man named Paul Menchaca from Gilbert, Arizona was arrested for fraudulent schemes and sexual abuse after faking to have Down syndrome on September 6, 2018. Police say was at his home at the time of arrest. He was pretending to have Down syndrome. Paul even went out of his way to hire caregivers to bathe him and change his diapers.

Now the disturbing fact is that Paul Menchaca did this for a living as ABC 15 and Lovelyti’s News Network pointed out. What’s even more disturbing is that he was receiving money for this act.

This is stupid. Clearly the caregivers were not trained well enough to realize that the man did not have Down syndrome. How a neurotypical person can fake having Down syndrome is absoultuety staggering. He obviously has an infantilism fetish. That’s what it is. How the caregivers did not see or perceive the signs is baffling. What’s next? A man faking autism? Next we will have people pretend or fake being into persistive vegetative state. As of course we live in an “anything goes” society as Lovelyti pointed out.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dangers of the Zika virus in Brazil rehashed.

Did you know that there is an epidemic of the Zika virus spreading around in Brazil? 1 out of every 50 children born in Brazil today are born with the Zika virus. The Zika virus is from the airborne Zika mosquito and can be sexually transmitted. The Zika virus is like the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

In 2015, the occurrence of Zika virus was 20 times higher than usual. Although less than 1% of infants in Brazil are born with microcephaly, the chances of them getting the Zika virus are much higher than average compared to other countries. United Nations (UN) had begged all tropical countries along the equator to make abortion legal for medical defects.

This whole Zika virus thing is scary. It remains unsafe to conceive babies for a few months after you recover from the Zika virus. Signs of contracting Zika virus are vomiting and frequent seizures. The other signs include small heads and small brains. One way to get rid of the Zika virus is to kill the kill Zika mosquitoes or insects carrying the virus in order to prevent the Zika virus. Another way is by teaching dangers of Zika virus through sexual education. Brazil is attempting to kill Zika mosquitoes in order to prevent the Zika virus from happening.

Why pro-lifers crave drama.

Pro-lifers want drama. They are martyrs. They crave the attention regardless of what is best for the child or not during pregnancy. It doesn’t matter what is best for the child. The person who gets the credit is the parent in said situation. Not the child. It’s almost abuse to the child.

A significant portion of pro-lifers have a tremendous martyrdom complex which can be considered unrealistic, irrational, and cruel by many. You see this a lot with conservative Christians and backwards extremist Islamics. Our human culture rewards this sort of behavior and it is quite sickening. They use offspring as ransom for financial gains.

More or less to them pro-lifers, it gets their message out for whatever they have to say. It’s the glorification of martyrdom they want to receive. There's already a huge lack of resources in this world as the entire planet is living in limited resources.

History of Brewton Springs School in Austin, Texas rehashed.

Brewton Springs School was one of the many forgotten educational institutions of Austin/Travis County that have been long forgotten. In fact, Brewton Springs School was one of the many Travis County rural schools. As a school, Brewton Springs School operated from 1879 to 1950. Brewton Springs School was devoted to education.

Brewton Springs School was also called Bruton Springs School which that school was sometimes referred to as. Brewton Springs School went under several names over the years as its time operating as a school such as Snuff Box School, Snuff Box, and Bruton Springs School.


Brewton Springs School was established in 1879 as a 1-12 school which taught grades 1 through 12. School was taught in an old picket house located on the Allen Farm taught by Miss Annie Gambee. Miss Annie Gambee was the first teacher. Students sat on benches made of elm logs. Each bench furnished seats for 5 to 6 students. Its earliest school trustees were Herbert H. Allen, Joe Hutson, and Pate Patterson.

The school was granted its own school district in 1879. Although Brewton Springs School was within bounds of present day Eanes ISD boundaries, Brewton Springs School had its own school district called School District #50 that was not connected with Eanes School or to the Eanes School District #48 (now known as Eanes ISD) at that time.

Brewton Springs School was a completely autonomous school operated as cited in the book Eanes: Portrait of a Community. Brewton Springs School instead operated as a “county school” under Travis County Public Schools for the Travis County Common School District.

(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)


In 1881, the first school was built as a 15’ x 10’ foot box square building designed as a one-room schoolhouse located on the Jim Brewton farm. Hence the name Brewton Springs. The school only had one door. By 1881 Brewton Springs School had county funding and state funding allocated towards the school.
The old picket house reverted back to the Allen Farm in 1881 as part of their agreement in terms of ownership. No deeds were created. The school district gave the house back to Jack Allen.

The architectural design of the school building was built as a snuff box. Because the school was shaped similarly to a snuff box, students called the school “Snuff Box School”. However the name Snuff Box did not derive from the architecture of the school building itself.

Brewton Springs School was called the Snuff Box School during the 19th century and early to middle 20th century because so many of its students chewed tobacco and dipped snuff. That is how the name Snuff Box came about. (Ref: Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Hill County, 2011)

Brewton Springs School was located east of Bee Cave and west of Cuernavaca Drive near Patterson Road less than 0.2 miles of the junction of Cuernavaca Drive & FM 2244. The roads were unpaved.

During its earliest years when tax funds ran low and there was not enough money to pay a teacher, students from Brewton Springs School attended school at Bee Caves School, Teck School, Cox Springs School, and Eanes School. It was only on occasion that Brewton Springs School students were sent to Bee Cave to attend the Bee Cave School.

In 1888, the State of Texas closed down Brewton Springs School because when tax funds ran low, there was not enough money to pay a teacher or 2 teachers. This was only temporary. Brewton Springs School students were sent to Bee Cave to attend the Bee Cave School until 1890. The school reopened in 1890. This time the school had 3 teachers. Enrollment was 80 students. A majority of its students were white.

A split caused by a change and shift in scholastics resulting in a small house to be built at Walnut Springs in the Walnut Springs Baptist Church. 2 houses in the school district proved to be too many. School terms were split. One term was taught half at one house and half at the other. So the school moved back to the Allen farm and away from the Jim Brewton farm. Brewton Springs School moved a series of several times during its history throughout the 19th century and 20th century.

1892 is when the Walnut Springs Baptist Church house had burned. It is unclear how the school burned. It could have been antics by local children or its students. This fire had no documentation or produced leads as to who had done it. (Ref: The Defender, 1936)

Around 1896 is when Brewton Springs School was moved to the Thomas Riley Place. At this point the school moved several times. The school district hired 3 more teachers to teach at the school.
(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)


Brewton Springs School was moved again in 1904. During the same year, the school was remodeled with more lumber from leftover donations. Benches were donated. 14 teachers were hired throughout the 1904-1905 school term. 34 students attended this school during the 1904-1905 school term.

Green Hudson owned a ranch and gave 5 acres of land for a school in 1922. It was at this that Brewton Springs School was moved onto Patterson Road (then Patterson Lane) near Patterson Ranch. Edna Patterson donated .02 acres of land to the school. Brewton Springs School was located on top of a hill near Patterson Ranch. Brewton Springs School was an all white school with a 97% white/caucasian student population. 2% of the student population was Mexican (Hispanic).

Brewton Springs School was a one-room schoolhouse when it was located on top of a hill near Patterson Ranch on Patterson Road. Sometime in the 1920s is when the school building was later expanded to become a two-room schoolhouse.

Even in the 1920s when most schools were 1-8 schools, Brewton Springs School was a 1-12 school unlike Eanes School were school stopped at 7th grade. From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades.

(Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)
(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

(From the 1920s on, Eanes School did not go beyond the 7th grade. The 1920s is when Eanes School began changing its scholastics by primarily teaching elementary school grades. 8th grade students were bussed to Allan Junior High School. Although Eanes School did not mainly go beyond the 7th grade, Eanes School still taught middle school students and high school students until 1943. After 1943, high school students attended Austin High School and Allan High School. Middle school students attended Allan Junior High School and later O. Henry Middle School. Some had remained at Eanes School as the school had taught middle school grades until 1950. Eanes ISD would continue busing its high school students to Austin ISD until 1967.)


1936 is when the school district began making plans to tear down and rebuild the then-current Brewton Springs School building. Meetings were held with the Superintendent of Travis County Public Schools. It was decided that the old log cabin school be sold to land owner Homer Teague.

In 1937, the school was torn down and rebuilt on John Teague’s property located on FM 2244 (Bee Cave Road) near Cuernavaca Drive by the Teague land. John Teague and Homer Teague moved into the old schoolhouse afterwards. The other old log cabin schoolhouse remained as a private residence on the Teague land.

While the school was being moved, classes were held in Watson Springs Baptist Church. Watson Springs Baptist Church was a single-room frame church. The church was also nicknamed “Snuff Box Church” and “Snuff Box Baptist Church” because members of the congregation used to spit tobacco juice out of the window during services. (Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

By 1938, Brewton Springs School was yet again a fully functioning school with a small school district overseen by Travis County Common School District aka Travis County Public Schools. Brewton Springs School hardly ever had over 100 students. School was the only place and way students were able to take a bath and take care personal hygiene among other needs. A water well was established.


In 1948, Brewton Springs School began attempting to merge and consolidate into Eanes School District #48. Some Brewton Springs School students began attending the Eanes School. Eanes School District then operated both Eanes School and Brewton Springs School. At the time Eanes School was a 1-9 school which educated students in grades 1 through 9. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

During that time only white families resided in the Eanes School District. Brewton Springs School was an all white school with a 100% white/caucasian student population as was Eanes School and Eanes Elementary School.

In 1949, both Brewton Springs School and its school district were consolidated into Eanes ISD under Gilmer-Aiken Law. Gilmer-Aiken Law consolidated many rural school districts, including Brewton Springs & Bee Cave, had reformed many Texas public schools. Eanes School students who wanted to continue their education past 9th grade either went to Brewton Springs School or to Allan Junior High School and Austin High School in Austin Public Schools (now Austin ISD).

However Brewton Springs School continued to operate under Eanes ISD until 1950. Brewton Springs School still operated as a 1-12 school.

(Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)
(Ref: EISD Monthly Newsletter, Eanes School 50 Years Ago, April 1984)


1950 was the year the Travis County Schools Superintendent and State of Texas (TEA) closed down Brewton Springs School and its school district during the 1950-1951 school year. The school district itself was consolidated and abolished during the same year. Brewton Springs School shut down due to lack of enrollment. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

Brewton Springs School was shut down by the State of Texas (TEA) due to Gilmer-Aiken Law after Bill No. 116 of the 50th legislature was passed in 1950. After Brewton Springs School shut down, its students were transferred to Eanes School. Eanes School then had 80 students. A third room to the two-room rock building of Eanes School was constructed in the same year to relieve overcrowding. Classes were now held at the Eanes School. (Ref: Eanes: A History of the School and Community, Linda Vance, 1976)

Brewton Springs School students were merged with the Eanes School and some were sent to Bee Cave School. Brewton Springs School students were sent to both Cox Springs School, Dripping Springs School, and Lago Vista School as well.

In 1950, Eanes went from being a 1-9 school that educated students in grades 1 through 9 to a 1-6 where students in grades 1 through 6 were educated. The school district surrounding Eanes School (the now Eanes Elementary School) and Brewton Springs School was considered a common school district that sent its high school students to Austin ISD. (Ref: Eanes: Portrait of a Community, Linda Vance, 1986)

1950 was the year Homer Teague and his two sons, Robert Teague and Jackson Teague, lived in the building under rough conditions. Winters and summers inside the home proved to be brutal. They would live there until they moved in 1960.

When Brewton Springs School closed in 1950, TEA condemned the school building and the water well. The water well plugged and later destroyed.


In 1960, the building was abandoned on the Teague Land next to Commons Ford Ranch. Overtime the small building became covered with vegetation. It is unknown and unclear whether or not anyone else besides the Teague family lived in the original Brewton Springs School building after consolidation with Eanes ISD whereas the other school building became a private residence.

In 1985, Robert Teague gained ownership of the property from a handwritten gift deed produced in 1942 by the wife of Homer Teague.

In 1988, the old log cabin building of Brewton Springs School was moved to the Commons Ford Metropolitan Park in the Cuernavaca neighborhood by Robert Teague. Robert Teague donated Brewton Springs School to the City of Austin as an attempt of historic preservation. No known further work or renovations were done or made to the old Brewton Springs School building after 1988.

By 1990, the former school building fell victim to rural decay. Its windows were boarded up with plywood. No other known uses were made or have been documented and recorded.

Today the 5th Brewton Springs School building sits at the entrance of Commons Ford Metropolitan Park. Its windows are boarded up with plywood. A chimney was added to the building as an extra. It is highly possible that Homer Teague built the chimney.


Although the original school building of Brewton Springs School may no longer be extant or the memories of the Brewton Springs School may have been forgotten, Brewton Springs lives on as a historic name under the street name of Bruton Springs Road located in the Cuernavaca neighborhood.

Brewton Springs School was located near FM 2244 & Cuernavaca Drive, Austin, Texas, US 78733. Brewton Springs School is now located at 614 North Commons Ford Road, Austin, Texas US 78733.

History of Moore’s Crossing School long forgotten rehashed.

Moore’s Crossing School is one the many forgotten schools of Austin, Del Valle, and Travis County. It is one of those schools that has faded away with time and away from peoples memories. Moore’s Crossing School now only exists in county deeds and state records in an office operated the bureaucracy of Texas Government.

It is stated from Travis County Deed Records, Vol. 48: 573-574 that the Moore's sold a half-acre as a parcel of land on Onion Creek at the low water crossing to Travis County for $1 to erect a school building. That school building would become Moore’s Crossing School which was a simple wood frame building was erected by Travis County Schools after the land transfer in 1881. Members of the Moore family had donated land for a school to encourage commercial business at the crossing. (Ref: Travis County Deed Records, Volume 48, Pages 573-575)

There were no schools within walking distance of the Moore property at that time as stated from the Travis County Public Schools : The Defender Yearbook of 1936. From the years 1881 to 1909 Moore’s Crossing School was operated by Travis County Common School District. (Ref: The Defender, 1936)

Moore’s Crossing School was also used as a church during its time of operation. Of course this was after school hours. Moore’s Crossing School was used as a church from 1900 until 1904. 16 people were baptized at the church in 1900. The church broke no traditions of doing so. G.W. Stewart was pastor of Onion Creek Baptist Church in the year 1900 was a a pastor here as well. Brother R.C. McCullough was a visiting preacher. Pastor G.W. Stewart and Brother R.C. McCullough baptized many people. Moore's Crossing also supported a Methodist congregation that used the school as its meeting place.


Moore’s Crossing School served the Moore's Crossing community for nearly 30 years from 1881 to 1909. However, After 20 years of use, the at Moore's Crossing School did not meet county standards. In 1905, the Travis County Superintendent condemned the school at Moore's Crossing in the Travis County School Annual repertoire. The Moore School was looked upon with distaste as a relic of the area's past. Meetings were held at the school about future plans for use of this school.

“The Moore School is on the very edge of the district, on the very edge, indeed, of the bank of Onion Creek, which marks the boundary line. Meetings were held last year to agitate the building of a new schoolhouse near the center of the district and a special tax carried for that purpose, which, however, was defeated by a few opponents, on account of defective election retums. So, school will continue to be kept in a hulk of a house by the side of the creek The children will continue to shiver in the cold when the board shutters are opened to let in the light or to ruin their eyes in the semi-darkness when the shutters are closed to keep out the cold.”

The property returned to the Moore’s as per the original deed stipulation as stated in the Travis County Deed Records, Volume 238: 405-406 from 1905. School taxes in 1905 ranged from 10 cents to 20 cents depending on the support of the community. (Ref: Travis County Deed Records, Volume 238: Pages 405-406)

The Travis County School Annual of 1905 claims the Moore’s Crossing School was “perhaps the worst physical plant for white students in the county”. (Ref: Travis County School Annual of 1905, p. 63)


By 1909, the Moore’s Crossing School was all but abandoned. Later the Moore’s Crossing School was torn down in 1909 by Moore’s Crossing community residents. Only an outbuilding or 2 survived from the vicious demolition by local residents.

In 1910, Robert J. Moore replaced the school with a cotton gin on land he donated to W.T. Caswell. No traces of the school remained as after demolition everything was gone. Travis County Schools officials declared the school in inadequate by 1910. After Moore's Crossing School white students went to attend school at Pilot Knob (Pilot Knob Elementary School), Dry Creek School, or Elroy School off FM 812.


Today only a dilapidated outbuilding that was an outhouse for the Moore’s Crossing School survives, but exists in ruin on the Michalk property less than 1 block away from Michalk Grocery. Today the Michalk family owns the building.

Moore’s Crossing School was located at 12237 Moore’s Crossing Road, Del Valle, Texas, US 78617.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke to run against Ted Cruz for Texas Senate.

In early 2018, Congressman Beto O’Rourke from El Paso, Texas publicly announced he would be running against Senator Ted Cruz for Texas Senate. Beto O’Rourke is also running for US Senate against Ted Cruz. However Beto O’Rourke is mainly shifted his focus on primarily running for Texas Senate.

In this past year alone, Beto has managed to gain Hispanic vote across the State of Texas. He plans to gain the Hispanic vote across the United States. In early 2018, Beto O’Rourke ran a 10k race from US to Mexico as a symbol of unity. All this was to gain the Hispanic vote across the United States.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

History of San Juan School in San Antonio, Texas explored.

San Juan School was one of the many forgotten schools of San Antonio and Bexar County next to Berg’s Mill School. Not much is known about the San Juan School in San Antonio, Texas. What is known is that San Juan School was a rural school located way out in the county in San Antonio, Texas. Many historians have not covered this school written in books. Many citizens of San Antonio seemed to have forgotten about this school’s existence or its presence.

San Antonio Independent School District established San Juan School sometime during the mid-to-late 19th century. Its exact year of establishment is unknown. What is known is that San Juan School was an elementary school that was known as San Juan Elementary School and was a co-ed school. Students in grades 1 through 6 were educated here. 7th grade was added later. 

School attendance boasted a small bumbling population. Attendance rate was very high. Student enrollment never went past 300. Most of the pupils were children of Mexican descent. 70% percent of the student population was Mexican.


As early as 1884, San Juan School had faced structural problems and health concerns. A San Antonio Light newspaper article had highlighted the issue in their newspaper that year. Citizens of San Antonio were protesting against San Antonio Independent School District dumping sewage into the San Antonio River. Many of whom were upset.

“The citizens below San Antonio assembled and met at San Juan School House for the purpose of protesting against throwing the sewerage into the San Antonio River. Such interference with the health and use of the water for their household purposes.

The meeting was called to order by Captain D. M. Poor. Ed Braden was appointed Chairman, and Frank Ashley Secretary. The following named gentlemen were appointed to draft a resolution and report the same next Saturday in the San Juan School House at 3 o'clock p.m. for a protest against throwing the filth of the city into the river and that a committee meet on Thursday in the County court room at 10 o'clock a.m.”

(Ref: San Antonio Light, Page 1, Tuesday, January 29, 1884)


School attendance in the 1930s boasted a bumbling population. On average, 30 students attended this school daily. In the 1930s, San Juan School educated students in grades 1 through 6. 7th grade students attended school elsewhere.

Over 60% of the student population was Mexican by 1932. The PTA was very involved with the quality of education upon its students. Manual training and sewing were taught at this school. Boys were taught manual training while girls were taught sewing. Girls learned sewing at a young age. Girls held an intense interest in sewing. Classes in dancing were held. (Ref: San Antonio Express, February 13, 1932)

The 1940s is when 7th grade was added to the school. By the end of the 1960s, over 70% of the student population was Hispanic. Over 200 students had attended this school during that time. 7th grade classes were discontinued.

In 1952, parents complained to the school district and city council that students were being deprived and denied of outdoor activities due to air traffic and noise pollution from Brooks City Air Force Base. Students were deprived of outdoor activities by playing indoors due to air traffic. However nothing happened. The school continued classes and remained open.


San Juan School closed in 1970 after the school building was found to be too closely located within the flight path of Brooks City Air Force Base. This led students to relocated to different schools across the school district.

It was at the suggestion of Frank Tejeda of the Southside Neighborhood Association who requested the school board consider leasing San Juan Elementary School at $1 per year. San Juan Society offered to become a tenant and use the property on a lease from the school district.

San Juan Society began using this building on a lease in 1970. San Juan Society used the San Juan School building as a community center for a year with a lease of $1 a year. The San Juan Society received legal permission from the board to lease the old San Juan School building for community meetings, recreational and educational activities. San Juan School was is the third retired school in the district (SA ISD) to be leased out in 1970 for such purposes. (Ref: San Antonio Express, Page 55, August 28, 1970)

In 1971, San Juan Society requested its lease be cancelled for some apparent reason. The school district delayed the lease. However San Juan Society pulled away slowly from the lease and took business elsewhere. This left the building to sit vacant for a few years until 1975. (Ref: San Antonio Express, Page 3, February 12, 1971)

By 1975, San Antonio Express referred to the school property as improved land for sale by San Antonio Independent School District offers. The school building and property was up for sale. The building was still extant then.
(Ref: San Antonio Express, Page 3, February 18, 1975)
(Ref: San Antonio Express, Page 19, February 18, 1975)

San Antonio Independent School District sold the property to Barthold Gilbert in 1976. The school bundling was demolished in 1977. Barthold Gilbert would own this property until his death in 1981. The lot was sold to a woman named Fay A Kiln in 1982. (Ref: http://bexardata.com/property/id/eBkP3iQ4j)


Restrictions were put on the property as part of the special warranty deed issued on December 14, 1992. The pretty was not to be used for educational purposes meaning that a school could not be operated on such property. $3,000 dollars was paid to Fay A Kiln. A quorum was present. (Ref: Bear County Public Records Doc No. 2372965)

Many people have lived address over the years especially during the beginning of the 2000s. However Fay A Kiln remained on record as property owner. Many people have had their mailing address located at this location.

The school building is no longer extant. No remains of the school are left. Today Fay A Kiln owns the property. She leases the property to various people in San Antonio and of Bexar County.
(Ref: http://bexardata.com/property/id/eBkP3iQ4j)


San Juan School was located at 8630 Old Corpus Christi Road, San Antonio, Texas, US 78223. Its other known address was 8632 Old Corpus Christi Highway San Antonio, Texas, US 78223.
Today its current address is located at 8638 Old Corpus Christi Road, San Antonio, Texas, US 78223.


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.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

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

Explaining history of the mysterious Dellana Lane of Austin, Texas.

Dellana Lane is a road in Austin, Texas with a unique interesting history that has been forgotten over time. Many Austinites have been curious about this short and narrow 2 lane road that starts at Rollingwood Drive and ends at FM 2244. This news article will explain the unique interesting history of Dellana Lane Rollingwood, Texas.

Dellana Lane was named after Italian immigrant Condido Dellana who owned serval acres of land in Rollingwood and Austin. Condido Dellana immigrated from Italy in 1880 and bought 1,800 acres of land in 1904 where Dellana Lane is today. Condido Dellana worked as a stone mason on the State Capitol building until its completion in 1888.

In 1946, brothers A.B Hatley and George B. Hatley bought 300 acres from the Dellana Ranch for $300 an acre. Almost all street names in Rollingwood are named after members of the Hatley family and their friends. (Ref: Rollingwood Women’s Club)


Dellana Lane was established in Austin, Texas during 1940 as a small 1 lane road near the city limits of Rollingwood, Texas. Eanes Creek flows directly under Dellana Lane and is located inside of a 100 year floodplain.

Dellana Lane started at Rollingwood Drive, which was then serving as FM 2244 prior to 1980, and ended where FM 2244 is aligned today. Dellana Lane was always a narrow 2 lane road and was never a 3 lane road.

Dellana Lane started appearing on maps in 1940, but was not a named road or was never referred to as “Dellana Lane” and “Dellana Ln”. Dellana Lane was a part of FM 2244.
(Ref: Austin 1940 General Highway Map)

By 1952, Dellana Lane served as “Bee Caves Road” which was an auxiliary route for FM 2244. In 1967, Dellana Road served as “Old Bee Caves Road” which it was named as. The name for Old Bee Caves Road was changed to Dellana Road in 1978.


On October 14, 1982, Austin City Council held a public hearing on closing Dellana Lane. Mayor McClellan opened the public hearing set for 2:30 PM on closing certain streets as part of the Capital Improvements Program. Many residents of Austin and Rollingwood want to keep Dellana Lane open.

Attorney C.W. Pearcy was representing several property owners on Dellana Lane at the time.
Attorney C.W. Pearcy said his clients want a solution and not litigation. He feels closing Dellana Lane is not necessary. Civil engineer Mr. Harvey Treybig said closing the road would cause an extreme traffic hazard.

As a result of this public hearing, Dellana Lane was kept open. It was due to heavy citizen opposition that Dellana Lane remained open for 2 more decades before becoming a trail path for Zilker Park.


Pollution from vehicles became a concern as Dellana Lane was located inside a 100 year floodplain resulting in Dellana Lane on the Rollingwood Drive side being closed off. So the road was also closed in 2007 as part of Edwards Aquifer Protection Plan and the City of Austin Parks & Recreation Department had made a portion of Dellana Lane into a trail for Zilker Park.

In 2010, a wide yellow gate with a lock was installed in the middle of Dellana Lane to prevent traffic flow from using the 1 lane road that was already deteriorating in a state of urban decay after a lack maintenance as the road has not been repaved or maintained since the early 2000s.

Today a wide yellow gate with a “road closed” sign has stopped any incoming traffic from using this road. Half of Dellana Lane now serves as a trail for Zilker Park.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rodessa High School history of Rodessa, Lousiana forgotten update!

Rodessa High School history of Rodessa, Lousiana forgotten update!

Rodessa High School was one of Louisiana’s many forgotten schools. In fact, Rodessa High School is one of Lousiana’s forgotten schools. Only so much is known about this high school. Many people have claimed the school to be “haunted”.


Rodessa High School was designed by Louisiana architect Seymour Van Os in 1937 as a two story brick building on a steel and concrete foundation and was built with acquired oil money and donations. The school building is about 33,437 square feet on 5 acres of land. Rodessa High School was built at a cost of $195,000. The two story building had 20 classrooms. The Rodessa High School building was a Public Works Administration building built in the 1930s as part of Lousiana’s New Deal heritage.

Classrooms for the 250 students were held in temporary buildings as the structure could not hold all of the students enrolled at this school at the time. 250 out of the 800 students attended classes in the temporary buildings until 1939.

Rodessa High School finally opened in September 1939. Enrollment in the beginning was 800 students. The first high school principal was Gladys Pitts Hendrick, a Rodessa native. Grades 1 through 11 were taught here. Rodessa High School (Rodessa School) was operated by Caddo Parish School District from 1939 to 1973 in Rodessa, Lousiana.

The first high school principal was Gladys Pitts Hendrick, a Rodessa native. Miss Gladys Hendrick was one of the first teachers at the school. (Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 7A, October 19, 1947)

In 1939, a tornado wiped out most of the town, but this school building somehow survived miraculously. Many people were killed in the tornado of 1939. Those killed in the 1939 tornado were buried in Tyson Cemetery, west of Rodessa High School.

A cemetery is located next to Rodessa High School and is called Tyson Cemetery. Tyson Cemetery was established sometime in the early 19th century. Several early 19th century interments can be found at this cemetery. This cemetery is still active. Modern headstones and fresh graves can be found.


Rodessa High School closed as a high school in 1955 when a new high school was built in nearby Vivian. The new North Caddo High School consolidated all of the high schools in the North Caddo Parish. The last senior class to graduate Rodessa High School was in 1955.

In 1956, Rodessa High School was renamed to Rodessa Elementary School (better known as Rodessa School) and remained that way until its closure. Rodessa School became a K-8 school for Caddo Parish School District. Once Rodessa High School closed, high school students had to start attending school in nearby Vivian, Louisiana to complete their education.

Rodessa High School was an all white school prior to 1965. The school desegregated in 1965 during the 1965-1966 school year.

After a high amount of asbestos was found in heater vent pipes by maintenance workers for the Caddo Parish School District, Rodessa High School was shut down effectively in 1973. Asbestos contributed to low test scores and appearent mesothelioma.Rodessa High School had also closed down due to a lack of funding, dwindling enrollment, and desegregation.

The gym had burned in a fire once after the school closed. So many people killed that they had to use the school as the morgue and also had to line the deceased up out front of the school as well as the back of the school. Many people have claimed Rodessa High School to be a “haunted school”. (Ref: HauntLA)

Someone at some point had set up a meth lab inside the former Rodessa High School. Exactly when is currently unknown. Over the years, the school was vandalized and stripped by scrappers. (Ref: uer.ca)


In 1996, there was a bit of debating about what to do with the former Rodessa High School property. However another discovery of asbestos was found. The heater vent pipes were made almost entirely of asbestos! So demolition would bankrupted the school district at the time. Nothing happened as a result. However the school district has evaluated the land and determined if there is a need for the land several times over the years.

In 2008, a group of ghost hunters were arrested for trespassing on the former Rodessa High School campus by the female sheriff deputy officer for the city of Rodessa. Several others have been given warnings by the female sheriff deputy officer to stay away from the property as it is unsafe.  Several others have trespassed on the property including paranormal experts, ghost hunters, and urban explorers curious about what was left behind.


In 2016, a handful of newspapers reported about the Caddo Parish School District considering having Rodessa High School demolished.

In August 9, 2016, Caddo Parish School Board considered demolishing the old Rodessa High School as a recommendation from district staff. Shreveport Times reports the building is too far gone to renovate and it is currently not economically viable for remodeling. Caddo Parish School District Superintendent Lamar Goree says officials, school board members, and administrators have concerns and fear the building is too dangerous to remain in the community because of its structural condition. Not because it’s a huge building.

(Ref: Washington Times, Superintendent: Caddo school almost looks haunted, Wednesday, August 10, 2016)
(Ref: Associated Press, Wednesday, August 10, 2016)
(Ref: Shreveport Times)
(Ref: uer.ca)

The property was fenced with a standard 6 foot chainlink fence and was overgrown with vegetation brush. Its interior had been vandalized severely. Most of windows were broken. The roof had deteriorated. The Rodessa High School building itself was contaminated with asbestos.

On April 8, 2018, the Rodessa High School building was demolished. All that remained was the concrete slab foundation which was later demolished. Caddo Parish School District still owns the property.


Rodessa High School is located at 9634 Rodessa Ida Road, Rodessa, Louisiana, US 71069.

Rodessa High School history of Rodessa, Lousiana forgotten revisited!

Rodessa High School is one of Louisiana’s many forgotten schools. In fact, Rodessa High School is one of Lousiana’s forgotten schools. Only so much is known about this high school. Many people have claimed the school to be “haunted”.


Rodessa High School was designed by Louisiana architect Seymour Van Os in 1937 as a two story brick building on a steel and concrete foundation and was built with acquired oil money and donations. The school building is about 33,437 square feet on 5 acres of land. Rodessa High School was built at a cost of $195,000. The two story building had 20 classrooms. The Rodessa High School building was a Public Works Administration building built in the 1930s as part of Lousiana’s New Deal heritage.

Classrooms for the 250 students were held in temporary buildings as the structure could not hold all of the students enrolled at this school at the time. 250 out of the 800 students attended classes in the temporary buildings until 1939.

Rodessa High School finally opened in September 1939. Enrollment in the beginning was 800 students. The first high school principal was Gladys Pitts Hendrick, a Rodessa native. Grades 1 through 11 were taught here. Rodessa High School (Rodessa School) was operated by Caddo Parish School District from 1939 to 1973 in Rodessa, Lousiana.

The first high school principal was Gladys Pitts Hendrick, a Rodessa native. Miss Gladys Hendrick was one of the first teachers at the school. (Ref: Shreveport Times, Page 7A, October 19, 1947)

In 1939, a tornado wiped out most of the town, but this school building somehow survived miraculously. Many people were killed in the tornado of 1939. Those killed in the 1939 tornado were buried in Tyson Cemetery, west of Rodessa High School.

A cemetery is located next to Rodessa High School and is called Tyson Cemetery. Tyson Cemetery was established sometime in the early 19th century. Several early 19th century interments can be found at this cemetery. This cemetery is still active. Modern headstones and fresh graves can be found.


Rodessa High School closed as a high school in 1955 when a new high school was built in nearby Vivian. The new North Caddo High School consolidated all of the high schools in the North Caddo Parish. The last senior class to graduate Rodessa High School was in 1955.

In 1956, Rodessa High School was renamed to Rodessa Elementary School (better known as Rodessa School) and remained that way until its closure. Rodessa School became a K-8 school for Caddo Parish School District. Once Rodessa High School closed, high school students had to start attending school in nearby Vivian, Louisiana to complete their education.

Rodessa High School was an all white school prior to 1965. The school desegregated in 1965 during the 1965-1966 school year.

After a high amount of asbestos was found in heater vent pipes by maintenance workers for the Caddo Parish School District, Rodessa High School was shut down effectively in 1973. Asbestos contributed to low test scores and appearent mesothelioma.Rodessa High School had also closed down due to a lack of funding, dwindling enrollment, and desegregation.

The gym had burned in a fire once after the school closed. So many people killed that they had to use the school as the morgue and also had to line the deceased up out front of the school as well as the back of the school. Many people have claimed Rodessa High School to be a “haunted school”. (Ref: HauntLA)

Someone at some point had set up a meth lab inside the former Rodessa High School. Exactly when is currently unknown. Over the years, the school was vandalized and stripped by scrappers. (Ref: uer.ca)


In 1996, there was a bit of debating about what to do with the former Rodessa High School property. However another discovery of asbestos was found. The heater vent pipes were made almost entirely of asbestos! So demolition would bankrupted the school district at the time. Nothing happened as a result. However the school district has evaluated the land and determined if there is a need for the land several times over the years.

In 2008, a group of ghost hunters were arrested for trespassing on the former Rodessa High School campus by the female sheriff deputy officer for the city of Rodessa. Several others have been given warnings by the female sheriff deputy officer to stay away from the property as it is unsafe.  Several others have trespassed on the property including paranormal experts, ghost hunters, and urban explorers curious about what was left behind.


In 2016, a handful of newspapers reported about the Caddo Parish School District considering having Rodessa High School demolished.

In August 9, 2016, Caddo Parish School Board considered demolishing the old Rodessa High School as a recommendation from district staff. Shreveport Times reports the building is too far gone to renovate and it is currently not economically viable for remodeling. Caddo Parish School District Superintendent Lamar Goree says officials, school board members, and administrators have concerns and fear the building is too dangerous to remain in the community because of its structural condition. Not because it’s a huge building.

(Ref: Washington Times, Superintendent: Caddo school almost looks haunted, Wednesday, August 10, 2016)
(Ref: Associated Press, Wednesday, August 10, 2016)
(Ref: Shreveport Times)


Today the property is fenced with a standard 6 foot chainlink fence and is overgrown with vegetation brush. Its interior has been vandalized severely. Most of windows are broken. The roof has deteriorated. The Rodessa High School building itself is contaminated with asbestos. Caddo Parish School District still owns the property. It is considered trespassing to enter the property and the building is unsafe.

Here is what you need to know if you plan on visiting. There is a house next door and directly across the street and the occupants are going to be watching your every move. They will send pitbulls to chase after you.

(Ref: uer.ca)
(Ref: Shreveport Times)


Rodessa High School is located at 9634 Rodessa Ida Road, Rodessa, Louisiana, US 71069.

Friday, July 13, 2018

What’s happening with the Bejucos in Del Valle, Texas?

Ever wonder what was going on with that former Mexican restaurant on State Highway 71 in Del Valle, Texas near the ABIA Airport? Well this news article will explain in-depth detail as to what happened with this Bejucos location.

Bejucos is a former Mexican Restaurant located on State Highway 71 in Del Valle, Texas. Bejucos operated as a restaurant at that location from 2002 to 2008. Meelay Corporation deeded the property to grantee Derek S Lin Family Limited Partnership on the date of July 31, 2003.

TCEQ discovered a leak from an underground storage tank during a routine inspection at a former Exxon location in December 2007. The tank contained gasoline and are 10,000 gallons each. The vent lines to the underground gas storage tank were unsecured with 2 cuts. If these vent lines were not secured properly, this could effect the environmental quality of Bejucos. The site soon became a brownfield with contaminated groundwater posing as an environmental hazard that would effect the environment. A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment was made. Groundwater cleanup was required.

TCEQ issued a notice about the unsecured vent lines to the Bejucos owners in December 2007. This caused owner John Chen to relocate Bejucos and move their business elsewhere to Austin, Texas in 2008. In 2008, the building was abandoned and neglected by its owners. It appears the buildings were stripped of any useful equipment and the ceiling tiles are beginning to be caving in.

Bejucos is currently owned by Derek S Lin Family Limited Partnership according to the Travis County Appraisal District, however, the business is abandoned and not in operation at this location. Derek S Lin Family Limited Partnership has no intentions of revitalizing the building or its property anytime in the future. Most of the property, pavement, and building is covered by grass and in the front.

This Bejucos location is housed at 2517 State Highway 71 East, Del Valle, Texas, US 78617.

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.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

History of abuse at Sunmount Developmental Center overlooked.

There have been cases of abuse reported at Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake, New York that have gone unsolved over the years. Abuse is a contentious issue. In many cases, cases of abuse go unsolved. Sunmount Developmental Center is no exception. It was not all good with parents of the residents that resided in this institution.

Sunmount Developmental Center suffers from a high amount of injury from staff onto residents. Staff often assaults the residents that live here. There is also a high injury rate amongst residents. Many residents aren’t adequately fed. The mentally and physically disabled go through enough on their own.

In the 1970s, a handful of cases regarding abuse appeared in newspapers such as Rochester Times, The Tribune, Buffalo Times, and Watertown Daily Times (Watertown Daily). Parents raised concern about questionable treatment practices on residents.


During an interview with Watertown Daily Times in June 1973, former resident John Boyer recalled the only  marked abuse he saw was when he lining up with his ward mates to get their teeth brushed. “When they'd line us up to brush our teeth. If anybody was talking, the attendant would come down the line slapping us all in the face." 

The routine punishments consisted of "walking the halls" by having the residents walk in a long continual line about the wards until they were quiet. Attendants would get the noisy residents "walking the halls" by having the residents walk in a long line around the wards until they were quiet. This way attendants could assure residents kept quiet.

John Boyer witnessed residents being straight-jacketed to air heaters along ward walls. Slaps to the face occurred on a monthly basis. Dental care was poor and skin infections were rampant.

In another case of abuse, the parents of Pat Burns noticed the body of their own son had questionable scars and bruises when visiting him at Sunmount State School. They began noticing scars on Pat’s neck. No official answers were ever give as to how Pat obtained scars on his neck. How the bruises got there are questionable.  "They told us Pat was not a 'fighter' and other boys picked on him." Mrs. Burns said.

The Burnses photographed their son's neck and complained to the school authorities. After his parents complained, Pat was put into isolation as administration at the school decided this was a solution. He remained in an isolation ward for an extended period of time.

Pat's parents also noticed their son had developed a fear of older men, which led Mrs. Burns to suspect he may have been abused by school attendants. They also noticed he had a fear of stairs. Now 65 years old, Pat Burns is still afraid of stairs and unable to walk down them. 
(Ref: Watertown Daily Times, Page 13, June 1973)

According to Adkins family and from an internal report provided to The Times by the family,
Sunmount Developmental Center resident Eddie Adkins was set upon by several staff members after he grew upset that he was not allowed to go to the bathroom. A melee soon ensued by four state four state employees punching Eddie Adkins while he was sitting on a couch.

A deaf resident nearby told state investigators that he saw four state employees punching Eddie Adkins while he was sitting on a couch. He was so disturbed that he turned his hearing aid off during the melee. The assault took place in October 2011 when the staffers took down a male resident in the dining hall.

Two former employees of the Sunmount Developmental Center were sentenced to jail stemming from an October 2013 cover-up on the date of December 6, 2016. Jessica Rice and Suzanne Decheine assaulted an 18-year-old resident and gave him a head injury, which resulted into a seizure and a concussion. Both Jessica Rice and Suzanne Decheine covered this up from their superiors.