“History Overflows Time”

We were inspired to create Voices of the Violet Crown as we worked alongside neighbors to raise funds for the mosaic Wall of Welcome in Austin, beginning in 2003. VVC aims to foster understanding and participation, beginning right where we live, by showing how history and community are interwoven. We created and have sustained VVC independently, not as part of any group, and we are grateful for all our partners throughout the project.

  • Our blog began in 2011 with the post Meet the Starmaker: Bill Williamson of Crestview. Our website also includes features, films, photos, and community resources (right sidebar) and more information about our project (top menu).
  • Our community/history exhibits have been featured at the Violet Crown Festival, 2003-2010 and 2012; Wall of Welcome dedication, 2008; Crestview Neighborhood Association Ice Cream Social, 2009, 2012, and 2015; and Crestview Methodist 60th anniversary, 2013. A corporate sponsor of the Violet Crown Festival described the exhibits as “the centerpiece of the event.”
  • Our oral histories since 2003 have featured neighbors ages 6 through 90. Our website and films include video clips, quotes, stills, and transcripts. We donated copies of interview DVDs and transcripts and our films to the Austin History Center.

1517DartmouthTileIn 2003, a small group of us in Brentwood and Crestview created the Violet Crown Festival and the nonprofit Violet Crown Community Works to support neighborhood enhancement projects, beginning with the mosaic Wall of Welcome. Rob and I volunteered at the festival until 2010, and I served on the VCCW board until 2007. Today, we participate in a variety of other community projects. (This website reflects my experiences and research. What I’ve shared may not represent the views of other people or groups such as VCCW today.—Susan)

Like many other neighbors, Rob and I created a mosaic for the Wall of Welcome (above), and he created one for the popular local restaurant Little Deli near the wall.

Another inspiration for Voices of the Violet Crown is visionary writer, farmer, and activist Wendell Berry. We feature his words in the right sidebar and in the title of this blog post, “History Overflows Time,” from his novel Jayber Crow.

And, we continue to be inspired by our neighbors, through their words—and all the ways they make a difference, right where we live.

A community is the heart and soul of a city.
—Hedrich Michaelsen, Crestview

The most important thing about being a good neighbor is to be aware of the way we feed one another, the way we celebrate with one another, the way we help one another grow—thinking about neighbor as family.

—Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, Brentwood

Somebody before us planted these trees, and it’s up to us to do the same, so there will be trees here for the next generation.
—Emily Wilson, Friends of Brentwood Park

Thanks, as always, for visiting our website! We’ve added a few neighborhood highlights of the past 10 years, below, many with links to more info.

Susan & Rob Burneson, Crestview neighbors since 1985

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DECADE MAKES!

2006April 22: Jean Graham began installing the mosaic Wall of Welcome at Crestview Shopping Center. November 10: Brentwood Elementary held its tenth annual Veterans Day celebration, at which students wearing America-themed hats created a living version of the 1812 American flag. Photos of it were featured in the Austin American-Statesman.

2007The population center of Austin was Northcross Mall at Anderson Lane and Burnet Road. • February 10: More than 2500 people encircled the mall in a friendly yet emphatic protest against a large WalMart being planned there.April 21: Groundbreaking began for the new North Village Library on Steck Avenue; previously it was in Crestview at Burnet and Anderson.May 31: Responsible Growth for Northcross received a Liveable City Vision Award and was recognized by the Austin Chronicle as the “Feistiest Neighborhood Rebellion” (see February 10, above).November: Sustainable Neighborhoods of North Central Austin was established to support sustainable and neighborhood-friendly development in the area.

2008 • Late March: The Wall of Welcome was completed and dedicated in a community-wide celebration. The neighborhood film A Community Mosaic premiered at the event. • May 10: The original Frisco Shop, 5819 Burnet Road, closed to prepare for its move a few blocks north. Frisco is the last of four Nighthawk restaurants in Austin. In April 1959, Nighthawk founder Harry Akins became the first white restaurateur in Austin to serve blacks in his restaurants. Frisco has been in Brentwood since 1953.

2009Crestview successfully met the City of Austin Green Neighbor Challenge to become a Certified Green Neighborhood.Friends of Brentwood Park, Brentwood and Crestview neighbors dedicated to keeping the park maintained and to continuing its development as a community resource, was established.

2010 • September 12: Faith Lutheran Church celebrated its 60th anniversary. • October 3: Sustainable Neighborhoods of North Central Austin held its first of 11 tree plantings; by November 2014, volunteers had planted 170 trees.November 6: Friends of Brentwood Park planted 115 trees in the park.

2011 • July 5: The Voices of the Violet Crown project launched its website.

2012A Fine Arts Academy was established at Lamar Middle School.January: The Food is Free Project, a community building and gardening movement, was established in Brentwood.May 4: The new Brentwood Park pavilion, a project of Friends of Brentwood Park, was completed. It was dedicated the next day at the Violet Crown Festival.

2013 • May 4: The tenth spring Violet Crown Festival was held in Brentwood Park. (There was no spring festival in 2008, the year the Wall of Welcome dedication was held.)Mid-July: The new Friends of Brentwood Park walking trail was completed.October 28: The 1951 McKown House at 1501 Richcreek Road was not approved for historic zoning by the City of Austin Historic Landmark Commission, making way for demolition and new construction by its new owner.November: Crestview United Methodist Church celebrated its 60th anniversary.Crestview Baptist, Crestview Minimax IGA, Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, and McCallum High School also celebrated 60th anniversaries in 2013.

2014 • April: Brentwood and Crestview neighbors contributed photos, maps, and history to the City of Austin Community Character in a Box.September 24: Marjorie Daugherty visited 1405 Justin Lane and confirmed it was the original farmhouse of her grandparents, Frank and Julia Richcreek. Their farm began to be developed as Crestview in 1947, when the house was moved from its original location northwest of Justin and North Lamar. It had been built in the early 1930s.December 21: Family, friends, and neighbors attended a memorial service at the Brentwood Park pavilion for neighbors Billie and Sidney Shelton, who died December 15.December 21-25: The 21st annual Luminarias, along Arroyo Seco in Brentwood and Crestview, were dedicated in memory of the Sheltons.

2015 • Katherine (Kathy) Williams-Carter retired after more than 30 years as principal of Brentwood Elementary.March: McCallum High School was named the top National Grammy Signature School for 2015.July 9: Crestview Methodist Church held a special healing service for individuals, the community, and the earth. • July 19: The Crestview Neighborhood Association held its longtime annual Ice Cream Social at Crestview Shopping Center. • August 26: Home Lumber closed its doors after 78 years in business at 5705 Burnet Road in Brentwood. (Read more about it here.)September 27 and October 11: Faith Lutheran Church celebrated its 65th anniversary.

Posted in Community

Threadgill & Beck: Friendship & Music

Austinites Kenneth Threadgill and Roger Beck have shared a deep connection to our neighborhood, as well as a long friendship and dedication to Texas music. In 1933, Threadgill’s opened on the Dallas Highway north of the Austin city limits. Today, that address is 6416 North Lamar in the Brentwood neighborhood. Owner Kenneth Threadgill loved music. He sang, danced, and learned to yodel as a young man, inspired by music legend Jimmie Rodgers. For more than … Read more

Posted in Events, People, Places, Wall of Welcome Stories

Crestview Minimax IGA—63 Years of Local Service

On February 29, 2016, a new grocery store, Arlan’s, opened in the space that was the longtime home of Crestview Minimax IGA. Minimax (and Crestview Food Mart before it) was owned by the Prellop family—beginning with Herb Prellop, right—and part of Crestview Shopping Center for 63 years. It was the last Minimax IGA store in Austin. In 2014, Minimax was named Critics Best Neighborhood Grocery Store by the Austin Chronicle, the store’s third such award … Read more

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Neighbors-in-History, Part 3

Final blog post in this series, in which we introduce a few special neighbors-in-history who have contributed to our sense of place here. (See links for more info.) ERNEST WALTER WUPPERMAN (1907-1986) owned a veterinary practice on today’s North Lamar, north of Old Koenig Lane, from 1941-1976. Veterinarians H. M. Spangler and his son S. C. Spangler bought the business from Dr. Wupperman in 1976, when he retired. For many years it was called the … Read more

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Neighbors-in-History, Part 2

The second in a three-part series, in which we introduce a few special neighbors-in-history. (See links for more information.) RUBIN HANCOCK (about 1835-1916) was one of Austin Judge John Hancock‘s former slaves and likely lived for a time on what is today the historic Moore-Hancock Homestead, at 4811 Sinclair Avenue in the Rosedale neighborhood. (More about John Hancock here.) Rubin’s family were members of St. Paul Baptist Church in Austin, established in the mid-1870s, and … Read more

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Neighbors-in-History, Part 1

As we researched the history of the neighborhood—in newspapers, abstracts of title, the census, various websites, oral history interviews, and many other sources—we discovered more special Austin neighbors who have contributed to our sense of place here. In the first in a three-part series, we introduce you to just a few of them. We provide links, whenever possible, for more information. SARAH WALTON PARMELE COOKE (1903-2009) lived in Crestview with her son Glenn and daughter-in-law … Read more

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WABAC Machine, Part 6

Our neighborhood history (up to this point anyway!) concludes . . . (What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.) 2006 • November 10: Brentwood Elementary held its tenth annual Veterans Day celebration, at which students wearing America-themed hats created a living version of the 1812 American flag. Photos of it were featured in the Austin American-Statesman. (More info about neighborhood veterans here.) 2007 • April 21: The groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new North … Read more

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WABAC Machine, Part 5

Our neighborhood history continues . . . (What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.) 1962 • Burkhart’s Motor Dining opened on Burnet Road; it became Top Notch (left) in 1971. 1964 • J. D. Harper became the owner of Crestview Pharmacy. 1965 • Ronnie and the West Winds—featuring Ronnie Prellop of Crestview Minimax IGA—performed at IBEW Hall on South Congress in Austin. 1973 • The Chief Drive-in (right), which opened in 1946, was torn down so … Read more

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WABAC Machine, Part 4

Our neighborhood history continues . . . (What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.) 1945 • After World War II, more and more young families moved to Brentwood and Crestview, and the landscape began to change from mostly farmland and wide open spaces to neat rows of well-kept homes. (See our film A Community Mosaic for images from that time.) 1947 • Dirt excavator C. H. Lester helped dig a drainage channel in Hancock Creek, along … Read more

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WABAC Machine, Part 3

Our neighborhood history series continues . . . (What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.) 1881 • The Austin and Northwestern narrow gauge railroad—later Southern Pacific—was built between Austin and Burnet, through today’s Crestview and a stop called Abercrombie. EARLY 1890s • First known appearance in print of “City of the Violet Crown” to describe Austin. 1893 • Esperanza School, an early county school first built in 1866, moved to Upper Georgetown Road (today’s Burnet Road), … Read more

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