“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. 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 a group, and we are grateful for all our partners throughout the project.

  • Our blog began in 2011 with the post Meet the Starmaker. 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; Wall of Welcome dedication, 2008; and Crestview Methodist 60th anniversary, 2013. A corporate sponsor of the 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 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 Wall of Welcome. Rob and I volunteered at the festival until 2010, and I served on the VCCW board until 2007; we’re no longer involved in either. (This website reflects my experiences in the community, and I’ve done my best to make it historically accurate. It may not represent the views of other people or groups such as VCCW.—Susan)

Like many other neighbors, we created a mosaic for the Wall of Welcome (above), and Rob 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 some new milestones for 2015, below, many with links to more info.

MILESTONES

5 YEARS AGO/2010February 25: The Violet Crown TAG (Together Against Graffiti) Team formed a Yahoo group, to share information and help eliminate graffiti from our neighborhood • September 12: Faith Lutheran Church celebrated its 60th anniversary. • October 3: Sustainable Neighborhoods of North Central Austin held the first of 11 tree plantings; by November 2014, volunteers planted and have maintained 170 trees • October 31: The first Trail of Frights, a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood event for local Halloween fans and trick-or-treaters, was held in the Brentwood/Crestview area. • November 6: Friends of Brentwood Park planted 115 trees, one of the group’s ongoing projects to enhance and maintain our local public greenspace. (View our film about the event here.)

10 YEARS AGO/2005 • December 31: Brentwood and Crestview neighbors participated in the First Night Austin Grand Procession, wearing handmade violet crowns and following a 10-foot-long Domino the Pig puppet created by artist and Brentwood neighbor Jean Graham.

20 YEARS AGO/1995 • May: Longtime Morrow Avenue neighbors Neb and Helen Parson moved back to their home state of Arkansas from Crestview. (Read Neb and Helen—and Ernest Tubb.)

50 YEARS AGO/1965 • Ronnie and the West Winds—featuring Ronnie Prellop of Crestview Minimax IGA—performed at IBEW Hall on South Congress in Austin.

70 YEARS AGO/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. (View our film A Community Mosaic for more about that time.)

75 YEARS AGO/1940 • Eddie Joseph opened Joseph’s Drive-in, later called North Austin Drive-in, the first in Austin and one of four that once were in our area. It was on the southwest corner of Justin and Lamar and south of the Frank Richcreek farm which began to be developed as the Crestview neighborhood in 1947.

170 YEARS AGO/1845Texas became one of the United States, after being an independent republic for nine years.

175 YEARS AGO/1840Travis County was created from Bastrop County, one of the original Texas counties established in 1836.

OVER 1000 YEARS AGO/ABOUT 500 B. C. • The Greek poet Theognis is among the earliest writers to describe Athens, Greece, as the City of the Violet Crown. By the 1890s, Texas writers William Cowper Brann and O. Henry had begun to use the term to describe Austin. (More about the phrase “violet crown.”)

Susan & Rob Burneson, Crestview neighbors since 1985

 

Posted in Community

More Special Neighbors, Part 3

Final blog post in this series, in which we introduce a few more special Austin neighbors 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 … Read more

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More Special Neighbors, Part 2

The second in a three-part series, in which we introduce a few more special Austin neighbors. (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 … Read more

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More Special Neighbors, 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.) 1963 • 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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WABAC Machine, Part 2

We begin our WABAC trip with selections, old and new, from our neighborhood history exhibit and booklet, with links included for more info. (What’s a WABAC Machine? Find out here.) ABOUT 500 B. C. • The Greek poet Theognis is among the earliest writers to describe Athens, Greece, as the City of the Violet Crown. By the 1890s, Texas writers had begun to use the term to describe Austin. In 1920, Theresa Moore Hunter published a … Read more

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“Sherman, Set the WABAC Machine!,” Part 1

In the 1960s, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, cartoon characters on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, traveled back in time to visit famous historical events through Mr. Peabody’s WABAC (“wayback”) machine. This week’s blog is an intro to our WABAC trip to some local history highlights, beginning next time. We’ll include excerpts from our history exhibit and booklet, with some new information added. (In November and December 2013, the history exhibit was part of the Crestview … Read more

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