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), north of Koenig Lane.

1914 • Dr. John Preston, Superintendent, State Asylum (today’s Austin State Hospital), describes the land north and west of the hospital, where Brentwood and Crestview are today:

On the north . . . stretch rich farming lands that were once illimitable prairies. Westward . . . is a chain of hills which make a purplish background for the intervening fields in various shades of green and gold.

1921 Austin’s Violet Crown San-Sam festival, a city-wide event featuring parades, fireworks, water sports, a street dance, athletic meets, and queen’s coronation, was held in Austin April 20-22. (You can read an article about the festival at the Portal to Texas History, and the Austin History Center has a great poster of the event in its collections.)

1927 • A 90-year-old neighbor on Vallejo, interviewed in 2007, shared a memory from a much earlier time:

The house where I’ve lived since 1967 is on land where I picked cotton when I was 10 years old, in 1927. Daddy would round up a truckload of kids and go out way past the city limits (45th Street at the time). We’d pick cotton on land owned by two old fellers whose names I don’t remember, but I recognized the area when we moved there. Back then, I could pick 150-200 pounds a day.

1933 • Kenneth Threadgill opened a gas station and beer joint on today’s North Lamar. Thirty years later, a young folk singer named Janis Joplin got her start there.

1936 • Evelyn and Frank Pease (right) and their children moved to a farm on today’s Burnet Lane. Except for a few months, their daughter Mickey has lived in this area ever since.

1939 • The Brentwood neighborhood had been developed all the way up to Koenig Lane. • A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates held their first meeting of the Austin Development Corporation. They later developed Crestview. (See Frank Owen Richcreek).

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. (More about local drive-ins here.)

1942 • November: Frank Richcreek died. Five years later, his dairy farm began to be developed as Crestview Addition No. 1 by A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates.

WABAC Machine, Part 4,” next time on Voices of the Violet Crown.

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