Category Archives: Wall of Welcome Stories

Threadgill & Beck: Friendship & Music

Austinites Kenneth Threadgill and Roger Beck 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 40 … 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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Fun in the Neighborhood, Part 2

Neighbors who were here beginning in the 1950s remember the freedom and friendship, going to drive-in movie theatres, and roller skating at Capitol Roll Arena. One person we interviewed, Anne Eagle Walker, worked at the rink when she was a teenager. FUN & FREE We interviewed Sylvia (Scooter) Rushing February 2008, and Wanda and Emory Muehlbrad, February 9, 2008. DVDs of their videotaped interviews are at the Austin History Center. DRIVE-INS At one time, there … Read more

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Houses Sing, Part 1

The song “Houses Sing,” by Texas singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt, reminds me of the people who built the first houses here and how new neighbors have continued to regenerate them. Here are just a few of the words: There’s signs in all the yards, with a price tag and a plea. And I can see my daughter swinging, in the shade of every tree Every building tells a story, every builder holds a pen. They only … Read more

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Stopping by Crestview Shopping Center

For more than 60 years, the Crestview Shopping Center has been part of our community. A. B. Beddow and Ray Yates, developers of the Crestview neighborhood, built it in 1952. This week, we share a few stories about the center and some of the special people who have worked there and keep it thriving. We’ve also added links to the businesses that have websites and to related stories on our website. (Many also have tiles … Read more

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Remembering J. D. Harper of Crestview Pharmacy

J. D. Harper, 77, owner of Crestview Pharmacy since 1964, passed away May 11, 2012. His sons Jerry and David continued managing this original Crestview Shopping Center business, which opened in the early 1950s, until February 28, 2017. In April 2004, historian and Brentwood neighbor John Leffler and I talked with Mr. Harper in one of the booths at the pharmacy (once part of a popular soda fountain there). In the interview, Mr. Harper shares … Read more

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Common Ground of Community

In early 2003, when a small group of us neighbors (soon to become the nonprofit Violet Crown Community Works) envisioned the very first Violet Crown Festival, the heart of the event was clear: See that Jean Graham’s mosaic Wall of Welcome becomes a reality. Celebrate the Brentwood and Crestview neighborhoods, which we see as sharing many common concerns and goals. Bring together all elements of the community—individuals of all ages, schools, neighborhood associations, community groups, … Read more

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