Friday, December 28, 2012

217 W. Water Street

This is one of those places that is easy to miss. Located across from Mamacita's, this Craftsman cottage was constructed in the late 1920s, and no later than March 1930.
The first record of a house in the written record is in the 1930 census. That same year Otto Bernhard gave the property to his wife Ottilia for "love and affection" and she became the owner.
According to his 1958 obituary, Otto Bernhard, a native of Gillespie County, had lived in Kerrville 38 years, so he arrived about 1920.  In addition to being the family home, Bernhard ran a trucking company from this property, specializing in hauling dirt and gravel.
The Bernhards lived here many years.
The house was sold in 1962 to Dr. John Redden for his veterinary practice.  Later Dr. Joseph Kitzman took over the practice.  It has been a commercial property since.

1932. Photo from the Kerr History Center collection.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

No Curb Service

Here is the building with the sign when it was outside.
This sign, found on an inside wall at Herring Printing, 615 Water Street, is an historical remnant.  It can be seen from the street if one knows where to look. 

The sign references two old businesses: the  Modern Beauty Salon and Campbell's Cafe.    When I first saw this I thought the reference was to curb service being offered (or not) at the beauty salon!  That was certainly an intriguing idea, one difficult to picture.  I now know that Campbell's was a cafe that originally offered curb service.  At some point curb service was eliminated at the cafe, which is probably when "No Curb Service" was added and the word "Curb" painted over.

As you can see in the black and white photo, this sign used to be on the outside of the Modern Beauty Salon building.  In the same photo you can see a vacant lot next to the Modern Beauty Salon building. That vacant lot once was the parking lot and part of the curb service area for Campbell's.

Mr. Bruce O. Long opened the Modern Beauty Salon at 617 Water Street on Saturday, October 23, 1937, in the "new Parsons Building".  The business changed hands a few years later, when Mae Walz purchased the business and added a Merle Norman Studio. (The building address had changed but it's still the same building.)

In July 1949, Rae Fergason, Ann Hammock and Eloise Brown announced they were "glad to see their old friends and to make new ones at the Modern Beauty Salon."

In October, 1949, it advertised late night hours, an unusual idea at the time. "The Modern Beauty Salon announces a special night service for BUSINESS WOMEN and NURSES By appointments only on Wednesday nights until 9 p.m.  617 Water St."

The business continued until at least 1950 according to the city directory.

The next business in the space may have been Howard Wilson's print shop. If so, it wasn't here very long.  The only record I can find of this print shop is in a news story about Paul McDonald, Co. reporting that he bought the printing plant of Howard Wilson in 1951. Four years later McDonald moved his shop from 617 Water Street to a new building in the 500 block of Sidney Baker Street.  J. Marvin Hunter's print shop was apparently next, followed by Herring Printing in 1965.

As for Campbell's Cafe, whose name occupies the lower part of the sign, the Kerrville Mountain Sun July 10, 1928, ran the following news item,  "Campbell & Son of San Antonio have opened a drive-in hamburger and drink stand on Water Street in the tile construction building erected for them by Bert Parsons.  Facilities for curb service are available, as well as parking space within the enclosure housing the building, and tables and seats have been arranged under outdoor lights for the convenience of those who desire to be out in the open while partaking of refreshments. "  The cafe moved down the street from 611 to 307 Water Street in 1932, then four years later returned to the original location.

The building the cafe occupied was torn down a while back. By 1948 its old parking lot was replaced with a commercial building, and thus the reason the old sign is now inside.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pioneer Lodge

Originally know as Pioneer Lodge, these apartments at 1814 Broadway, Kerrville, are currently known as Broadway Place Apartments.
The first seven units of this former tourist court were erected in May 1946 by H. E. Nelson.  In July of that year, Nelson applied for another building permit to erect an addition six units. A few more were added later.
undated early photo
Tourist courts, early motels, arose in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s to meet the demands of the car-owning traveling public. Unlike hotels, which were generally downtown, the tourist court was automobile friendly. Commonly a collection of small individual cabins and cottages, the traveler could park right in front of his room, sometimes under a carport. They were often arranged around a lawn, making them inviting to families.  The style of the Pioneer Lodge, long buildings with several units under one roof, became more common after World War II as tourist courts began to look like modern motels.

It appears that the Pioneer Lodge fairly early became long-term residential units rather than overnight tourist facilities.  By 1965, when it was offered for sale, all 16 residential units, "all with kitchenettes", were occupied and provided steady income.
By 1975 they were advertised as Pioneer Lodge Apartments for Senior Citizens.  The facility has had two name changes since.  It continues today as kitchenette apartments.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kerrville Tourist Cottage Camp

Constructed in 1928, these cottages in the 1700 block of Water Street were originally known as Kerrville  Tourist Cottage Camp and later as Kerrville Tourist Courts. There once were more cabins than today.
Richard Holdsworth purchased the property in 1927 from the Furman Co., Inc. for $1500. He constructed the cottages, then in September 1928 he sold the property to Frank Marek for $6000 who  opened the Kerrville Tourist Cottage Camp. In 1930 Frank Marek sold the property to Harry J. Chafee and his wife.
The Chafees were the owners at the time of the 1932 flood.  The July 7, 1932 Kerrville Mountain Sun described what happened to these cottages. "As a whimsical child would move toy houses from one village to another, the flood clutched up several amber-orange cottages from the Kerrville Cottage Camp at 1717 Water Street, and deposited them a block away on the grounds of Bass Courts.  In contrast to the white and green cottages there, the flood-shifted cabins were easily seen."
Eighty years later the color scheme is about the same!
I do not know if the cabins affected were torn down or returned to their original locations.

In 1933 Mrs. Chafee announced the opening of the Lone Oak Sandwich Shop at the Cottage Camp. It was advertised as under new management, but I haven't found a mention of an earlier restaurant here.

No longer operating as a motel, these units today are rental apartments.

UPDATE: In July 2017 this property was restored and reopened as River Trail Cottages, short term rentals along the Guadalupe.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

1920s City Park

In the 1920s there was a park in Kerrville along the river bank downtown called "City Park".  Access was from "Pampell's Corner" and from the foot of Earl Garrett Street.  This is not the same as Lake Side Park, which was on Water Street between E and F streets.  The City Park was large enough to hold events for more than 70 people.
The Civic League "agitated for and supervised" the creation of the park in 1923. At the dedication of the park the Chamber of Commerce was thanked and Sid Peterson in particular who donated his time and supervised the construction of the park.
It was managed by Henry Lachele. It had a motor boat ramp where boat rides were offered after Adalbert Mohn moved his motor boat business from Ingram to Kerrville that summer.  J. J. Carson shortly afterwards bought the business.
There were also kiddie rides, such as rowboat rides.
An advertisement in the July 12, 1923, Kerrville Mountain Sun offered a two mile motor boat ride in a 26-passenger boat for 10c, children 5c.
There were several fundraisers to develop this park, including a card party in 1923, and one in 1924 that included swimming races in the mill pond.
It was right along the river front, below the bluff. I found mention in the newspaper one time that picnic tables were removed before a water rise so they didn't wash away.
The dream in placing a park here was to have a pleasant spot with lots of activities that would draw people to the river.
Henry Lachele sold the boats in 1929.  The park seems to have closed then. I find no further mention of this particular city park and I have found no images.
The remnants of the first City Park were probably washed downstream in the 1932 flood.

On February 13, 1931, the Kiwanis Club held a clean up day on a city block donated by Capt. Tivy years earlier as a city park.  It was referred to then as Tivy Park and its limits were First, Garrett [now Lytle], Second, and Everett streets. Almost immediately, though, it was referred to in the papers as City Park transferring that name from the now forgotten first park.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

1708 Broadway

This building, now home to Hill Country Affordable Motors, was constructed in the spring of 1936 by Rankin C McBryde on land owned by Henry Weiss. It was originally a Sinclair filling station.
Courtesy of Roger Lachele
As you can see from this photo of the Sinclair Ideal filling station, probably taken shortly after it opened, the building is almost unchanged.
The 3rd man from the left is Raymond Lachele, who lived in a house on G Street between Water Street and the river.

March 1936,  Rankin C. McBryde, agent for Sinclair products built "one of the new bungalow type filling stations" at the corner of Broadway and G Street, facing Highway 27.  E. L. Turner was the contractor; W. W. Miller Lumber Co. supplied materials.   The station will be operated by Alfred Rusche and the bungalow portion occupied by his family.  Rusche has operated the Sinclair station at the corner of Water Street and Medina Road for several years.When it opened in 1936 R. C.McBryde was the Sinclair agent and  Alfred Rusche was the station operator.  Rusche had previously operated the Sinclair station at the corner of Water Street and Medina Road (now G Street).

Sometime before April 1948 it became Landgrebe's Grocery.  "Guns Bought, Sold, and Traded". It may have been a grocery, but it mostly advertised guns.  In October, 1955, the grocery store suffered extensive fire damage. Landgrebe opened a new grocery at the corner of Tivy and Barnett streets and rebuilt the old store.  In addition to the grocery, by 1954 Landgrebe's Used Cars was in operation and continued here after the fire.  It  has been a used car lot ever since.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cailloux Theater and the Kerr County War Memorial

Parking lot view to show the brickwork of the original building.
Recently there has been talk about expanding and adding names to the Kerr County War Memorial.  The War Memorial under discussion is apparently the one located on the Courthouse grounds that was erected in 1991.  I'm curious to know if the discussion includes an even larger War Memorial that exists just one block away--the Cailloux Theater.

In 1944 an effort began in Kerr County to establish a War Memorial in the form of a building that would also honor all who served.
The initial effort was intended to raise money for a memorial auditorium, club rooms, and public library annex next to Antler Stadium. Fundraising was going along at a slow steady pace when the Kerr County War Memorial Association (KCWMA) received a generous bequest. In 1951 Walter Jarmon, who owned two lots at the corner of Washington and Main streets, left his entire estate for the benefit the Kerr County War Memorial Association.  It was decided to build a war memorial building on the Main Street property instead.

In 1954 the KCWMA deeded the property to the county on the condition that the property be used "toward erection or equipping or/and maintaining a public building to be dedicated to the honor of those who have served the United States in all Wars."  The county had two years to use the property or it would revert to the KCWMA.
They did not meet the deadline and it did revert to the KCWMA.  In 1959 the organization deeded the property to the City of Kerrville and in 1960 the Kerrville Municipal Auditorium opened. In 2000 the Cailloux family made a generous gift to expand and improve the Municipal Auditorium.  As a result the building was renamed the Cailloux Theater when it reopened March 27, 2003.
The building must remain as a war memorial or it reverts to the KCWMA or its successor.
To meet this requirement, the memorial to Kerr County's war dead through Vietnam is found carved in stone on the stairway landing in the lobby.  Large as it is, it is easy to miss.  In fact, since I usually just go directly to my seat and don't dawdle in the lobby, I didn't even know it was there until a few days before I wrote this.

"In memory of those persons who gave their lives in the service to and defense of this country."
Memorial wall in lobby