Thursday, April 25, 2013

313 Earl Garrett Street

This building at 313 Earl Garrett Street was erected in June 1979 by Tom Meyers at a cost of $19,500. Two months later it was remodeled by local builder Tom Lowe at a cost of $20,000. It replaced an earlier building that, according to the newspaper in 1978, was torn down and moved by John Wayne Ross. I'm not sure how you both tear down AND move a building, but that's what was reported.  At the time I write this, it doesn't qualify as historic, but I've been researching the other buildings on the block and am including as a bonus.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Knapp Crossing

Next to Chili's on the Junction Highway is a boat launch area and Guadalupe river access.  Newer residents doubtless think this is simply a boat launch, but it is actually the remnant of an old road that still lies under the river.   For many years it was a river crossing known as Knapp Crossing. Knapp Crossing Road was flooded when the Upper Guadalupe River Authority built a new dam just downstream in 1980.

I have been told that Knapp Crossing was named for a much loved physician Dr. Dwight Rufus Knapp, a graduate of Yale and Cornell Medical School, came to Kerrville in 1931 from Danbury, Connecticut, and established a practice at the old Secor Hospital. He came to Kerrville on a business matter, fell in love with the Hill Country, and spent the rest of his life here.  
A loyal reader said he built a large Spanish style house across the river and that this road was the access to his house.
Dr. Knapp is buried at Glen Rest. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

315 Earl Garrett Street

In February 1946, A. A. Roberts sold the lot this building stands on to F. M. Sherrill who then erected this one-story building to house his photography business.  
On March 14, 1946, the Kerrville Mountain Sun reported "Frank Sherrill... has announced the opening of a photographic studio, temporarily located in the McManus building at 1512 Water Street.  Mr. Sherrill has purchased a site on Earl Garrett, but the building is being delayed."  The newspaper reported he was a graduate of Texas A&M and had served for four and one half years in the "Photographic Section of the Air Forces."  
He finally settled into this space in August 1946.

Three years later the business changed hands and became Babyland Studio and Camera Shop.

In late 1950 Dr. D. W. Handley, chiropractor, had his office here.
There have been numerous small businesses here ever since.

It was remodeled in 2009 by Cynthia Thomas.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1621 Broadway

This distinctive two story rock building at the corner  of Broadway and G was erected in 1936.  The June 4, 1936  Kerrville Mountain Sun reported this:
"New Caroline Cafe will open Sunday.   H. E. Dixon, owner of Caroline Courts, and his son, William Dixon, .... announced they would formally open the new Caroline Cafe Sunday.
The cafe is in a new two-story rock building at the corner of Broadway and G Streets, opposite Rusche's new Sinclair Station.  William Dixon will manage the cafe, which will offer short orders, place lunches, sandwiches, beer and wines.  Service will be given at the curb.  The place will carry a small stock of groceries."

(Caroline Courts were tourist courts at the corner of Water and G Streets. Erected about 1930, they were torn down long ago. Culligan Water is there now.)

The Caroline Cafe changed hands several times over the next three years. The last mention of the Caroline Cafe is in 1939, so presumably it went out of business. 
Since then, the upstairs had been mostly residential, while the ground floor has had some commercial use over the years.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Downtown Executive Center

Original look to 325-327 Earl Garrett St.  Courtesy, Joe Herring Jr.
This office building at 325-327 Earl Garrett Street was originally the offices of the Kerrville Daily Times.  The Times moved here from earlier offices a block away.  
On November 18, 1926,  the following notice appeared in the Times.  "We have moved into our new quarters, on Earl Garrett Street, next to Moore and Saner Lumber Co., and most cordially invite the public to call on the Kerrville Times." [Moore & Saner was on the downtown side of the railroad tracks.]  The newspaper offices remained at that location for twenty years.

Then, in late June, 1946, G. Rankin Starkey, owner and publisher of the Kerrville Times, received a permit to erect a commercial building at 325 Earl Garrett at an estimated cost of $13,000. The building became the Times offices. The newspaper remained here until 1981, when it moved to offices on Jefferson Street and this property was sold. 

In 1981 both the Kerrville Mountain Sun and the Kerrville Daily Times reported a flurry of building permits for this property, the most significant being a request from Lucien Freedle in August 1981 for a remodeling in the amount of $6000, and a request for a permit for a rock exterior, cost not reported.  That is when the building received its current look.
In July 1982 this building is referred to as the Downtown Executive Center for the first time.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

612 Earl Garrett Street

1929, Kerr County Historical Commission collection
In December 1924, in response to development that was occurring just outside the downtown area, the City of Kerrville sought bids for street improvements, curbing and paving on Earl Garrett Street. This house was one of a number of buildings going up at that time, mostly in the Craftsman bungalow style.  Many of the houses erected at that time remain. This stretch of Earl Garrett Street today features 80 and 90 year old homes and is referred to as the Garden District.

This is one of those rare instances where we know who did the landscaping. The sepia tone photo was taken in 1929 for Mosty Nursery and Landscaping as a record of their work. While the landscaping is vastly different today, the exterior of the house is little changed over the years.

Dr. J. E. McDonald purchased this property April 22, 1921, for $900 from E. H. Prescott, who had purchased it a year earlier from Charles Schreiner.  While is very likely this Craftsman bungalow was built in 1920 or 1921, I have not been able to determine the exact date and therefore am uncertain whether the house was built by Prescott or McDonald.
Dr. Mcdonald lived here briefly with his first wife Izma. After they divorced she and their son Joseph, Jr., continued to make this their home until he graduated from Tivy High School.  She then moved to San Antonio in late 1941.

Dr. McDonald's second wife, and mother of his second son, Charles Edward, was Lillian.  They also lived in Kerrville.  Dr. McDonald died of a heart attack in March 1940 while in San Antonio.

This house was featured in the December 1998 American Bungalow magazine.