Wednesday, February 26, 2014

328 Hays Street--Helping build a photographic history

The focus of this blog has been exploring the built environment of the Hill Country, with an occasional side trip.  I have several building histories in the works with I need to finish, but today I'm doing something different to introduce you to a new website I've just discovered

This is the Collins Company building.  Its address in 1932 was 328 Hayes Street, but that address today is part of the HEB employee parking lot on Hays between Main and Jefferson Streets.  This photo was taken in 1932, but when I looked at the 1930 Sanborn fire insurance map, there was no building in that block that matched this.  I turned to and found a number of news items about the Collins Company, a wholesale grocery business.  Here's one from the July 10, 1931, Kerrville Mountain Sun.
Collins Company Again Victimized by Burglars; Loot Valued at $1,000.
For the third time in recent months, the Collins Company, wholesale grocery firm, Tuesday night became a victim of cigarette thieves who made away with a large haul.
The loot consisted of 14 cases of cigarettes, valued at approximately $1,000.  Entry to the warehouse, corner of Schreiner and Hays Streets, [emphasis mine] was gained by breaking the lock on a rear door.  ...
It is believed that an organized band of cigarette thieves is at work in this section, since similar robberies are occurring frequently in small cities and towns surrounding San Antonio.

Some building numbers have changed over time, this being one of them.  The Sanborn map showed that this business once was located in the same block where the city recycling center is, in the corner nearest the traffic light. 

You can find this photo and others at a new website .  It ties historical photos to modern locations using Google maps, building a photographic history of the world. I have put a number of Kerr County photos up--as well as couple from other places.  You can link to it from Facebook as well.  Come join me!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

235 Earl Garrett Street

This small building at 235 Earl Garrett Street was built sometime between 1904 and 1910. It has a distinctive skylight, a feature I've not seen in any other local building of that period.
The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show that in 1904 there was a frame building at this approximate location. By 1910 it had been replaced by this stone building and housed a jewelry store. In 1916 it was a jewelry and millinery shop.
There is a gap in the record between 1916 and 1925.

In January 1925 Isaac W. Van Hoozer purchased the dry good and grocery stock of bankrupt J. W. Burney's store on Schreiner Street and moved it to the building Van Hoozer owned on Earl Garrett, "next to the Kerrville Tailoring Company" according to the February 19, 1925, Kerrville Mountain Sun. Van Hoozer had remodeled and refinished the building and opened the store for business the previous Monday morning (February 16).
Also in January, 1925, I. Van Hoozer, along with other property owners on Earl Garrett Street, was assessed for street repairs. (I was reminded of the game Monopoly!) His assessment was based on owning 13 feet of frontage on Earl Garrett.  The other property owners on the block were M. F. Weston who owned 129 feet; A. C. Schreiner, 50.5 feet; E. E. Dietert 31.0 feet; E. Hawes, 78.9 feet; Sid Peterson 75.5 feet; and C. Wheelus 43.1 feet. (Wheelus owned the Guthrie Building.)

Van Hoozer's business didn't last long, because the July 7, 1927, Mountain Sun reported the following: "Richard Smith, John Burkhardt, and Charles Durrin have opened a restaurant and lunch on Earl Garrett Street in the building formerly occupied by the grocery of I. W. Van Hoozier [sic] & Son.  The interior of the lunch room, which is under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Durrin, is nicely arranged." There is no indication of the name of this business.  Durrin had previously owned a lunch room called the "Midget Lunch Room", also on Earl Garrett Street, and later owned one in the 800 block of Main Street.

The next mention in the newspapers of a business at this location is the Post Office Barber Shop, which is mention for the first time in the newspaper in 1936--the year the new Post Office opened in Earl Garrett Street. This is very likely the same time the barber shop opened. It was owned for many years by W. L. Tillson. When he retired in 1973 he sold to John F. Tom.

When, after many years the Post Office Barber Shop closed, it was followed by the Smokehouse, which sold tobacco products and paperback books. The Smokehouse moved from an earlier location on Water Street. This building is still often referred to as "The Smokehouse" even though it most recently was a law office.

An interesting item I found is the fact that after Isaac Van Hoozer died his son Floyd sold off part of the building, keeping one side, renting out part.  The other part may be in the area where the small garden is today, but I am not sure.  I need to spend more time in the deed books.