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Everything posted by theoriginalkj

  1. Having been out there to the formations myself, few mysteries are answered by onsite observation. The cross, not an X, is lined up on a small raised section of earth that is far to straight to be a coincidence, and I think that's obvious by the arial photos. There is a large tree in the middle of the cross that has been used as a Geocache, the old arial photos clearly predate any geocaching. The non-cross areas of the circles are currently marshy lowlands where snakes are plenty. There is a road that leads most of the way to the circles, but you definately need to leave the old roadway and snake your way through the brush to get to the circles yet. The old road-bed is long gone but the trees are parted in a way that it's obvious where the road would have been, all the way to where you divert to the circles. The low trees and brush actually get a bit too thick just past the invisible road-bed to get much further past the cut off to the circles, but I've been told that you can keep going and cross the remains of a small bridge across Maude Creek. Now that I've seen the arial historical photos and seen that there clearly was a farmhouse or other building structure north west of one of the circles, I'd like to go back out there and see if any remains are still there of the building. Nothing's visible on the current birds eye photos and satellite imagery. If anyone wants to go back out there and take a look, this is the time of year to do it. Much less mosquitos and natural thinning of the brush because of winter. Let me know if anyone wants to go out. I'm game.
  2. I park at Hillcroft Transit Center every day and just east of Hillcroft in the middle of the Harwin are these short railroad tracks. I don't see these railroad tracks on any of the railroad maps of Houston that I've seen over the years. Do any of you bright Haif'ers know where these tracks led to, who's railroad this was, and when they were pulled up?
  3. I went out to investigate the old Camp Logan remains mentioned in the old newspaper article about them possibly being in the abandoned stretch of Memorial Park just west of the 610 Loop West. I went this morning while the weather was nice and wasn't too hot. Finding the trail and getting started was very easy, and with a GPS phone with satellite imagery with me, I guess you could say I was cheating by looking for the reported remains. I got to about approximately 80 yards of the 100 yard path leading down the turn off, when large freshly downed trees made it impossible to continue without drifting off newspaper article described path considerably.. [ Looking at gate, N toward Woodway.] [ Looking S toward downed trees.] After turning to the west toward the reported "path" and clearing, which at this point was only a very short slightly downhill jog toward the bayou, I had to continue skimming the often sandy bayou beach until I reached a point along the bayou where there was what appeared to be a dry stream bed of some type leading to the bayou. It was at this point that the Camp Logan remains were only a short walk away. Once passing the dry stream bed, the embankment climbed steeply up a hill in the S/SSE direction where the remains were located... [ Looking SE toward the back side of the Camp Logan remains. The front and front door of both the feed tank (or whatever it is) and the shed next to it face directly toward the path, provided I had been able to stay on the path. You can see the straight line in the satellite imagery that make up the walking path, but Hurricane Ike clearly hasn't been nice to these parts, with the path far harder follow and make out this deep into the forrest. ] [ Closer shot of behind remnants...] [ Side of shed next to feed tank.] [ Front door of shed next to feed tank.] [ Inside the shed next to the feed tank. The milk carton is a sure sign that others have visited here, or even tried to live here.] [ Camera facing down inside bricked base of feed tank toward front door.] Well, I was hoping for myself to have a clearer idea whether or not I believed this to be the last remains of Camp Logan. My hunch tells me that these are NOT the remains of Camp Logan, but more likely the remains of another property owners storage shed and feed tank just west of the old Camp Logan camp and property. We know the fairly precise boundaries of the old Camp Logan training base and it's all been documented in carefully drawn out maps, and I have a hard time believing that this area, this far from Camp Logan central, is connected to it in any way. It's certainly possible.. The GPS coordinates that my phone reported for this location to be 29.7628N, 95.4584W which I turned into a GoogleEarth satellite map... I'm very curious to the full nature and history of the path that leads down through the middle of this stretch of Memorial Park. While the path clearly goes very close to these old remants of Camp Logan, they don't go close enough to what I'd call a 'driveway' to them nor is the path efficient enough to be considered a maintenance path to the pipeline and telephone pole lines that slice through the very bottom (south) edge of this park land. I also found this topographic map on Microsoft TerraServer that shows the land as it was topo'd back in 1982, so 26 years ago and counting, and I found it interesting that the topographic map clearly shows the path going south for a good distance before the map fails to continue drawing it, but the location of a structure is clearly shown and identifies it at the top of a hill. The part that is strange about this is that the structure indicated shows it immediately next to and at the end of the path, yet the current location is considerably further west and slightly north of this location. Notice also the small 'lake' shown just south of the bayou right above the "50" foot elevation marker, yet this current location is home to tennis courts and condo's along the posh Riverway Drive.
  4. I found a Google Book about Houston that mentions the Jackie Freedman gambling spot... LINK. Kevin Jackson
  5. I would love to be able to peruse some of that material if you obtain it. Kevin
  6. There are a bunch of Bob Bailey photographs here in the Texas Medical Center in the 1st floor of the BCM building that houses the Chipotle and Starbucks. This is the building next to the St Luke's Medical Tower (two needle building). They are very interesting to look at and are all over the 1st floor halls of this building. Kevin Jackson
  7. I went to the Texas room at the Houston Public Library today and found some old photos that I hadn't seen posted anywhere else before. I took the photos with my cell phone camera, so I apologise for the poor quality. Anyone interested in better quality photos of these can request them throught the Texas Room library attendants that can have the originals pulled from the archives. I would have done this myself, but I'm told that "Jason" is the only one who has access to those photos and that I would need to see him on a weekday to do so. This Jason apprently has a pretty boss job to be able to peruse millions of historic Houston photographs whenever he wants. Those interested need to request photos from MSS-187.
  8. I have an old Dr Pepper temperature outdoor hanging sign that needs some help. It's suffering from general outdoor exposure, so it has a lot of rust on it's face. I don't really want to go through an expensive repainting and/or restoration project if I can help it. I don't even mind the "rusty" look all that much, but I do want to make the sign look better if I can. Can anybody recommend a good safe cleaning agent that will spruce this sign up a bit? I want to make the sign look "better" but I don't want to remove the original paint that makes this a classic. What would you guys do?
  9. As reported in a recent edition of the Fort Bend Herald and discussed in the current HAIF Discussion, the Clodine General Store is now safe from TxDot. Henry Nemec has now safely moved his 1950's General Store further back on his property to prevent it's destruction at TxDot's hands. The store is now being worked on in order to get it open in time for July 4th fireworks sales. Owner Henry Nemec calls his new General Store a "fireworks superstore". It's unclear what the permanent use for the future store will be. The Nemec family has lived and grown up in Clodine and the Mission Bend area since near the turn of the century. Henry told me he remembers going out into the fields when he was young to the current location of George Bush Park and going hunting with his friends. "It was a farming community, all around us" he told me of the old Clodine surroundings. He remembers the old train tracks running "out there" through the current George Bush Park near along-side the old Westheimer alignment, swearing that "there's probably some metal from the old tracks still laying out there somewhere." -Kevin Jackson Map of Clodine and current site of downtown Clodine's General Store. Clodine General Store with Henry Nemec, owner. The store at it's current setback, freshly after being moved. Facing west back toward FM-1464, the previous location along with it's moving beams in the background left. Looking under the Westpark Tollway and it's current distance from FM-1464.
  10. The various internet descriptions of where the ship sank only say things like "short of the Allen's Landing dock" or such things, which could mean that the ship is in the general vicinity of the Franklin Street Bridge. Does anyone know where it is exactly?
  11. Now I know this is only a cartoon map, but this famous "Birds Eye" view of Houston drawn in 1891 would encompass the Donnellan Grave Vault in it's prime, so to speak. Unfortunately, virtually nothing is labeled, but the close proximity and size of this building in this drawing map over other things in the map would indicate that this "building" was certainly smaller than all other surrounding buildings but no less a solid upright structure. This tiny building doesn't even have any windows on it. Could this be it? The Houston Chronicle story apparently reads: (Buffalo Bayou's Famous Bottle Neck Hasn't Been Cleaned Out Since 1866, Houston Chronicle, May 31,1936) "A couple of years later,(after Civil War) two of the Donnellan boys - sons of Thuse Donnellan, then a famous artist in Houston-- were playing around the bayou. The water was so low one could wade across anywhere. They found one of those bombs and began working on the detonator cap to remove it. The bomb exploded and blew the two boys to bits....." "We gathered what we could of the remains and placed them in a coffin, which we buried in the bayou banks under what is now the Franklin Ave. Street bridge. So far as I know, that tomb still is there."
  12. Yes, that would be it. It's right above the text "Louisiana" in the 'franklin.jpg'. Very interesting..
  13. I similarly thought, "why so large?" It should be noted that the Donnellan family owned quite a large parcel of property that probably stretched all the way from the bayou here to around Market Square, a full city block away. With the bayou being a popular swimming spot at the time and the crypt apparently originally created to bury the two sons after getting killed in a accident, a rich Houstonian like J.T. Donnellan just may create a sizable memorial to his family, to bury future family members. According to the timeline above though, T.J. Donnellan apparently died around 1902, with the lawsuit against the city for infringing on his families craves not being settled until 1914, if even then. What the timeline above doesn't seem to say is whether or not the city of Houston actually obtained the ownership of the property containing the crypt itself. This may explain why the city seems to have to work around it even to this day. I don't have any doubt it's the crypt. It's clearly described several times in newspapers throughout several decades as being under the Franklin Street bridge. I was just pointing out today to my brother, who runs TexasFreeway.com, about a photo contained in the Houston Freeways book that shows this area of downtown around 1955 or so that shows a structure right on top of this spot before the Franklin Street bridge was widened southward. It shows a blurry structure that clearly extends upward another full story high above even street level, believe it or not, and this structure is clearly visible as being at the SE corner Franklin & Lousiana, the current location of the crypt. For those who don't have the Houston Freeways book, you can view an E-Book of it at www.houstonfreeways.com. Look at the E-book section, "Downtown" book, page 8 (on the pdf). You'll see a large 1 story structure at this very spot in the PDF. It's right next to a lone dark car sitting on the Franklin Street bridge. Maybe when I have some time I can try to extract this photo out of the PDF and post it here. It's amazing to think that whatever size the original crypt was, that it may have been so large as to have the equivalent of a 2 story building, with this photo showing 1 story above street level, and the current crypt essentially one story below street level, along the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. In any case, I am more convinced that the crypt is most likely full of assorted rocks and concrete today and that's about all.
  14. Thanks for your photos. I didn't notice the rubble behind the door. It also looked like the timber was placed as a block from perhaps BEHIND the brick wall. This is very disappointing for somebody trying to remove the door and for why it's there. Perhaps the entire crypt has been rubbled in (is that a word?) and the wood is placed from within and is considerably larger than the door face. It looks like the wood is too long and large to have been put in place recently or afterward. I would be very interested in knowing how big the room is behind the door. The article called it a large red brick crypt and if the size of the visible red brick is any indication, then the room would be quite large, and perhaps possibly even as big as an efficiency apartment - although probably not. If so, then the room itself may present structural issues to the road above, and hence the rubble. Just speculating..
  15. My son and I went to downtown Houston today to seek out the Donnellan Grave Vault / Crypt. This crypt is located at the end of Franklin Street where it meets the bayou. It's actually underneath Franklin Street on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, under the parking lot for Chase Bank. Tim Donnellan was an early prominent Houston settler and he was buried in a large red brick vault in 1849 along the bayou's edge. Later, his wife and kids were buried there also. The crypt has surprisingly survived the initial Franklin Street wooden bridge, constructed in 1885, the later iron constructed Franklin Street bridge finished in 1907, and the later concrete constructed bridge in 1924. The remains of all the family members were moved to Glenwood Cemetary in the early 1900's, so there aren't any known remains buried there. This begs the question, why has there been so much effort through at least 4 bridge constructions to keep the crypt intact. The original brick wall and crypt door are still in place to this day just begging for deeper exploration. Like I said, the crypt is under the Franklin Street bridge at the Buffalo Bayou and is very tricky to get to because of the steep bayou walls here. I was able to get to it by going down the bridge embankment a block from Spagetti Warehouse and follow the bayou around from there. I would like to see folks here make a discussion about this vault or other such interesting spots around Houston. A complete write-up of the Donnellan Grave Vault by Louis F. Aulbach exists at http://www.hal-pc.org/~lfa/BB38.html. Here are the photos I took today:
  16. This is a recent story on the Clodine General Store from the Fort-Bend Herald Coaster newspaper... Fate of Clodine General Store hangs in the air By Marquita Griffin Wednesday, September 12, 2007 4:17 PM CDT There was a time when Clodine was just a sleepy country town out west of Houston. Not many people, not much traffic, not anywhere to shop. Except, of course, for the Clodine General Store. One of the community's oldest buildings, it was the central gathering place for the folks who lived in the tiny settlement, located along FM 1464 in northeast Fort Bend County. All that, of course, has changed with the growth of Houston, as builders snapped up all that farmland around the town and turned it into numerous subdivisions for downtown commuters. With each nail and yard of concrete, Clodine has slowly faded into a historical footnote. And as the town slipped away, so went the store. And now the fate of the Clodine General Store hangs in the air as preparations for the expansion of FM 1464 are in motion, but all Henry Nemec wants is to preserve what he views as a historic structure. Hidden beneath rust and faded signs, the Clodine General Store sits quietly like an old-timer, with memories carefully stored away in the cracks of the wooden floors and the among the dust collecting on the shelves.
  17. I have no idea what your talking about. The homes are build of Hardi-Plank and are very sturdy built. The homes are build standard with hurricane joists as well, so it's the safest home to be in of anybody in my family or my extended families homes. The vinyl fence (not plastic) that surrounds our neighborhood is in fantastic shape and because it's vinyl, it never deteriorates. The fence can easily withstand the weight of an adult human and because it's vinyl, termites don't eat it. The fence does accumulate green grass stains and mildew so we pressure wash it clean once a year. The siding is not falling off a single home in the neighborhood and I expect it never will. The trim on all our homes is wood, however, and is beginning to deteriorate on some of them. I suspect low quality wood to blame, but it's a problem that doesn't seem to affect everybody and doesn't seem to be affecting anybody significantly. We do pursue individuals to maintain their trim as well as other asthetic issues, but you have to pursue each person and each owners current capabilities. Like many neighborhoods in this economy, a few homes are in bankruptcy and/or foreclosure and those are the ones who are the current blemishes. Once new owners are established, enforcement will continue with the new owner(s). When I first saw this neighborhood, I thought of the movie 'The Truman Show'. This neighborhood was even featured on A&E for an episode of 'Dream Builders'. Kevin
  18. The neighborhood you refer to is called 'Traditions at Clayton Park' and is at the corner of Westpark and Addicks-Clodine in western Harris County. I not only live in this neighborhood but also happen to be the Homeowners Association President for this neighborhood. I would agree with you that the streets create an ugly alley, but just about any neighborhood that has streets with virtually nothing but a line of garages is not going to be that attractive. The front of the houses, however, primarily face narrow cobblestone roads or one of 4 parks. This means that instead of looking out the front of your house and seeing street, automobiles, and other people's garage, you see parks, other pretty pastel-colored house fronts and/or a quaint cobblestone road. Since most homes (in Houston at least) have garages that comprise at least half or more of what visitors see when they come visit you, in our neighborhood visitors see nothing but a pretty walkway leading up to the front of your house. (I can try to post some photos of anyone is interested.) My family has enjoyed living here and feel like the house is quite a great place to live, a beautiful home, and a great value. It's growth has had some growing pains. The single greatest pain has been the fact that these homes are largely Easter Egg colors (pinks, yellows, whites, light blues) and the Hardi-Plank siding tends to show mildew quite easy. As an HOA we have had to pursue mildew removal quite aggressively through either pressure washing or some choosing to repaint. Our neighborhood has recently seen a surge in home values due to the fact that our neighborhood is 2 blocks from the Westpark Tollway. The Westpark exit going west on the Westpark Tollway practically drops you off at our neighborhood within about 20 seconds. It's been a true dream to live here for those who commute into central Houston for work or shopping. I can get to the Galleria in 10 minutes on the weekend from my house. Kevin Jackson Traditions at Clayton Park HOA President
  19. I would love a copy of this movie! Can anybody provide me with a copy transferred to DVD with one of those VHS->DVD transfer machines? I am dying to see this movie! Kevin
  20. Do you have a copy of 'Brewster McCloud' in ANY format? I would love to see it!
  21. Some long time Houstonian's may remember that Houston was home to the most expensive hotel suite in the world. The AstroWorld Hotel itself was constructed in the late 1960's and in 1969, he had an additional floor added to entertain guests and dignitaries. The hotel suite was then named the 'Celestial Suite' and became the part-time personal residence for Judge Roy Hoffeinz, the man behind AstroWorld and the AstrodDome. The 1977 Guinness Book of World Records listed the hotel suite in it's pages as the most expensive hotel suite in the world at $2500 but sadly only included a very small black/white photo that made it difficult to see anything and did not do the suite justice anyway. Even though it had a listed rental rate, the hotel was actually very rarely rented out to anyone and sadly video and photo requests throughout the years were denied. The hotel has changed ownership and names several times over the years and sadly the 'Celestial Suite' is not up to current construction code and has been unavailable to the public quite some time. I have tried to determine just how long it has been since the 'Celestial Suite' has been seen by the public or used for any event but details are unavailable because of multiple ownership change. It's very possible that the suite has not been used for any reason since the early 1990's, which would have the suite sitting empty and unused for nearly 17 years. (Can anybody provide any more information on this?) I have recently been able to aquire exclusive photos of the 'Celestial Suite' in it's original state, which continues to be unused to this date! The 1977 Guiness Book of World Records entry (photo courtesy of 57Tbird in another HAIF thread) 'AstroWorld Hotel' in it's original construction (photo courtesy of sevfiv in the same thread) The 'Tarzan Room', main living area, situated on the southwestern face of the floor. This suite has a tall ceiling with a second floor suspended in the limbs of an artificial tree, whose tree truck you can see in the right edge of this photo. The television in this photo appears to be a new model, but was sitting in a wicker chair and didn't appear to be even plugged in. I think it's safe to say the spiral stair-case in this photo also likely doesn't meet current safety code and ADA guidelines. The 'Tarzan Room', bedroom suite. Surprisingly small single bed. Kitchen prep and dinner table, unknown suite connection/style. Note: Just look at that 30 year-old looking yellow dish-washer! This suite was the actual bedroom of Judge Roy Hofheinz. This suite has a sunken whirpool in the floor (pictured in the Guinness Book article) that is rumored to be one of the current issues holding up the suite from meeting current construction code). This suite is in the middle of the southern face of the floor. Private balcony of the Judge's master bedroom, and the only part of the suite visible from freeway below This large suite takes up the entire NW corner of the top floor and I'm unaware of it's suite name, connection, or affiliation. UPDATED: This is apparently part of the P.T. Barnum suite, or the "Big Top Room. Hallway connecting various suites. Note the modern looking "fire alarm" switch and modern emergency lighting. The current owners run the hotel as the 'Houston Grand Plaza', which continue to not use the suite because of construction code issues. The hotel is rumored to be soon bought and run as a 'Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza', who does have plans to use the suite, perhaps a portion of which would be a Jazz club. The only portion of the floor I could not view was the NE wing, facing the AstroDome, which is rumored to be where the Jazz club would be. I hope that the construction of any jazz club would not entail the destruction of any of the existing 'Celestial Suite'. The source of some of my information came from several hotel employees say that even they are not allowed on the floor for any reason. My hope in publishing these photos is to spur a lively discussion on this exciting piece of Houston history. I think it's quite likely that Houston will never host 'the most expensive hotel room in the world' designation ever again and information about the 'Celestial Suite' seems to be inconsistent and vague. I would like to see anybody with more photos or more hard information to come forward with what they have.
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