Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Paul1956

Memories From Before the Southbelt

Recommended Posts

I know there's another section for Historic Houston, but I wanted to share some memories about the old Fuqua, Beamer, Hughes Road area specifically. I'm sure the moderator will move this if needed.

We moved into old Kirkwood in 1968. At that time, Beamer road did not connect to Fuqua at all. There was a two lane road one stoplight east of the current Fuqua/Beamer intersection, and it rambled though a field and tied on to Beamer near Dobie. And Beamer actually ENDED after the third street in old Kirkwood. To get to Hughes Road, we had to drive back to 45 and ride the feeder.

We had some family friends who moved into a NEW HOUSE on the first street of Sagemont, Sagewood. Seems like forever ago. For years, there was a little league park at the end of Sagewood.

In '68, the only building at I-45 / Fuqua was an open air honky-tonk called 'The Breezeway'. I remember that it had a HUGE KIKK boot shaped sign out front and you could hear the kikker music playing loudly as you drove by. There was also a large unmarked metal building next door that I heard was where fireworks were made. No idea if that was true or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We moved to Southbelt in 1974 when I was 5. I graduated Dobie in 1987 so I saw many of the changes you speak of. 'The Breezeway' - My uncle got arrested there in the early 70s.

As far as that first street there was a house that looked like a castle. That was a pretty big deal to a five year old.

Remember the 4 gas stations that were tore down to build BW8? The Shell actually sold fishing tackle.

I remember what a big deal it was when they finally connected Scarsdale to Beamer. And I also remember when Dixie Farm was Choate and was made of shale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I went to Dobie with one of the kids whose family owned that house. His Dad was an architech (spelling?), which made sense. It sure stood out on that street. Could see it easily from I-45.

And yes, I well remember those four gas stations, and the rumor that "one of these days there's supposed to be freeway through here". Whenever I go back over there I'm still blown away how much the area has been paved over. I can't get use to BW8 soaring through there, and how much traffic there is now.

For a very short while, I could actually look out our patio door in old Kirkwood, and see a family friends house on Sagedowne.

Edited by Paul1956

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My family moved to Sagemont in 1971. There was a short street named "Southbelt" connecting I-45 to Hughes road, and everyone had to drive on it to get into Sagemont. Many years later the beltway came right through where Southbelt was, and I was amazed that such a long term plan had actually been implemented.

Southbelt was tiny, with houses on one side and a field on the other. I remember the Texas Commerce Bank that was among those houses, and I remember a little temporary flea market kind of deal at the intersection with I-45. They had Bonnie & Clyde's death car there, or so they claimed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the first couple years that we lived there, I could look out my bedroom window and see the orange glow of the Dixie/Brio refinery flame tower in the distance. It lit up the whole sky at that time. We could even smell it on occasion. It was many years later before their secrets came out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We moved to Southbelt in 1974 when I was 5. I graduated Dobie in 1987 so I saw many of the changes you speak of. 'The Breezeway' - My uncle got arrested there in the early 70s.

As far as that first street there was a house that looked like a castle. That was a pretty big deal to a five year old.

...

I remember that house, with the castle-like third story extention on the roof. I still turn to see if it's there when passing by, even though I know it's been gone for a while.

I also grew up with the smell of Fall cold fronts mixed with the Sinclair refinery stinch. It sat directly to the North of my neighborhood. And you could also see the flame flares burning frequently. A couple of times the windows shook. That was Oak Meadows. The rich people, I thought lived further out, in the "Sage-named" nabes. Had some good friends in party yrs. following high school that were from those areas, they attended Dobie.

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Hall road still there? I remember when Hall road was the fastest way to get to Telephone, to go into Pearland. This was long before there was any connection to Green Tee. Hall road was just a dirt road, through low flood zone, with a few farm houses scattered along there. It was littered with junk washing machines and trash all along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is Hall road still there? I remember when Hall road was the fastest way to get to Telephone, to go into Pearland. This was long before there was any connection to Green Tee. Hall road was just a dirt road, through low flood zone, with a few farm houses scattered along there. It was littered with junk washing machines and trash all along the way.

Hall Road was a great place to pick shrooms. Even after they started building the Beltway feeder roads through there. I don't know if there are any pastures left out there today.

We moved from Beverly Hills into Kirkmont. We were across the street from where the Beltway is today. The easement where the Beltway is now was a great shortcut to Beverly Hills Intermediate via Beamer.

As a kid I was always intrigued by the graffiti, zig-zag packages, and beer bottles in the handful of abandoned concrete pipe culverts that were scattered around the Beltway easement. I was too young to know what was going on there, but old enough to know something was going on in those culverts.

I also recall the high-voltage towers that ran down the easement. I believe there were two kids electrocuted right outside our neighborhood while I was young. You can imagine that my parents drilled into my head not to climb on those towers. After seeing a video of what people look like after getting electrocuted...I didn't need to be warned again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember when the main post office for the whole SB area was on Old Galveston Road, near the Genoa subdivision. We went through Genoa to get to the post office and I remember an abundance of rough looking biker bars along the way. The TELTON lounge was there for years, but across from it was a very rough looking bar that used to be a two story house - I believe it was called 'Franks', but I'm not sure anymore. I remember that there was always a bunch of choppers out front any time of the day or night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My parents moved to Sagemont back in 1970. I came out in 73. Split time between houses on Kirkhill, Sageforest and Sagedowne.

The Breezeway was a stretch in my memory until I saw the post which mentioned the KIKKer sign. Instant recall.

Does anyone remember the temporary fire station in Sagemont? It was abandoned when they built the permanent station and became the hang-out for the older kids. We were too scared to go in. We would ride our BMX bikes, shoot BB guns, and watch the older kids on dirt motorcycles tear it up and smoke it up back there.

I do remember the kid getting electrocuted in the high voltage lines as my house backed up on the ditch where the lines ran.

How many folks remember the skate park? I think it was near Choate Rd and Gulf Freeway. Or the go-cart track that was near the flea market?

Can anyone name the pizza place that was located in the strip mall that had Safeway on Hughes and South Belt?

Those gas stations at the Gulf Freeway and South Belt had the flags during the gas crunches of 70s.

There also was an indoor roller rink I think near the baseball fields off Choate Rd, near the Brio Waste Site. Can anyone confirm?

Is the C&D burger place still there? My dad would cut the coupons out of the South Belt Leader for our Saturday burger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pizza place was Vauderville Pizza. C & D is still there, my parents still live out there and eat there quite often. Heck, I remember when C & D was a Dairy Queen.

Edited by Paul1956

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember some good friends of our family bought their 1st home in Scarsdale back in the early 1970's and then........it promptly flooded...........up to the eaves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a large metal building near the Breezeway Club. It was the old Alpha Fireworks plant. It moved there from Houston after the original location had a fire.

They used to have a big fireworks display every New Year's Eve and we'd stand out in our front yards in Genoa and watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to read about the area - I live off of Fuqua and I can imagine how undeveloped it was not too long ago (still lots of cattle around). Hall road is still there - it runs east from Telephone and I *think* continues almost to the new Monroe extension. Target et al took over the road but it continues on the east side until you either take Carmalee to Blackhawk or go to the Beltway. It picks up on the south side of the beltway until it almost hits Blackhawk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember Hall Road being a dirt road through a whole bunch of cow pastures...when I was a kid I had no idea we lived near Pearland, as it seems there weren't much access to Pearland from Sagemont/Beverly Hills. Maybe we just had no reason to go there.

Anybody remember the Skate Ranch on Blackhawk? I drank many suicides at their snack bar. Skated to Johnny Lee's "Lookin for Love", did the bunny hop and the hokey pokey there. I never had the money to play the hottest new game around, "Tron", but it was pretty sweet to watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody remember the Skate Ranch on Blackhawk? I drank many suicides at their snack bar. Skated to Johnny Lee's "Lookin for Love", did the bunny hop and the hokey pokey there. I never had the money to play the hottest new game around, "Tron", but it was pretty sweet to watch.

skate ranch was on almeda genoa...the blankhawk one was something else and it kills me i can't remember. for some reason kirkmont is coming to mind but i know that wasn't the name but i know i'm thinking back to 1980 or 81

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

skate ranch was on almeda genoa...the blankhawk one was something else and it kills me i can't remember. for some reason kirkmont is coming to mind but i know that wasn't the name but i know i'm thinking back to 1980 or 81

That road has several names now..before it crosses I-45 it's Edgebrook, then it's Clearwood until it crosses Fuqua, then it's Blackhawk. Why so many names? Couldn't find any other reference on historic aerials for Blackhawk, maybe you guys can give it a try.

When I think of that whole area, I always think of the Bullfrog, a club in some apts. off of Old Galveston Road and Edgebrook. It was a very popular club in the '70's, but that was before my partying time. The Diamondback Saloon was a popular club in the '80s, after the urban cowboy craze hit, was located close to Almeda Mall.

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't lived over there for many years, but my parents still do. It's changed so much - it's all concrete now. The whole area was

still pretty much wide open spaces when I escaped Dobie in '75. The whole Southbelt area seems so congested and compact now.

But I do remember....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The entire area from Almeda-Genoa south was ranchland when my family moved to Genoa in 1955. Humble Oil, now Exxon, operated the Friendswood Oilfield and for a brief period in the early 70s it was one of the more productive oilfields in the world. Friendswood started getting more development in the early and mid 60s. Before that it wasn't much but a Quaker church and a supermarket called Baker's that didn't sell alcohol or cigarettes. Humble Oil had some campgrounds for local Boy Scout troops, called Humble Woods, and I spent many a weekend camping there.

Before the development of Sagemont, there was Beverly Hills. The post office was in Genoa. The kids went to Jessup and Genoa elementaries, South Houston Junior High and High schools. In fact, my older sister spent a bit over a year at Pasadena High before South Houston High School was built.

Before Sagemont was built, there was an old building that would now be located in the middle of Beltway 8, just east of the Gulf Freeway. It was an orphanage of some sort.

That's all the memories I can call up for now.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zephyr, I know someone has talked about that orphanage in that location, before. Great to hear another story. I remember Genoa, used to cut throught those back roads, behind the drive-in, by the post office...led to Old Galveston Rd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried to dig up stuff on Beverly Hills and Eastridge Terrace but haven't had much luck. There are remnants of Beverly Hills brick entrance markers (off of Kingspoint toward Almeda Mall and also by Atkinson Elementary) but only one has the B and H left on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zephyr, I know someone has talked about that orphanage in that location, before. Great to hear another story. I remember Genoa, used to cut throught those back roads, behind the drive-in, by the post office...led to Old Galveston Rd.

That was probably me. I remember the building being on the inbound side of the freeway. It was diffenently some type of orphange because it had playground equipment out front. (you know us kids could spot a swingset or slide from a mile away, and going 60 miles an hour).

Anyway, it had a sign that read Dyer Home on the front gate. I remember that because that's the same name that appears on the smaller HISD stadium next to Delmar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.houstonar...-old-orphanage/

post # 16...Plumber, u did talk about it, Dyer Home. Maybe near Ellington AFB, but closer to the interurban/ Gulf Frwy? Must be sitting in Brazoria County. Can't find any records in the block books (harris co.) or maps.Stilll looking.

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/texas/txu-pclmaps-topo-tx-friendswood-1955.jpg

can you tell where it would be from this 1955 Friendswood map? Ellington Field is interesting, so detailed. Guessing the Home was near the Humble Camp?

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up down the street from the Gulfway. We could sit in the front yard and watch the movie. One night we got creative and had a kid sneak in to hook up a Radio Shack 2-way radio to one of the speakers. It worked through about 3/4 of "Cheyenne Autumn". I suspect a security guard found it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plumber, that's right. The Dyer Home. It was abandoned some time in the mid-60s and then it burned down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.houstonar...-old-orphanage/

post # 16...Plumber, u did talk about it, Dyer Home. Maybe near Ellington AFB, but closer to the interurban/ Gulf Frwy? Must be sitting in Brazoria County. Can't find any records in the block books (harris co.) or maps.Stilll looking.

http://www.lib.utexa...dswood-1955.jpg

can you tell where it would be from this 1955 Friendswood map? Ellington Field is interesting, so detailed. Guessing the Home was near the Humble Camp?

I'm guess west of the Humble Camp, and on the east side of the Gulf Freeway. There's a T-shaped mark there and that could be it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just tried to post an aerial shot of that bldg, from Historical Aerials. Apparently, I don't know how to, properly. Can someone give me a simple lesson on how to share from the site?

I found another pic of that bldg. Wanted to share it with u. Did it face I-45 South, close to the road? I think it was the t-shaped place. Was gone in the 1973 aerial.

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just tried to post an aerial shot of that bldg, from Historical Aerials. Apparently, I don't know how to, properly. Can someone give me a simple lesson on how to share from the site?

I found another pic of that bldg. Wanted to share it with u. Did it face I-45 South, close to the road? I think it was the t-shaped place. Was gone in the 1973 aerial.

Yes, it faced I-45 South. But like I stated in my earlier post (thank you Nena), I remember it being close to (just south of) an overpass, presumably present day Scarsdale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.historica...66021&year=1964

I figured it out, somewhat...Historic Aerials photo, 1964, by 1973 it's gone. In the photo., The T-structure (Dyer Home?) sits just north of Old Choate Rd.

When I look at it in modern-day setting on GoogleEarth, the old location falls on the east side of I-45, opposite a travel-trailer park (west side of freeway), and in between two businesses.

The (East side) left bldg. (also T-shaped) business is for sale or lease, in GoogleEarth, at least.

It once had truck trailers covering the "home" property, if that was indeed the exact location of Dyer Home.

The old t-shaped bldg. would have sat just east of where the billboard stands, if you are interested in the exact location.

Maybe plumber2 can verify the location by the 1964 photograph.

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a devil of a time finding information on the old orphanage. Of course, being in Dallas, the Texas History section of the local libraries is limited where Houston info is concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys bring back a flood of memories. I was stationed at Ellington in the late 60's and used to frequent the Breezway at Fuqua and Gulf Fwy. I also remember well the Dyer Home for Children, thats what the sign said at the time. Someone memtioned the Genoa post office. It was originally on Old Galveston Road and was later relocated to Almeda Genoa Road closer to the Gulf Frwy. It was only about a block from the Almeda Skate Ranch. Another of my favorite watering holes was the American Legion post across the street from Ellington. Remember the F-84 that was in front of the VFW post? When I first moved to the area, it was pretty desolate after you got past Almeda Genoa road on the Gulf Fwy.

 

heres an aerial of the old Breezway.

 

post-11998-0-46123000-1366574985_thumb.j

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting! The South Houston American Legion Post 490 is still there going strong, plane and all:

 

legionplane_ellington.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The aerial shot of the Breezeway and the aircraft at the American Legion post brought back a flood of memories. Thanks for sharing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have found the holy grail for all of the folks who grew up in the Southbelt area.  This blog contains tons of scans from Dobie High School yearbooks from the 70s and 80s, along with research on some other topics related to the area.  Get ready to waste some time:

 

http://southbelthouston.blogspot.com/

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember all these places, events, and some of the lore. I lived on Sagedowne Lane from about 1964 to 1981. The Breezeway and the factory leading into the neighborhood were still functioning when I was a kid. I don't recall the orphanage but I have found it in old Google aerial photos. Most of the place, Sagemont, was lapsed rice paddy and cattle country early on. There were still some old rusted water pumps out in the fields behind our house before Scarsdale came about. Or maybe they were remnants of early oil exploration wells. Who knows. We swam at Ellington AFB, built forts in the vacant fields, caught crawdads, played tee-ball and little league baseball just a few houses down at the end of Sagedowne. Created our own childhood legends and myths. Shopped at the Safeway, bought Dr Peppers at the 'Sev", attended Stuchbery, where we drilled for atomic blasts, Thompson ("George A Thompson is our school" was the catchy opening to the school song), J Frank, fished in ponds off hall road, ate at C&D (although I liked Ziggy's better) and road bikes and played yet more baseball in the future Superfund site out where the Goat-man lived. (I remember going out with dads/coaches to help build those fields, digging in the mud, running around areas where, for some reason, plants would not grow!) Anyway, the factory/warehouse was a machine shop/storage facility as I recall  and then vacant for a few years before becoming a flea market (some old guy there sold us skin mags even though we were obviously too young, legally) and then it became an indoor race venue. I think there were some outdoor go-kart tracks eventually but I can't be sure. In between uses the old warehouse was empty and guys with motorcycles in the neighborhood would ride and race inside the building and, since it was the 1970's,  do some drugs. For a while, the area directly south of the building was a sadly kept golf driving range. My brothers and I would go out at night and fill buckets with range balls and take them home to practice in the back yard. Just north of there was the old Breezeway, which we pretty much stayed clear of. I do remember as a teen prowling around the place either before or right after it closed and there was a ton of old metal junk piled out back: fridges, barrels, car parts, signs, and lots of old beer cans, bottles, and caps. Always expected to come across a body or some other freakishness, but never did. Breezeway burned to the ground. And years later, I think at the end of that road that eventually connected Southbelt with the I 45 feeder, there briefly was another bar, but I think it either was not welcome or just plain went out of business. I also know of the 'castle' on Sagewood but I'd rather not go into who lived there or any stories about it. It certainly was out of place in Sagemont. Anyway, one of the saddest things I remember is coming upon a scene at the end of Sagewood where it meets Southbelt. I saw the emergency vehicles and, as a kid does, followed on my bike down Sagewood to find a scene where a child had just been hit by a car, a hysterical woman standing on the porch of a home at the corner, fire and police consoling her, a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road, ambulance, firemen, blood, and wailing. The woman was wailing like I had never heard. I think she was the driver. Horrific scene.    Not sure why I wrote this....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...