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Why do they call it the East End?


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I am from the East End and proud of my wharf-rat heritage. My wife is not from Houston and knows nothing about the east side. We have an investment property about a mile east of downtown and we were going to meet some perspective tenants.

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As we were going down Harrisburg she saw a construction sign about the new "East End" light rail line.

She asked a very logical question....Why do they call it East-End? The "East" she understood, but why "End"? She asked what does the End refer to.. the end of ???? I did not have the answer.

I never thought about it until she asked. I have been calling it the East End all my life.... because that is what it is called (Not Eado).

Only Houston's East side uses "End" description.

Anyone have any idea where the name "east End" came from?

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My grandmother used to live on Avenue H near 66th Street, and later on Edgewood Street near Rusk Street. And my great grandparents had lived there even before that. My grandfather moved somewhere into the East End from east Texas during the depression. When I gave them a driving tour of their old neighborhood several years ago, neither was initially familiar with the East End moniker. Terms that conjured memories were "2nd Ward", "Eastwood", "Magnolia Park", and "Harrisburg". I got the sense that even though Houston had annexed Magnolia Park and Harrisburg in the 1920's, things remained fairly provincial for decades to follow.

If I had to speculate, it'd be that the term came about at some point between the 1970's, when controvery surrounding the Harrisburg Freeway became a big deal and united various neighborhoods, and 1999, when the Greater East End Management District was created. By that time, the City limits had expanded out about as far as they could go, which was only a fraction of a mile past the East Loop. For Houston, the East End really is the end.

Edited by TheNiche
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My grandmother used to live on Avenue H near 66th Street, and later on Edgewood Street near Rusk Street. And my great grandparents had lived there even before that. My grandfather moved somewhere into the East End from east Texas during the depression. When I gave them a driving tour of their old neighborhood several years ago, neither was initially familiar with the East End moniker. Terms that conjured memories were "2nd Ward", "Eastwood", "Magnolia Park", and "Harrisburg". I got the sense that even though Houston had annexed Magnolia Park and Harrisburg in the 1920's, things remained fairly provincial for decades to follow.

If I had to speculate, it'd be that the term came about at some point between the 1970's, when controvery surrounding the Harrisburg Freeway became a big deal and united various neighborhoods, and 1999, when the Greater East End Management District was created. By that time, the City limits had expanded out about as far as they could go, which was only a fraction of a mile past the East Loop. For Houston, the East End really is the end.

2nd Ward, Eastwood, Magnolia Park and Harrisburg have so much more charm and a unique sound, anyway, compared to East End. East End isn't bad, but I like those better. And of course now they're going with the glossy magazine EaDo...EaDoDo.

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A very interesting question.

How do idioms come about? This neighborhood could just as easily been called the East Side (it's happened elsewhere.) And why is Montrose called The Montrose by many Houstonians?

I like the designation East End. It's unpretentious and organic.

Houstonians know and embrace a term which has gained acceptance without the assistance of some advertising agency.

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I grew up hearing (years during 1960's) my grandmother say "I've always loved the East End"...of Houston, that is, or she would use a more specific term, "Pecan Park". She was born in the early 1900's.

But don't know why, other that it's the obvious location label for that side of Houston.

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2nd Ward, Eastwood, Magnolia Park and Harrisburg have so much more charm and a unique sound, anyway, compared to East End. East End isn't bad, but I like those better. And of course now they're going with the glossy magazine EaDo...EaDoDo.

yeah, but 2nd Ward is just a part of the East End, Eastwood is just a part of the East End, Magnolia Park and Harrisburg too. They're all parts of the East End.

eado (which was once upon a time called many things, but most recently it was known as the Warehouse District) is also just a part of East End.

As far as why and how the East End got it's name, I don't know, I never heard my grandmother say it, but heard my mom say it, just as smooth as she would say any other name she's been using to call any area of the city that she's been using forever. And she grew up on Truett and Dismuke (or close enough).

I suppose I could ask her how long she's known it as the East End, and why they call it that (if there is another reason than the obvious one that at one point it was truly the east end of town.

As far as the eado name (other than my personal wishes that the people who came up with the name should eat doodoo) I am afraid it may be inevitable for that area to be called eado. look at uptown, I still defiantly call it the galleria area, but 9 times out of 10 someone corrects me now and I don't have the patience to tell them why it's called that, and they likely wouldn't care either.

20 years from now is anyone even going to remember the name galleria area? Are we going to have the same thing here, someone says warehouse district, and then 9 times out of 10 someone will say 'where?' and when you tell them just east of 59, they'll say, 'oh, you must mean I-69, and it's always been called eado.'

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Uptown and Midtown have taken hold, but they sound OK. EaDo just flat sounds stupid. NoDo never stuck, either. In 20 years, I doubt anyone will even remember EaDo...except for the unemployed marketing wiz who coined it.

Something else will be thrown out that sounds better, and that will catch on. Perhaps 'Easton', or someting else similar. EaDo just sounds wretched, and therefore no one will use it unless they are forced.

Edited by RedScare
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Uptown and Midtown have taken hold, but they sound OK. EaDo just flat sounds stupid. NoDo never stuck, either. In 20 years, I doubt anyone will even remember EaDo...except for the unemployed marketing wiz who coined it.

Something else will be thrown out that sounds better, and that will catch on. Perhaps 'Easton', or someting else similar. EaDo just sounds wretched, and therefore no one will use it unless they are forced.

I too hope you are correct. I hate the 'do' name and would wish an even worse happening to whomever came up with that term.

Interesting though, that while we in my family generally do say "east end" now, when someone asks where in Houston we live, my husband will always say "on the southeast side toward Galveston". He's been calling our area either 'east side' or 'southeast side' for over 40 years. I think that he thinks folks from other states will better visualize where we are in relation to Galveston. And that those folks will understand the side name better than the end name. I might add that this happens when we are traveling and meeting other people who have friends or relatives that live in Houston (which usually turns out to be Conroe or Katy, etc).

And yes, I still call it the 'galleria area'. And it's still the Astrodome to me and my friends.

I agree with bigtex in that East End is unpretentious. I like it.

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I guess to really answer the topic question we would have to do some library research and check old Post or such for the first references. I would guess that East End wasn't used until relatively recently as that side of town was, as The Niche pointed out, the cities of Harrisburg and Magnolia Park and Houston 2nd Ward for many early years.

And for some reason our main area designations are mostly generic and used in many cities;

Downtown-universal

Midtown-common

Uptown-common (and ours has no directional congruency with Midtown or Downtown)

Medical Center-generic sounding (enough that it is the name of a former TV series)

North Side-generic

The Wards-generic

EaDo-contrived, so trying to sound cool and hip, wannabe NY, lame.

East End-sort of unique and logical, although one is reminded of London.

Our best ones come naturally; Museum District, Warehouse District, Montrose, Energy Corridor, Alief, Chinatown (or is it New Chinatown, or Little Asia, or place where you find noodle.... :huh: .

So really, who cares. It all works as pretension is a part of life too.

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Something else will be thrown out that sounds better, and that will catch on. Perhaps 'Easton', or someting else similar. EaDo just sounds wretched, and therefore no one will use it unless they are forced.

Red.. if Easton ever takes off.. I'm taking full credit..... If it doesn't go anywhere; it's all yours.

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I grew up hearing (years during 1960's) my grandmother say "I've always loved the East End"...of Houston, that is, or she would use a more specific term, "Pecan Park". She was born in the early 1900's.

But don't know why, other that it's the obvious location label for that side of Houston.

I agree that "East End" is the obvious label for that side of town. I hope it sticks around.

The oldest members of my family never use specific neighborhood names or regional monikers when when referring to various parts of the city. Rather, they tend to use street names as a way to let you know which area they are talking about. It is more common to hear them say "over there off of Harrisburg", rather than "in the East End."

The next generation will use regional monikers such as "East End" or "North Side" when describing parts of town. I think this is due to the fact that Houston was once a much smaller city than it is now. At one time, most Houston residents probably knew the general location of Harrisburg Blvd. However, as the city grew to cover a larger geographic area and many residents moved in from other places, it became necessary to invent and use such self-explanatory regional monikers as "East End" to refer to areas of the city.

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It's interesting to note how these areas of town have adopted new names over time. While it's technically Riverside on my side of the Brays, I've heard people call this area Riverside Terrace (which is the name of the area north of Brays Bayou), MacGregor Area, Museum District, Midtown (funny how it jumped right over 288), South Central, Third Ward (technically correct), Medical Center Area, and as I heard from my 78 year old uncle yesterday during a conversation about old neighborhood names, Sugar Hill. The last one was used in the 50s-70s by the black community when wealthy black professionals began moving into the area. They took the Sugar Hill moniker from Sugar Hill in Harlem, which was a popular place of residence for wealthy blacks during the Harlem Renaissance.

Edited by JLWM8609
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Has anyone ever polled the EaDonians about what they want to name their neighbourhood?

They had a contest as mentioned above.

The thing that gets me about these folks who live over there is that, in their initial mission statement/neighborhood description, they never mention the East End http://www.eadohouston.com/index.html. They are clearly attempting to SEPARATE themselves from the East End (what they really mean is, "we're part of Downtown, really. That icky barrio is that-a-way <_< ), and are actually the East Downtown Management District, as opposed to the East End Management District. If they were proud of being part of the East End, they could've offered as a name Eastgate, the Gateway to the East End. But nah.

So clearly these are the pompous asses we thought they were.

But what they're doing will ultimately bring them what they think they want; a dense, noisy, anything goes, underground, overpriced Frankenabe.

Edited by Lotus
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They had a contest as mentioned above.

The thing that gets me about these folks who live over there is that, in their initial mission statement/neighborhood description, they never mention the East End http://www.eadohouston.com/index.html. They are clearly attempting to SEPARATE themselves from the East End (what they really mean is, "we're part of Downtown, really. That icky barrio is that-a-way <_< ), and are actually the East Downtown Management District, as opposed to the East End Management District. If they were proud of being part of the East End, they could've offered as a name Eastgate, the Gateway to the East End. But nah.

So clearly these are the pompous asses we thought they were.

But what they're doing will ultimately bring them what they think they want; a dense, noisy, anything goes, underground, overpriced Frankenabe.

There was a contest, however you didn't have to live there to participate and the name was decided upon arbitrarily--not by a vote. I think that it's unfair to characterize people that live there as pompous asses, either. After all, they have the balls to forsake Midtown and live on the "wrong" side of US 59. They're still pioneers in their own right.

In fact, I participated in the contest, strongly making the case for "East Downtown" or "East Downtown Warehouse District", which is how it was widely known. I think that the downtown connection should be played up because the only thing that has ever divided it from downtown proper is a one-block-wide freeway. That's all! And I think that the barrier should be downplayed. ...apparently they agreed with me. Unfortunately, the decider was a douche.

Edited by TheNiche
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The thing that gets me about these folks who live over there is that, in their initial mission statement/neighborhood description, they never mention the East End http://www.eadohouston.com/index.html. They are clearly attempting to SEPARATE themselves from the East End (what they really mean is, "we're part of Downtown, really. That icky barrio is that-a-way <_< ), and are actually the East Downtown Management District, as opposed to the East End Management District. If they were proud of being part of the East End, they could've offered as a name Eastgate, the Gateway to the East End. But nah.

They separate themselves because the two areas are in two separate superneighborhoods. East Downtown is part of superneighborhood 61, which also includes downtown. I think what people know as the East End combines superneighborhoods 63 and 64.

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/SN/docs_pdfs/COH_SN_map_2008.pdf

The East Downtown Management district area of influence does not cover any of the neighborhoods traditionally associated with the East End. The Greater East End Management District covers them.

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They separate themselves because the two areas are in two separate superneighborhoods. East Downtown is part of superneighborhood 61, which also includes downtown. I think what people know as the East End combines superneighborhoods 63 and 64.

http://www.houstontx...SN_map_2008.pdf

The East Downtown Management district area of influence does not cover any of the neighborhoods traditionally associated with the East End. The Greater East End Management District covers them.

Well, whether or not they say they are officially part of the East End or not, I've always thought of the East End starting at 59 and going all the way to 610, and then from Buffalo Bayou on the north to 45 on the south.

What I think something is and what something actually is, are usually not the same.

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They separate themselves because the two areas are in two separate superneighborhoods. East Downtown is part of superneighborhood 61, which also includes downtown. I think what people know as the East End combines superneighborhoods 63 and 64.

http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/SN/docs_pdfs/COH_SN_map_2008.pdf

The East Downtown Management district area of influence does not cover any of the neighborhoods traditionally associated with the East End. The Greater East End Management District covers them.

Superneighborhood #88, Lawndale Wayside shares a council with Greater Eastwood, SN #64.

Lawndale Wayside takes in Houston Country Club Place, Idylwood, Forest Hill, Gus Wortham Golf Course, and Mason Park among other areas. All in the East End.

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There was a contest, however you didn't have to live there to participate and the name was decided upon arbitrarily--not by a vote. I think that it's unfair to characterize people that live there as pompous asses, either. After all, they have the balls to forsake Midtown and live on the "wrong" side of US 59. They're still pioneers in their own right.

In fact, I participated in the contest, strongly making the case for "East Downtown" or "East Downtown Warehouse District", which is how it was widely known. I think that the downtown connection should be played up because the only thing that has ever divided it from downtown proper is a one-block-wide freeway. That's all! And I think that the barrier should be downplayed. ...apparently they agreed with me. Unfortunately, the decider was a douche.

I have no idea whether they're pompous asses or not, how could I? I really meant to call the naming/website creator one. But they definitely are not trying to identify with the East End. So yeah, from a marketing standpoint the We Are Downtown :angry2: angle is probably the one that had the best chance of gripping people. But if a freeway is no obstacle, then Midtown should've tried for SoDo instead and maybe it would've gained traction sooner. :rolleyes: The truth is I like that neighborhood and see it as a real success, now and in the future, as far as generating interest and development in the East End area eventually, despite the silly name.

But seriously, I have fun on this forum, fun with words and venting thoughts and ideas freely. To coin a Yogi Berraism; internet forum posts are 1) half truth, 2) half opinion masquerading as truth, 3) half entertainment.

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Formally the district is East Downtown, but in marketing the district is nicknamed "EaDo"

There was a contest, however you didn't have to live there to participate and the name was decided upon arbitrarily--not by a vote. I think that it's unfair to characterize people that live there as pompous asses, either. After all, they have the balls to forsake Midtown and live on the "wrong" side of US 59. They're still pioneers in their own right.

In fact, I participated in the contest, strongly making the case for "East Downtown" or "East Downtown Warehouse District", which is how it was widely known. I think that the downtown connection should be played up because the only thing that has ever divided it from downtown proper is a one-block-wide freeway. That's all! And I think that the barrier should be downplayed. ...apparently they agreed with me. Unfortunately, the decider was a douche.

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Formally the district is East Downtown, but in marketing the district is nicknamed "EaDo"

A lot of people think of downtown as being inside the 59/45/10 triangle, anything outside of that box, is outside of downtown, anything inside of that is downtown.

Just like The Heights used to extend almost down to Washington, and now it stops at i10.

If you want to get really formal, we can call it 3rd Ward, but I bet they would rather be associated with the East End than 3rd Ward.

HoustonWards1920.jpg

Edited by samagon
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They really should rebuild the downtown freeways - 45, 59, 10 - underground...

this would certainly give east downtown more credibility as being part of downtown.

they could also double as storm sewers when we have apocalyptic floods.

and when the demise of cars comes eventually, they can be turned into regular sewers.

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Yeah, 59 needs to be submerged. It would connect the East side of Downtown with all the new development much easier. It's too bad 59 is only submerged near the interchange with 45.

A submerged freeway is still a barrier unless its covered over with at least park land... ( and that would then be a tunnel, which so many houstonians think is impossible) Regardless, just look at 59. Montrose is no more connected and at one with University Place just because you now get from one to the other via an aesthetically pleasing bridge instead of an underpass.

Even if 59 were fully submerged, you'd still have the 6 block long GRB acting as a huge barrier for 1/3 of the way.

Downtown and Easton shall never be one.

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They really should rebuild the downtown freeways - 45, 59, 10 - underground...

For years I have had the thought (fantasy really) that the Pierce Elevated should be "deconstructed" and the Pierce and Calhoun (presently St. Joseph PARKWAY :angry2: it's not a "parkway" dammit) surface streets could become one broad avenue like the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The blocks between the two streets could be planted with alles of trees like North and South Blvd in the Shadowlawn neighborhood or Unter den Linden in Berlin. Additionally, there could be a walking path (like Heights Blvd.) and vendor's carts. All that walking could make one want a cool drink or light snack.

What to do with the thousands of cars that use the Pierce Elevated each day? Screw them ;) or maybe just redirect traffic to US 59 and Interstate 10. 2016 Main could become as chic as some of the apartments along Park Ave. in Manhattan (roll up your sleeves). There would definitely need to be upgrading of some of the businesses fronting this grand boulevard. Pappas' Bar-B-Que could be left as is though because this is Texas after all and, heck, I like bar-b-que.

Edited by Specwriter
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A submerged freeway is still a barrier unless its covered over with at least park land... ( and that would then be a tunnel, which so many houstonians think is impossible) Regardless, just look at 59. Montrose is no more connected and at one with University Place just because you now get from one to the other via an aesthetically pleasing bridge instead of an underpass.

Even if 59 were fully submerged, you'd still have the 6 block long GRB acting as a huge barrier for 1/3 of the way.

Downtown and Easton shall never be one.

they could always bury GRB too..:unsure:

For years I have had the thought (fantasy really) that the Pierce Elevated should be "deconstructed" and the Pierce and Calhoun (presently St. Joseph PARKWAY :angry2: it's not a "parkway" dammit) surface streets could become one broad avenue like the Champs-Elysees in Paris. The blocks between the two streets could be planted with alles of trees like North and South Blvd in the Shadowlawn neighborhood or Unter den Linden in Berlin. Additionally, there could be a walking path (like Heights Blvd.) and vendor's carts. All that walking could make one want a cool drink or light snack.

What to do with the thousands of cars that use the Pierce Elevated each day? Screw them ;) or maybe just redirect traffic to US 59 and Interstate 10. 2016 Main could become as chic as some of the apartments along Park Ave. in Manhattan (roll up your sleeves). There would definitely need to be upgrading of some of the businesses fronting this grand boulevard. Pappas' Bar-B-Que could be left as is though because this is Texas after all and, heck, I like bar-b-que.

You know, since I jumped off the deep end in this thread about 2 posts ago, they should just redo the whole 59/45/10 interchange into a MASSIVE roundabout.

thinking about this more, it's a perfect solution, it would kind of suck if you are coming up the gulf freeway and want to get on 59 south, but since it would be just a bunch of cars going counterclockwise anyway, you have double the freeway capacity.

not only would it likely be the worlds largest roundabout (and most heavily trafficked), but it would be the worlds first fully underground roundabout that doubles as a storm sewer!

Edited by samagon
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A submerged freeway is still a barrier unless its covered over with at least park land... ( and that would then be a tunnel, which so many houstonians think is impossible) Regardless, just look at 59. Montrose is no more connected and at one with University Place just because you now get from one to the other via an aesthetically pleasing bridge instead of an underpass.

One of the original plans for widening 59 between Hazard & the split with Spur 527 included building a park over the freeway trench in an attempt to reconnect the adjacent neighborhoods. The park component of the project was probably dropped due to its expense.

Edited by Dan the Man
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A submerged freeway is still a barrier unless its covered over with at least park land... ( and that would then be a tunnel, which so many houstonians think is impossible) Regardless, just look at 59. Montrose is no more connected and at one with University Place just because you now get from one to the other via an aesthetically pleasing bridge instead of an underpass.

Even if 59 were fully submerged, you'd still have the 6 block long GRB acting as a huge barrier for 1/3 of the way.

Downtown and Easton shall never be one.

Implode GRB..Just kidding'.

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howdy, east enders!

my fiance and i recently moved into the 'hood. we are really starting to explore different parts of the east end, and are enjoying our home purchase decision thus far.

just wanted to chime in---lots of informative threads in here, i'm sure we'll run into somebody from these boards some time.

Edited by rene
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Uptown-common (and ours has no directional congruency with Midtown or Downtown)

look at uptown, I still defiantly call it the galleria area, but 9 times out of 10 someone corrects me now and I don't have the patience to tell them why it's called that, and they likely wouldn't care either.

I still go with 'the Galleria area' as well. 'Uptown' was also a canned rebranding marketing effort, just like 'EaDo'. The local business association sponsored the rebranding because they thought it gave the area more tone than 'Galleria area'. Originally Uptown was the area around the Shamrock Hilton at Main and Holcombe, hence there was some directional congruency with Midtown and Downtown. I used to have an old phone book that listed tons of businesses in Uptown, but they were all along South Main.

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I still go with 'the Galleria area' as well. 'Uptown' was also a canned rebranding marketing effort, just like 'EaDo'. The local business association sponsored the rebranding because they thought it gave the area more tone than 'Galleria area'. Originally Uptown was the area around the Shamrock Hilton at Main and Holcombe, hence there was some directional congruency with Midtown and Downtown. I used to have an old phone book that listed tons of businesses in Uptown, but they were all along South Main.

Would you by chance remember what year that old phone book was? I'm not doubting you, just wondering when the Shamrock area was called Uptown.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to venture a guess that it was originally referred to as the "East End" because of it's eastern border with the Port of Houston. Back in our early history, Houston didn't extend eastward beyond that area. If I remember correctly, Houston's eastern borders once ended where Harrisburg and Buffalo Bayou met. My thoughts are in no way conclusive, but they seem as good an answer as any, I suppose.

Edited by RobNPhx
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  • 1 month later...

Magnolia Park, Central Park and Harrisburg were annexed in the late 1920's - 1926, I believe. They were outside the city limits. I'm assuming 2nd Ward was considered the limits of the East End of Houston until that time.

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