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Origin of the name for "West Mount Houston Road"


Reefmonkey

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I searched the archives for this, couldn't find a thread on this topic, so I was wondering, what's the story on "West Mount Houston Road" or the lesser talked about (on radio traffic reports) "East Mount Houston Road"? I imagine that there was once a town called "Mount Houston" that this road led to, but why would anyone name a place in flat old Harris County "Mount" anything? Anyone know the history?

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Still don't know the reasoning behind the name.

Mount Houston is a community in north central Harris County, Texas. It is east of U.S. Highway 59, near the Dyersdale oil field.[1]

Mount Houston was established along the Houston, East and West Texas Railway. At that time it was 10 miles (16 km) away from Houston. A post office opened in 1910. In 1914 Mount Houston had 100 people. It featured several market gardeners. It included two churches, a sawmill, and a lumber company. The post office closed in 1918. By the 1980s Mount Houston did not significantly increase in size. Within 1 mile (1.6 km) of Mount Houston, three schools and three churches had been established.[1]

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I found a blog in the Houston Chronicle website talking about how there was once a mountain out there, popular with picnickers and naturalists, but it was razed about the turn of the last century. For a split second I thought "what the hell...?" then noticed the date of the blog was April 1, 2010.

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I found a blog in the Houston Chronicle website talking about how there was once a mountain out there, popular with picnickers and naturalists, but it was razed about the turn of the last century. For a split second I thought "what the hell...?" then noticed the date of the blog was April 1, 2010.

LOL! I did the sameting back when I saw it..... Then I saw the date.

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Still don't know the reasoning behind the name.

Mount Houston is a community in north central Harris County, Texas. It is east of U.S. Highway 59, near the Dyersdale oil field.[1]

I don't seem to recollect there being a salt dome in the vicinity. I think that the nearest one is in Humble. But that would explain it, if there were.

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Check out this clip on Mt. Houston. It was quite majestic! http://swamplot.com/...-mount-houston/

Yeah, I already found that one.

I found a blog in the Houston Chronicle website talking about how there was once a mountain out there, popular with picnickers and naturalists, but it was razed about the turn of the last century. For a split second I thought "what the hell...?" then noticed the date of the blog was April 1, 2010.

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Having lived in the area, I'd be interested in knowing the origin of Gulf Bank. Anyone have any ideas?

I always assumed that it was a comment about Houston being on the "bank" or coast of the Gulf, but I have found that there is a bank called Texas Gulf Bank, founded in 1913. Maybe the road was named for them?

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...

Interesting responses...  If you notice the freeway signs, it says "W.Mt. Houston", not "Mount".  Mt. is an abreviation for Montgomery, as in Montgomery Co.   W. Mt.- Houston Road took you from Houston to West Montgomery County.  The town of Montgomery is also that direction.   W. Montgomery road still exist from N. Shepherd to where it hits hwy 249 and still takes you to... W. Montgomery Co.

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  1. That map shows an area located around the Mt Houston/Hirsch/Homestead Road area today. The old Mt. Houston VFD (defunct) station was there...now burned down.  I had read some things on it in the past...like Aldine or Spring it was a community all its own. Now nothing remains of it. Kind of like Brubaker or Higgs.

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I think everyone here is forgetting or overlooking the actual topic of this thread, that is the origin of the name of WEST Mount Houston Road (emphasis on west mine).

 

West Mount Houston Road is nowhere near the now defunct community of Mount Houston. The road doesn't go to that area. So why'd they name the road West Mount Houston Road? That's what this thread is supposed to be about.

 

From what I've found, the term West Mount Houston Road didn't even come into existence until 1960, when FM 2430 was redesignated FM 149.  Prior to that, the road going from West Montgomery Road to U.S. 75 was noted on maps as Airline Link Road. In 1963, West Mount Houston Road was further extended to Airline Drive, where it currently ends.

 

My guess is that at least at one time the plans were to link the East Mount Houston Road by U.S. 59 to West Mount Houston Road, as there are no east-west roads that go from U.S. 59 to the then U.S. 75 (or later the North Freeway) between Little Yorn and Aldine-Bender. This obviously was never done in the 50 years since, probably because since 1979 Keith-Wiess Park has stood in the way. Perhaps the original owners of the park, James and Margaret Elkins, didn't want to sell right of way. Who knows? That's my shot in the dark. 

Edited by Firebird65
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  • 2 weeks later...

The "West" part of West Mount Houston Rd. comes from the original patentee of a Mexicanland grant for the area that is generally where George Bush International Airport is today his name was Gadi West. He was the brother of my third great grandfather Levi Oliver West. Anything in northeast Houston with West attached to it is named after Gadi West.

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  • 1 month later...

The "West" part of West Mount Houston Rd. comes from the original patentee of a Mexicanland grant for the area that is generally where George Bush International Airport is today his name was Gadi West. He was the brother of my third great grandfather Levi Oliver West. Anything in northeast Houston with West attached to it is named after Gadi West.

 

Huh?!? The "west" in West Mount Houston Road comes from the fact it is the western segment of the road. There is an East Mount Houston Road and a West Mount Houston Road. It has nothing to do with any person. How did you get that?!?

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  • 7 months later...

Interesting responses...  If you notice the freeway signs, it says "W.Mt. Houston", not "Mount".  Mt. is an abreviation for Montgomery, as in Montgomery Co.   W. Mt.- Houston Road took you from Houston to West Montgomery County.  The town of Montgomery is also that direction.   W. Montgomery road still exist from N. Shepherd to where it hits hwy 249 and still takes you to... W. Montgomery Co.

 You provide an intriguing theory, but I am not convinced.   The only part of W. Mt. Houston that is extant isn't aligned to run from the historic center of Houston (downtown) to the town of montgomery. Most roads in the area with two names like that were running between the two towns named, not between a town and a county. Also, there already is a West Montgomery Road in the area, that even intersects West Mt Houston, so it seems unlikely that two so similarly named roads as West Montgomery Road and West Montgomery Houston Road would be built so near each other. Third, according to the Texas State Historical Association, there is a community called Mount Houston out in the area. I think it is more reasonable to believe that the road was named for the town of Mount Houston. It is close enough, esp, taking into account possible realignments, for that to be the case.

 

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrmuq

 

I think everyone here is forgetting or overlooking the actual topic of this thread, that is the origin of the name of WEST Mount Houston Road (emphasis on west mine).

 

West Mount Houston Road is nowhere near the now defunct community of Mount Houston. The road doesn't go to that area. So why'd they name the road West Mount Houston Road? That's what this thread is supposed to be about.

 

No, I assure you, everyone else is right in their approach to the topic I started, I am honestly curious about the "Mount" thing.

 

The "West" part of West Mount Houston Rd. comes from the original patentee of a Mexicanland grant for the area that is generally where George Bush International Airport is today his name was Gadi West. He was the brother of my third great grandfather Levi Oliver West. Anything in northeast Houston with West attached to it is named after Gadi West.

That doesn't sound right at all. Occam's razor - the simplest and most likely answer is anything in northeast Houston area with a "West" attached to it means it is the westernmost part of a feature.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Looks like about 3 miles between eastern end of West Mount Houston & western end of East Mount Houston. Not a perfect alignment, but lots of streets in Houston are not exactly straight. There is a large park & a bunch of open/commercial/industrial area between these ends. Could it be that these were once connected, as a dirt or shell road, maybe back in early 20th or 19th century?

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OK folks here's the story on Mount Houston. The Texas State Historical Association says:

 

"MOUNT HOUSTON, TEXAS is east of U.S. Highway 59 near the Dyersdale oilfield in north central Harris County. It was founded on the Houston, East and West Texas Railway ten miles from Houston. A post office operated there from 1910 until 1918.

 

In 1914 Mount Houston had two churches, a sawmill, a lumber company, numerous market gardeners, and a population of 100. By the 1980s three churches and three schools were within a mile of the townsite, but the community had not significantly increased in size."

 

The Dyersdale oilfield was in the general area where East Mount Houston intersects with Mesa Rd in northeast Harris County.

 

So there you have it. At one time there was only Mount Houston Road, which ran east of US 59 out to the Mount Houston community. At some point over the years, the road was extended to the west of 59, and that extension was named West Mount Houston.

 

This still doesn't explain where the name "Mount Houston" comes from. I'm guessing there's a rise in the otherwise flat Gulf Coast terrain that's high enough to qualify as a hill, and some early jokester named it Mount Houston.

Edited by FilioScotia
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I've seen this discussed online before.  I don't recall the details, but I think that conversation eventually led to someone presenting evidence that "Mt. Houston" was conjured up as a joke.  

 

Anyway, I think the topic once inspired someone to suggest that we could excavate huge amounts of "wasteland" in New Mexico, transport it to Houston, and build our own mountains.  (I think it was Houston Post columnist Lynn Ashby who came up with that idea.)

 

Edited by ArchFan
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  • 2 years later...

 

No, I assure you, everyone else is right in their approach to the topic I started, I am honestly curious about the "Mount" thing.

 

It is possible that there were churches in the area with names like "Mount Zion," "Mount Calvary", and the like.  Maybe the town called itself "Mount Houston" to give itself an evangelical flavor. 

 

If the names of the churches back in 1914 could be found, it might lend a clue.

 

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There was indeed a Mount Houston, if the oldtimers from my childhood were to believed. At some point in history, excavators were used to level it. Now, I was too young back then to really pay attention to what the details were and, of course, that generation has all gone to a better place, but I know that unless they were all telling a whopper of a lie that there was indeed a Mount Houston at one time. Perhaps it was a salt dome that once existed out there?

On a somewhat related note, I can personally attest to a completely unrelated Mount in Houston. Actually, I guess it'd still be a part of Copperfield. I haven't been out there in years, but where West Road used to come to an end at Barker-Cypress, there was a large mountain of earth there. Not a man made pile of dirt, instead it was a naturally formed mound. You could see it from a good distance away, given the development out there was still pretty sparse.

Edited by Purpledevil
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  • 1 year later...

This is an old topic, but I think the answer is staring us in the face in the old topo map posted above. It clearly shows that the area where it is includes and is surrounded by a number of high spots above greens bayou.  Back in those days, if it was prairie vs forested, the small rise would be apparent and a reason for naming the little town Mount Houston after a local name for the area would make sense.  The top is 15 feet above greens bayou in that area. Not much in the US but a lot for HOUSTON., especially if the rest of the area is flat.

7ABA35F4-E164-4444-ABC0-A9BAE8C8E30D-1051-0000004FB25A4A77.jpeg

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On 5/13/2013 at 6:06 PM, Urban Commando said:

 

  1. That map shows an area located around the Mt Houston/Hirsch/Homestead Road area today. The old Mt. Houston VFD (defunct) station was there...now burned down.  I had read some things on it in the past...like Aldine or Spring it was a community all its own. Now nothing remains of it. Kind of like Brubaker or Higgs.

 

 

Oh man, do I feel bad... I posted right after this and didn't notice it. So I hope Urban Commando sees my reply from today.

 

I have done some extensive research into the history of Aldine ISD, which, of course, includes Brubaker and Higgs. I've found that neither of these places, unlike Aldine and Westfield, was ever a town or community.

 

Higgs was simply the location of two schoolhouses for Harris County Common School District 29 - one for whites and one for blacks. The school for whites started in 1876, before the origin of District 29. They were located on Lee Road at Garners Bayou, across from what is now Bush Airport. While I can't tell you their exact spot, the Houston Airport Systems Supply Management office at 18600 Lee Road is pretty much where those schools were. According to all the maps I've seen, there was never any kind of identifiable grid of streets or any kind of development there. They were just schools in the middle of nowhere, which was not an uncommon occurrence in rural Texas of the time.

 

Brubaker was a subdivision of land on the east side of East Montgomery Rd. (Airline Dr.) started in 1910. But it wasn't a community or even a neighborhood. Just an absentee landowner who divided his land and sold it as smaller lots.  There are plenty of those types of subdivisions in the area, and a lot of them even existed in 1910 or before. None of them constituted a town either. According to an old map I found, the Brubaker school was located at East Montgomery (Airline) at Blue Bell, pretty much where the Little York Fire Department station is now. 

 

Neither Brubaker nor Higgs ever appear on any map as a town, village or hamlet. The only time they show up on any maps is when the schools are depicted. Aldine and Westfield, in contrast, are always shown as towns on every map of the era, and still do even today. 

 

In 1985, Aldine ISD celebrated its 50th anniversary. In their literature, they tended to give the impression Brubaker and Higgs were communities. As I've been commissioned to update and expand that history for Aldine ISD, I've had to correct that misimpression. I did some research into what exactly makes for a town or community, and here's what I've come up with and what I use to distinguish Aldine and Westfield from Brubaker and Higgs.

 

Towns:

·       Are areas where people live close together, unlike in the rural countryside

·       Have a defined area

·       Have stores, post offices, churches and schools where people can get an education, find jobs and do business

·       Have and project a sense of commonality, community and identity

·       Are on a map (people outside the town recognize and accept this identity)

 

In all my research, I've never come across anyone who ever said they were from Brubaker or Higgs. Neither had a defined area and none ever appeared on a map as a community. 

 

Sorry to be four years late in posting this. Now that I've typed it, I hope you're still around to read it. LOL! 

Edited by Firebird65
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  • 2 years later...

There definitely was a community named Mount Houston. It even had a post office, 1910-1918. Inasmuch as the founding postmaster Aquilla Standiford, who applied to the post office for that name, was from Indiana and went back to Indiana the very next year never to return to Texas, it is quite possible/probable that he named it in jest (perhaps in reference to the 15-foot "mountainous" elevations in the area shown on the topographical map posted earlier).

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While it's possible that these locations were named 'in jest', it also seem possible that it was a way to give some distinction to an otherwise undistinguished area as a marketing tool.


Think of the streets and subdivisions in Houston that incorporate words like Glen, Brae, Woods, Valley, etc. into their names, when such a topographical feature is patently absent.

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8 minutes ago, dbigtex56 said:

While it's possible that these locations were named 'in jest', it also seem possible that it was a way to give some distinction to an otherwise undistinguished area as a marketing tool.


Think of the streets and subdivisions in Houston that incorporate words like Glen, Brae, Woods, Valley, etc. into their names, when such a topographical feature is patently absent.

 

Who wouldn't want to live in the crisp mountain air, in the shadow of the majestic peak of Mount Houston? Why, it's practically "Colorado on the Bayou".

 

After all, it's not like it was the first time a little creative marketing was employed in Houston.

houston-ad-2.jpg

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There is something in this that nobody has seen fit to mention. Everything we know about this area known as Mt. Houston says it was generally a sawmill town with a lumber company. Those of us old enough to remember sawmill towns also remember the gigantic mountains of sawdust waste alongside the mill. Every little town on the highways through east and southeast Texas had a mill and a sawdust mountain. Many were nearly a hundred feet high. This is just a guess, but I think over time the community around the one in northeast Harris County acquired the nickname Mt. Houston because it had a big sawdust mountain. The road leading to it was named Mt. Houston Road, which makes me think the community  was named after the road. 

 

sawdust-1-purdy.jpg

                                                                                                             

We don't see those giant mounds anymore because European timber mills came up with a productive and profitable use for the sawdust. They combined it with wood chips and using adhesive resins they created particle board. It didn't take long for American mills to catch on and start producing particle board. That's when the sawdust mountains disappeared. 

Edited by FilioScotia
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