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A Place Called Five Points in Downtown Houston? Where Was It?


sinister1

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Where was the 5-Points addition/sub division located at? I remember reading old books and 5-Points being right across from Frost Town/Barrio Alacran near now what is HWY 59 across from Minuet Maid Park. I remember that it was mentioned that it was made of up 5 main streets including Maple St. Thanks.

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Was this area called Five Points because the intersection of several streets created five corners? Or was it because it was such a bad part of town somebody thought it reminded them of the infamous Five Points area of lower Manhattan in NYC?

I've found Maple and Ruiz streets, there in the general area of present day Clayton Homes Housing Project. That was called Frost Town at one time, and I've read it was a bad place to be.

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Was this area called Five Points because the intersection of several streets created five corners? Or was it because it was such a bad part of town somebody thought it reminded them of the infamous Five Points area of lower Manhattan in NYC?

I've found Maple and Ruiz streets, there in the general area of present day Clayton Homes Housing Project. That was called Frost Town at one time, and I've read it was a bad place to be.

the 1st significant wave of Mexican immigrants to Houston in the early 1900s moved into the east side/2nd Ward and named the barrio el alacran (the scorpion), which kinda supports the idea that folks considered that to be the rough side of town

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The only area I have heard referred to as five points is where Main-Cavalcade-Studewood-20th streets come together, but I have seen an article from one of the Houston newspapers in the 1870s where the editor was railing against several crime ridden areas of town that he called "The Five Points".

Edited by isuredid
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Isuredid, I think you are correct and on to something. In Sigman Byrds article "Mr. Mass and the 5 points gangs. I does say that 5 points sat just a stone's throw away from Barrio Alacran and mentions that it had been there for some time. Mr. Mass mentions that he lived on Hamilton St. right before it runs in to Runnels. Do you remember where you saw the 1870's article?

post-9910-0-43685900-1342356573_thumb.jp

Edited by sinister1
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Isuredid, I think you are correct and on to something. In Sigman Byrds article "Mr. Mass and the 5 points gangs. I does say that 5 points sat just a stone's throw away from Barrio Alacran and mentions that it had been there for some time. Mr. Mass mentions that he lived on Hamilton St. right before it runs in to Runnels. Do you remember where you saw the 1870's article?

I've also remember hearing stories about downtown having a number of crime areas especially around and near the bayou. I've tried looking for anything that might direct me towards finding out where this area use to be and why it was called 5 Points but so far all I found was the news paper article by Mr. Byrd.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Speaking of that area...I saw photos of Shrimpf Alley ( in that general vicinity) on Pinterest, recently. They were the only ones I have ever seen. That was the area where the Clayton Homes were eventually built, after a donation from "said" party. It was done to clean up the area, supposedly.

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  • 2 months later...

Looking at my 1891 map of Houston, there's a Five Points-style interesection near the foot of Chenevert and Magnolia / Ruiz.

Very interesting find Poppahop. I remember seeing mention of this five points a few years ago but don't remember where. I wish we could find some documentation on this to confirm.

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http://blog.chron.com/bayoucityhistory/2010/09/life-in-schrimpf-alley

J.R. Gonzales' Blog (HAIF member) article - Mentions the barrio you speak of, sinister1.

There is also a link to historian Aulbach's research (see third paragraph from end of article). it states how violent the area was, back to the 1930's, 40's.

I looked for the Five Points name in my copy of Ethnicity in the Sunbelt - Mexican Americans in Houston, by Arnoldo De Leon. Chapter VI does have a section on the gang and crime you describe, see p. 105. It also lists other gang names and their histories.The accompanying footnotes give the original sources, the Houston Chronicle articles pertaining to the youth's crime. What a sad story that is.

I'll keep looking for the 5-points reference.

Edited by NenaE
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https://www.tsl.stat...ges/map0435.jpg

...see the neighborhood streets to the right of the "Courthouse" name (Downtown) on the map.

Vertical Streets: Gabel = McKee St. (bridge crosses north)

Spruce

Pine

Schrimpf = accompanies RR tracks

Hamilton (runs parallel to Hwy. 59)

Horizintal Streets: Arch

Race (short st. still visible - GoogleEarth) changes to Rain St.

Vine

Lyle

Bramble

Maple (still visible - GoogleEarth)

German (now Canal)

Magnolia (now Ruiz)

* the land changes can be found on the "Houstorian maps" collection, under :

1946 (NE) map

http://www.lib.utexa...ouston_ne46.jpg

1955 Topo. map (NE)

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

From what I have seen, the area of Five Points got obliterated by the Elysian Street viaduct, the numerous railroad tracks running through it, at one time, what looks like possible end tracts on the land, and the major building of the Hwy 59 spurs into the downtown area. It sits directly under and across from (west of) the Clayton Homes (previous Schrimpf Alley) area. A power plant also sits near the bayou, close to the school, in one early map.

The following link is from the book mentioned earlier. It is an early chapter that describes the barrio development. Shows Rusk Elementary on a map, lists it at 1701 Maple St., describes RR boxcars used for housing for RR workers, and shanties, etc.

Thanks for sharing your original article. I have long been fascinated by these areas and their "blue-collar" history.

I find the everyday people the most interesting to research.

I am sad that so many of the structures, such as the row houses, have been lost.

http://books.google....tY54aXOaE&hl=en#

... @ p. 10, especially interesting.

Edited by NenaE
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Oops, that should be "Directly under HWY 59 and west of Clayton Homes".

And another Aulbach link , with a nice Sanborn map, and overlay of separation of property lines.

http://www.epperts.com/lfa/BB84.html

Yes that would be Frost town. AKA Barrio De Alacran, thanks for sharing. I've know about Alacran\Frost Town for a while now but what got my attention is 5 points. Thanks for the links you shared I will check them out. : )

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Yeah, it amazed me, that after all that, no mention of 5 Points anywhere! I want to know too. Could it possibly refer to the five bends in the bayou? Just a wild shot. I really think it probably has to do with streets meeting at a point.

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  • 2 years later...

Okay so I finally figured this out, the area was sub-divided it into 5 sections that included:

 

1. Frost

2. Hodge

3. Moody

4. Floeck

5. Schrimpf


Okay so I finally figured this out, the area was sub-divided it into 5 sections that included:

 

1. Frost

2. Hodge

3. Moody

4. Floeck

5. Schrimpf

 

post-9910-0-39517500-1421709970_thumb.jp

Edited by sinister1
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