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Oak Farms Dairy


IronTiger

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OK, as I alluded to earlier in a different post, I did drive down Westheimer, roughly from Montrose (McDonald's) to Westpark (where the Randalls was, that closed a year or so back). The experience was absolutely incredible, as I attempted to soak in the tour de force with Journey's "Escape" on the stereo.

 

But between the sights ("wow, RMS has a rotating sign" or "huh, so that's St. John's, I need to watch Rushmore some time"), I started to wonder about the history of this road and its many businesses. Most of them I was able to figure out with the help of other resources, but there was one I wasn't able to crack. It was the Oak Farms Dairy. I attempted to search in the HAIF threads and took a peek into arch-ive.org, but I have no idea when it stopped producing milk (after all, Oak Farms was the one that had milk in school lunches) and/or became a self-storage facility today. I also found it interesting that it's probably one of the few reclaimed buildings in Houston (how many buildings outside of downtown have been converted to new uses?)

 

Any more information on it?

 

 

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OK, as I alluded to earlier in a different post, I did drive down Westheimer, roughly from Montrose (McDonald's) to Westpark (where the Randalls was, that closed a year or so back). The experience was absolutely incredible, as I attempted to soak in the tour de force with Journey's "Escape" on the stereo.

 

But between the sights ("wow, RMS has a rotating sign" or "huh, so that's St. John's, I need to watch Rushmore some time"), I started to wonder about the history of this road and its many businesses. Most of them I was able to figure out with the help of other resources, but there was one I wasn't able to crack. It was the Oak Farms Dairy. I attempted to search in the HAIF threads and took a peek into arch-ive.org, but I have no idea when it stopped producing milk (after all, Oak Farms was the one that had milk in school lunches) and/or became a self-storage facility today. I also found it interesting that it's probably one of the few reclaimed buildings in Houston (how many buildings outside of downtown have been converted to new uses?)

 

Any more information on it?

 

I kind of remember one east of S. Shepherd.  There was also one on Waugh between W. Gray and Allen pkwy.

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Well I do know there is an Oak Farms dairy currently at 3417 Leeland.  It is an active operation, but their main building is a milk white art deco building.

 

I'm no help for the actual topic 

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Edited by cspwal
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The history that I know of the building is that Oak Farms used it up until the early 90's. It was sometime around 1990 or 91 that they left the facility. It was left vacant I believe, and was occasionally used as a meeting/gala space until 1998 when Public Storage bought it and redeveloped. Public Storage expanded the building quite a bit. Although I don't think the buildings are connected other than doorways (meaning the original walls from the dairy still stand). From this view everything with black on the roof was added by Public Storage along with the light house, and outlying buildings. The only original area is the white. I believe the decision had to do with multiple issues at the plant including an ammonia leak, and leaking petroleum tanks.

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Was that always Oak Farms? Why am I getting a picture of Carnation in my head? I certainly know the building. Heck, I worked at the Academy right by it. "Thank you for calling Academy Sporting Goods #15 Westheimer, this is Joe. How may I direct your call?" Lol, ah the memories this site triggers.

That's amazing to hear they were using it for meeting space in the 80s. It was pretty old and worn by then, and by the mid 90s vagrants had really beaten the old dairy up.

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Was that always Oak Farms? Why am I getting a picture of Carnation in my head? I certainly know the building. Heck, I worked at the Academy right by it. "Thank you for calling Academy Sporting Goods #15 Westheimer, this is Joe. How may I direct your call?" Lol, ah the memories this site triggers.

That's amazing to hear they were using it for meeting space in the 80s. It was pretty old and worn by then, and by the mid 90s vagrants had really beaten the old dairy up.

I believe the Carnation plant was where the Montrose Whole Foods is now.

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I remembered a Camellia Ice Cream place on Westheimer in this area from a long time ago.  They had the biggest shakes and malts in town. I looked around and found an ad from 1947 that I've atttached below.  I then did a map search street view for the Camellia address given in the ad and look what came up... also attached below.  Looks like Oak Farms replaced Camellia.  Interesting that in the Camellia ad, it says it's located one block north of Shepherd, when it's actually one block east of Shepherd.

 

post-873-0-13662600-1437685013_thumb.jpg

 

post-873-0-56008500-1437684681_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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The 1944 image on Google Earth shows this as a vacant lot. The 1948 city directory lists Camellia Creameries at 2006 Westheimer, and the building appears on the 1953 aerials on Google Earth. Camellia is listed at that location in 1959, which is the last of the city directories on Ancestry.com. The address is listed to John R. Rich in earlier years.

 

Officers listed in the 1948 directory:

Earle North - President (Wife Floy, home at 7310 Main, Also ran Earle North Buick on Milam at Hadley. Home address is Main between Greenbriar and Glen Haven) ( all info on addresses from 1952 directory)

E J Spears - VP (Wife Elizabeth, home at 10 Wynden)

R Allison Parker - Sec-Treas (Wife Hilma, home 6647 Buffalo Speedway. Also involved in the Buick dealership)

FL Douglas - Gen'l Mgr (Wife Maxine, lived at 2632 Pittsburg)

 

 

 

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It looks like Earle North Buick was gone by 1955, as there was a Packard dealer there per http://www.arklatexpackards.com/WHawkins.html. In the 1958 directory, Earle North is no longer listed, and R Allison Parker is shown running an insurance agency from 6 Longfellow Lane, which is a pretty high end address in Shadyside. It looks like R Allison Parker died in 1985, and is buried in Forest Park on Lawndale.

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This probably deserves a different thread but could there have been a relationship (by marriage perhaps) between Earle North and R Allison Parker ('Al' Parker). There was once a Buick dealership in midtown called Al Parker Buick. I think it moved to Kirby Drive before it became Hub Buick. Hub Fossier (discussed elsewhere in this forum) was the one-time general manager of Al Parker Buick.

 

I once heard someone refer to 'Al Parker,' titular owner of the Buick dealership, as being one of the "nutty Norths." Apparently, there was some interesting history with the North family as with the Nils Sefeldt family, another Houston automobile dealership owener (Volvo in the latter case).

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This probably deserves a different thread but could there have been a relationship (by marriage perhaps) between Earle North and R Allison Parker ('Al' Parker). There was once a Buick dealership in midtown called Al Parker Buick. I think it moved to Kirby Drive before it became Hub Buick. Hub Fossier (discussed elsewhere in this forum) was the one-time general manager of Al Parker Buick.

 

I once heard someone refer to 'Al Parker,' titular owner of the Buick dealership, as being one of the "nutty Norths." Apparently, there was some interesting history with the North family as with the Nils Sefeldt family, another Houston automobile dealership owener (Volvo in the latter case).

 

The address for Al Parker Suzuki on the State Franchise tax site is the same as for Earle North Buick. Unfortunately, the city directories for the 50's on Ancestry aren't complete, which makes things hard to look up.

 

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The address for Al Parker Suzuki on the State Franchise tax site is the same as for Earle North Buick. Unfortunately, the city directories for the 50's on Ancestry aren't complete, which makes things hard to look up.

 

I don't remember Earl North in Houston at all but I believe there was an Earl North in Austin in the 60s, had a dealership right down on Town Lake as I recall.

 

 

Yes, now that I think about it, I believe Al Parker moved to a site on the Katy Freeway but I couldn't say exactly where. There was a lot of moving of car dealerships, and some renaming, in the 1960s and 70s from near downtown to the suburbs.

 

I'll quit with the car dealership thing now and let the thread get back to its proper topic. :blush:

Edited by Specwriter
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Yes, now that I think about it, I believe Al Parker moved to a site on the Katy Freeway but I couldn't say exactly where. There was a lot of moving of car dealerships, and some renaming, in the 1960s and 70s from near downtown to the suburbs.

 

I'll quit with the car dealership thing now and let the thread get back to its proper topic. :blush:

 

11666 Katy Freeway at Kirkwood. I saw an ad from the 80's when I was looking for information.

 

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There's not a lot on the County Clerk's site. The Shurgard property has been replatted, and there are properties sold by OFD entities to Shurgard, but I can't find where Oak Farms became the owner. I think Oak Farms bought out some neighboring properties to make a larger piece of land.

 

Camellia did sell the property at Telephone and Dumble to Jack in the Box in 1966

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