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Another entry in Houston history via newspaper series is Wolfe Nursery. This clipping I've had for a while, but never shared as far as I know. Wolfe Nursery was a chain of plant nurseries, hitting its zenith in the early 1990s (this is from 1994, the peak of their success). They went bankrupt in 1998 and the chain vanished shortly thereafter. They had stores in other cities too but this is Houston history so it's Houston locations. Here's an ad from it, and I've also done the work of tracking down the locations listed on the ad.

 

7IzN4Wi.jpg

 

14250 Bellaire - renovated into strip mall (main building) and warehouses (former greenhouse area)
8603 Westheimer - replaced by Target and the stores in front of it (Chick-fil-a, etc.), looks like former flagship
3600 Southeast Beltway 8 (3600 East Sam Houston Pkwy. S) in Pasadena - Houston Garden Centers
10939 Katy Freeway - later Houston Garden Centers and later Big Tex Trees (also 10910), now home to Carvana (razed and rebuilt)
25598 North Freeway - this was The Woodlands location (I-45 and Rayford), address obtained from newspaper archives, it was converted into Taquerias Arandas
4525 Gulf Freeway (La Marque) - now Team Mancuso Powersports South
435 FM 1960 West (Cypress Station) - the roadside sign is the same shape I remember distinctive of the chain, seems to be vacant with a number of fly-by-night tenants over the years
916 S. Mason Road - renovated into smaller stores
1445 W. Bay Area Blvd. - it was at the very end of the concrete cul-de-sac behind the strip mall and to the east of Toys R Us, it was demolished around 2005 and is now part of the drainage lot. It is clearly visible in the 2004 Google Earth shot though. Internet records say it was later Teas Nursery.
1618 West Loop North - Houston Garden Centers
4545 Beechnut - later Teas Nursery, it is clearly a nursery of some sort today but locked up with no signage visible, likely wholesale operation
10602 FM 1960 West - now Bizarre Bazaar
13802 Murphy Road - later Houston Garden Center, now Fort Bend Mechanical (uses foundation of old building), appears to have been abandoned around time underpass was preparing for work
22205 Eastex Freeway - now Golf Cars of Houston

 

The lone non-Houston store is College Station. The store at 6900 East Bypass is now 2300 Earl Rudder Freeway and was extensively remodeled in the mid-2000s to become a Cavender's Boot City. I didn't give the fate of the Bear Creek store (couldn't nail down exact address, a tad too blurry).

 

Enjoy!

 

Edited by IronTiger

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leaderpics_0030a.jpg

 

undated photo from the South Belt Leader offices (never printed that I've found)

 

I can't remember when Wolfe left Almeda Mall, but likely when they opened up at Baybrook. 

 

edited to add, found this: https://www.arivify.com/property/search/ru6JDq0VQ

 

with Wolfe nursery listed in sale dates in 1984 and 1986 (name changes) and then sold again in 1991, probably when they left for Baybrook.

 

 

Edited by torimask
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Even older Wolfe Nursery stuff! What's strange is that most of those locations above were newer locations. The ones they had in 1988 were almost completely different. This is from Houston Post, 1988.

 

ZJ9Upef.jpg

 

This allows us to see some of the pre-1990s locations! There are a few overlap locations but not many, as if they completely changed their store stock.

 

I-45 at Rayford - because of the ambiguous address, it's hard to tell even where it was

10110 Kleckley - see the photo of @torimask above, the Goodyear is still there (Wolfe is now P&S Complete Auto Repair)

6735 Larkwood - appears to be Kiva Bath & Kitchen now, but that building was around back then (it's possible it was 6734 Larkwood, now a strip center)

10814 S. Post Oak - integrated into adjacent strip center

4195 Spencer Hwy. - now Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting

9550 Hempstead Hwy. - later American Wheel & Tire, though this was demolished several years ago as part of the 290/610 project

Kieth Harrow and Hwy. 6 - Later replaced by what appears to be a gas station and Houston Garden Centers (which was much smaller than Wolfe Nursery), the garden center was taken out for the parking lot to H-E-B while the gas station was later torn down and rebuilt

"20305 I-10 West" - if this is Brookshire, as Google Maps tells me, this is a truck stop

11321 Northwest Freeway - later Houston Garden Centers, but for several years this was not a garden center. It was closed several years ago and demolished more recently.

1700 West Loop - possibly a typo, as by 1988 the area had become home to dense buildings

17002 North Freeway - lost in a freeway widening in the early 1990s, now Garcia's Auto Sales

10815 FM 1960 - appears to be Houston Garden Centers now (10843), note that this co-exists with 10602 FM 1960 West

Corner of Richmond and Hwy. 6 - existed for sure, but a Home Depot by 1995

8707 West Loop - torn down for PACE Warehouse Club, which didn't last all that long (now Planetary Cycles, Hobby Lobby today)

5000 Westpark - this large artificial hill area later served as Houston Garden Centers before it was torn down in 2001 for the tollway, due to the hill it also served as others including an amphitheater, waterslide, artificial ski slope, and others

 

Also note the "Wolfe Nursery at Sears" stores, these stores only lasted a brief time in the Sears garden center areas before they too were closed. (I have another thread on this).

 

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I feel certain there was also a Wolfe Nursery in the 8300 block of the North Freeway about where JK Restaurant Supply is today. This would have been sometime in the 1970s. Does anyone else remember a Wolfe Nursery at this location?

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@IronTiger I think the 1700 West Loop South address is accurate, Tiger. Seems there was a Wolfe there, and the HPD horse stables were next door. Getting to be too many years.

@Specwriter You know, you've really jogged the ol' memory. I believe you are dead on with your memory. It sat on the east side of 45 right before West Gulf Bank, not too far past Canino. I believe the new Auto Nation facility has been built where the nursery once stood. Prior to the new Auto Nation, that was where Fred Fincher Motors stood  for umpteen years.

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23 hours ago, Specwriter said:

I feel certain there was also a Wolfe Nursery in the 8300 block of the North Freeway about where JK Restaurant Supply is today. This would have been sometime in the 1970s. Does anyone else remember a Wolfe Nursery at this location?

 

It wasn't Wolfe Nursery. It was called Palms Nursery. It was on the west side of the freeway. Here's a photo of the sign, looking north along the I-45 feeder between Stuebner Airline/North Shepherd and Gulf Bank. This photo ran in the North Freeway Leader in May 1980. I found it while doing research on Aldine ISD's history at the Leader's offices.

 

Technically the Palms Nursery is outside Aldine ISD, but as I grew up near here, I copied the photo anyway. The Aldine ISD boundary here is on the other side of the Gulf Wind Motel.  The Gulf Wind Motel (which amazingly still exists although I can't imagine who would stay there) is at 8509 North Freeway, so that's pretty close to 8300. You had the right vicinity.

Untitled-1.jpg

Edited by Firebird65

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5 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

 

It wasn't Wolfe Nursery. It was called Palms Nursery. It was on the west side of the freeway. Here's a photo of the sign, looking north along the I-45 feeder between Stuebner Airline/North Shepherd and Gulf Bank. This photo ran in the North Freeway Leader in May 1980. I found it while doing research on Aldine ISD's history at the Leader's offices.

 

Technically the Palms Nursery is outside Aldine ISD, but as I grew up near here, I copied the photo anyway. The Aldine ISD boundary here is on the other side of the Gulf Wind Motel.  The Gulf Wind Motel (which amazingly still exists although I can't imagine who would stay there) is at 8509 North Freeway, so that's pretty close to 8300. You had the right vicinity.

Untitled-1.jpg

 

Great photo. Now that's the Houston I knew and loved. :lol: 

 

Also visible, albeit partially obscured, is the old Houston Motor Inn sign in the foreground. When I was growing up, the rate listed on the sign was like a hot-sheet-based inflation tracker - my earliest memory of it was "Couple $8" in the late 60s. Then it became "Couple $10". Then "Couple $12". It's hard to make out in this photo since it's behind the Palms Nursery sign, but it looks like it might be "Couple $15" here. I don't remember with certainty how high the price eventually got before the sign was torn down, but I can recall "Couple $18", and I'm pretty sure it broke the $20 barrier at some point.

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I definitely remember the location at 8603 Westheimer, since in the 1980s Westheimer was somewhat of a cruising strip and I was out there often. (Lower Westheimer was the main cruise zone and often clogged.)

 

What I remember is that the Wolfe parking lot was a hangout for the pickup truck crowd, which was the crowd that was called the "kikkers" at Sharpstown High School. I seem to remember typically seeing a gathering of pickup trucks on the parking lot late at night.

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9 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

Great photo. Now that's the Houston I knew and loved. :lol: 

 

Also visible, albeit partially obscured, is the old Houston Motor Inn sign in the foreground. When I was growing up, the rate listed on the sign was like a hot-sheet-based inflation tracker - my earliest memory of it was "Couple $8" in the late 60s. Then it became "Couple $10". Then "Couple $12". It's hard to make out in this photo since it's behind the Palms Nursery sign, but it looks like it might be "Couple $15" here. I don't remember with certainty how high the price eventually got before the sign was torn down, but I can recall "Couple $18", and I'm pretty sure it broke the $20 barrier at some point.

 

 

Yeah, it looks like $15 here on the sign. Not sure if it actually got to $20, but I do remember $18 before it met its demise. Whenever I saw that sign, I knew I was close to home. 

 

The story this photo accompanied was about billboard and sign blight. The caption credits the photo to Houston city councilman Lance Lalor. 

Edited by Firebird65

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22 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

 

It wasn't Wolfe Nursery. It was called Palms Nursery. It was on the west side of the freeway. Here's a photo of the sign, looking north along the I-45 feeder between Stuebner Airline/North Shepherd and Gulf Bank. This photo ran in the North Freeway Leader in May 1980. I found it while doing research on Aldine ISD's history at the Leader's offices.

 

 The Gulf Wind Motel (which amazingly still exists although I can't imagine who would stay there) is at 8509 North Freeway, so that's pretty close to 8300. You had the right vicinity.

Untitled-1.jpg

Firebird, I do remember Palms Nursery and its associated building with the very thin pinkish brick but I can't shake the thought there was some other nursery (some sort of retail plant store) on that same side of the freeway but closer to that wedge shaped piece of land where Veterans Memorial (then Stuebner-Airline) intersected with the access road.

Honestly, having grown up in the area in the 60s and 70s then being away from Houston until the late 80s and relocating in the southeast part of Harris Co. once I did return, it is easy for me to get confused about what was where and when. So much has changed. I definitely remember the Gulf Wind Motel and also marvel that it is still there.

Edited by Specwriter

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4 hours ago, Specwriter said:

Firebird, I do remember Palms Nursery and its associated building with the very thin pinkish brick but I can't shake the thought there was some other nursery (some sort of retail plant store) on that same side of the freeway but closer to that wedge shaped piece of land where Veterans Memorial (then Stuebner-Airline) intersected with the access road.

Honestly, having grown up in the area in the 60s and 70s then being away from Houston until the late 80s and relocating in the southeast part of Harris Co. once I did return, it is easy for me to get confused about what was where and when. So much has changed. I definitely remember the Gulf Wind Motel and also marvel that it is still there.

 

That wedge-shaped piece of land at North Freeway/North Shepherd/Veterans Memorial was originally an ARCO gas station - one of only two I ever saw in the area (the other down Stuebener Airline at West Mount Houston). Sometime in the early 1980s it closed and was repurposed several times. I know at one point it was an Avis Rent-a-Car location where they sold used cars from their rental fleet (I bought one from there in 1986). I think that place only lasted for a few years. It's certainly possible it could well have been a fly-by-night nursery or at least plant store of some kind at some point. That may be what you are thinking of. 

 

EDIT: OK, I did a little research. That wedge-shaped property is 8201 North Freeway. Today it is a Texaco station owned by MT Village Market LLC. They have owned it since 2014. The gas station was built in 1995. Sun Development Corp. owned the land when the gas station was built. They're well known for gas stations, although what brand they usually sell escapes me. 

 

Sun bought the land from Avis in 1994. The records only go back to 1984, and Avis is listed as owned from at least 1984 to 1994. So it doesn't appear that was a nursery at any time after the 1980s. I can't tell what it was beforehand. Looking at old aerial photos, it doesn't appear to have been anything in 1973. 

 

If there was a nursery around there (and I'm not saying you're wrong) it must have been further north along the feeder road south of Palms Nursery. I'll try there later on.

Edited by Firebird65

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1 hour ago, Firebird65 said:

 

That wedge-shaped piece of land at North Freeway/North Shepherd/Veterans Memorial was originally an ARCO gas station - one of only two I ever saw in the area (the other down Stuebener Airline at West Mount Houston). Sometime in the early 1980s it closed and was repurposed several times. I know at one point it was an Avis Rent-a-Car location where they sold used cars from their rental fleet (I bought one from there in 1986). I think that place only lasted for a few years. It's certainly possible it could well have been a fly-by-night nursery or at least plant store of some kind at some point. That may be what you are thinking of. 

 

EDIT: OK, I did a little research. That wedge-shaped property is 8201 North Freeway. Today it is a Texaco station owned by MT Village Market LLC. They have owned it since 2014. The gas station was built in 1995. Sun Development Corp. owned the land when the gas station was built. They're well known for gas stations, although what brand they usually sell escapes me. 

 

Sun bought the land from Avis in 1994. The records only go back to 1984, and Avis is listed as owned from at least 1984 to 1994. So it doesn't appear that was a nursery at any time after the 1980s. I can't tell what it was beforehand. Looking at old aerial photos, it doesn't appear to have been anything in 1973. 

 

If there was a nursery around there (and I'm not saying you're wrong) it must have been further north along the feeder road south of Palms Nursery. I'll try there later on.

Mobil sold the land to Avis in 1978. I can't find the owner previous to Mobil online. Yet another item to take me to the County Clerk's office.

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13 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

 

 

Yeah, it looks like $15 here on the sign. Not sure if it actually got to $20, but I do remember $18 before it met its demise. Whenever I saw that sign, I knew I was close to home. 

 

The story this photo accompanied was about billboard and sign blight. The caption credits the photo to Houston city councilman Lance Lalor. 

 

That sign really stood out at night, when it was lit up. In today's world of retina-searing, oversized LED panels that have people reaching for their sunglasses at night, it probably wouldn't merit a second glance, but back then it was quite noticeable from a distance. 

 

Lance Lalor is a name that I hadn't thought of in a long time. Hard to imagine a city controller now behaving as he did. For those who weren't around then (or have forgotten):

 

The Self-Destruction of Lance Lalor

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4 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

If there was a nursery around there (and I'm not saying you're wrong) it must have been further north along the feeder road south of Palms Nursery. I'll try there later on.

 

 

 

Well now, how's this for timeliness? I just went on to Facebook and J.R. Gonzalez posted on his Bayou City History page the movie theatre ads from 1973. On the same page was an ad for... wait for it... Wolfe Nursery. So I clicked on it, and while it was very hard to read, I could make out the address of one location as 8211 North Shepherd. Which, naturally, just happens to be, yup, you guessed it, the wedge-shaped property at North Shepherd and the North Freeway. (Businesses along the North Freeway feeder road often had addresses as North Shepherd back then, like Grantham's Texaco at I-45 and West Mount Houston. I remember it having a sign saying North Shepherd.)

 

Now I know J.R. posts on this page, but while his blog post today was on movies, I wonder if he read this thread because that Facebook posting couldn't have been more timely if I had emailed him and asked him to look up an old Wolfe Nursery ad.

 

So yes, Specwriter is right. There was a Wolfe Nursery on that site... in the early 1970s. As Mel Allen used to say: How about that!

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

Mobil sold the land to Avis in 1978. I can't find the owner previous to Mobil online. Yet another item to take me to the County Clerk's office.

 

It was Wolfe. (See two posts above this one).

 

Wow, 1978 to Avis? I had no idea it was a car place that long.

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16 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

(Businesses along the North Freeway feeder road often had addresses as North Shepherd back then, like Grantham's Texaco at I-45 and West Mount Houston. I remember it having a sign saying North Shepherd.)

 

Firebird, since you mentioned it, do you have any info on when that Texaco station became Grantham's Texaco? I recall that it was owned/operated by a gentleman named Mr. Futrell when I was very young, who at the time lived a few houses down the street from my parents. 

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17 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

 

It was Wolfe. (See two posts above this one).

 

Wow, 1978 to Avis? I had no idea it was a car place that long.

The property was transferred to Mobil in 1969 by CH and Patricia Stanfield, who took title to the property from JH Slaughter in 1965. I haven't found where the subdivision was split out of A-565 Menefee. One record says that the F C Trickey subdivision was unrecorded.

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1 hour ago, mkultra25 said:

 

Firebird, since you mentioned it, do you have any info on when that Texaco station became Grantham's Texaco? I recall that it was owned/operated by a gentleman named Mr. Futrell when I was very young, who at the time lived a few houses down the street from my parents. 

 

I've never been able to find out when Grantham Texaco opened. However, I'd bet real money (and I'm not a betting man) it was between late 1966 and 1968. The reason is that station was of the "Matawan" design, which one document I found said first debuted in 1964. A 1964 and a 1966 aerial photo I've found don't show the station, although the 1966 pic shows the Kroger next door.  I know for a fact that store opened in October 1966 as I've seen the newspaper ad for it. So my guess would be between late 1966 and 1968.

 

Oddy enough, I am looking through the old Aldine High yearbooks now trying to figure out when girls were allowed on the tennis team. Grantham Texaco was a frequent yearbook advertiser because Tom Grantham, the owner, was an AISD board member during this time. Grantham Middle School is named for him.

 

Unfortunately, Classmates.com is acting up and I'm having trouble accessing it. I'm pretty sure I've seen ads for Grantham Texaco in the 1970 and maybe the 1969 yearbooks. Maybe I'll try again later and if I find the ad, I'll either edit this post or make a new reply.

 

As for Mr. Futrell, someone has brought his name up around here before. I'm assuming that was you? There was another Texaco station across the freeway at the corner of Hidden Valley and the feeder road. That was called, appropriately enough, Hidden Valley Texaco. I know I've seen ads for it in the yearbook and I'm almost certain Mr. Futrell's name is on it. That station opened, as far as I can tell, in 1964.  There were, at one point, three gas stations on the west side feeder road between W. Mt. Houston and Gulf Bank - the Shell station, a Phillips 66 station and a Texaco. Here is a photo from a mid-60s AISD bond brochure that illustrates this. The photo looks north along the feeder road just to the south of the intersection with Hidden Valley Dr. You can clearly see the Texaco (and it was of a different design than Grantham), then the Phillips 66 then the Shell. 

Untitled-1.jpg

Edited by Firebird65

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31 minutes ago, Ross said:

The property was transferred to Mobil in 1969 by CH and Patricia Stanfield, who took title to the property from JH Slaughter in 1965. I haven't found where the subdivision was split out of A-565 Menefee. One record says that the F C Trickey subdivision was unrecorded.

 

JH Slaughter? Mrs. JH Slaughter was a fifth grade teacher at the Marrs School in the 1930s and the district's first choir director. Their son played football for Aldine in the late 1930s and early 1940s. I wonder if they lived there? I'm looking at a 1953 aerial photo of that spot and while I'm no CIA photo analyst and the pic is grainy, there does appear to be something there in that time period. But that spot is not in Aldine ISD. Never was. So I guess if they lived there, the son attended the Aldine schools because his mom was an employee. That happens even now. 

 

Where are you getting this information on properties? Is it something I can access?

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2 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

 

JH Slaughter? Mrs. JH Slaughter was a fifth grade teacher at the Marrs School in the 1930s and the district's first choir director. Their son played football for Aldine in the late 1930s and early 1940s. I wonder if they lived there? I'm looking at a 1953 aerial photo of that spot and while I'm no CIA photo analyst and the pic is grainy, there does appear to be something there in that time period. But that spot is not in Aldine ISD. Never was. So I guess if they lived there, the son attended the Aldine schools because his mom was an employee. That happens even now. 

 

Where are you getting this information on properties? Is it something I can access?

Harris County Clerk's online database under real property http://www.cclerk.hctx.net/applications/websearch/RP.aspx . There are online images of documents from about 10 years ago until now, I think. One of the deeds transferring property to 8223 North Freeway llc (the entity that owns the rest of the triangle) had a reference to the Slaughter and Stanfield deeds. I use HCAD to tie some of it together, plus the block book maps on the Tax Office website. You have to be creative sometimes to find things, and there are spelling errors that make it harder. I also had to use various spellings of trickey, and figured out that some of the transfers reference the Menefee abstract.

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2 hours ago, Firebird65 said:

Unfortunately, Classmates.com is acting up and I'm having trouble accessing it. I'm pretty sure I've seen ads for Grantham Texaco in the 1970 and maybe the 1969 yearbooks. Maybe I'll try again later and if I find the ad, I'll either edit this post or make a new reply.

 

As for Mr. Futrell, someone has brought his name up around here before. I'm assuming that was you? There was another Texaco station across the freeway at the corner of Hidden Valley and the feeder road. That was called, appropriately enough, Hidden Valley Texaco. I know I've seen ads for it in the yearbook and I'm almost certain Mr. Futrell's name is on it. That station opened, as far as I can tell, in 1964. 

1

 

OK, I've finally gotten Classmates.com to work. 

 

Grantham Texaco (9350 North Freeway) has its first ad in the Roundup yearbook in the 1969 edition (meaning it most certainly was open and operating in 1969, and very likely for at least some portion of 1968). 

 

Hidden Valley Texaco (no address given, but most likely 9155 North Freeway) has an ad in the 1966 Roundup. Its owner is listed as C.M. Futrell. 

 

BTW... Palms Nursery is listed in the 1970 edition, located at 8503 North Freeway. No ads for Wolfe, however.

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On 12/16/2017 at 5:17 PM, Firebird65 said:

 

As for Mr. Futrell, someone has brought his name up around here before. I'm assuming that was you? There was another Texaco station across the freeway at the corner of Hidden Valley and the feeder road. That was called, appropriately enough, Hidden Valley Texaco. I know I've seen ads for it in the yearbook and I'm almost certain Mr. Futrell's name is on it. That station opened, as far as I can tell, in 1964.  There were, at one point, three gas stations on the west side feeder road between W. Mt. Houston and Gulf Bank - the Shell station, a Phillips 66 station and a Texaco. Here is a photo from a mid-60s AISD bond brochure that illustrates this. The photo looks north along the feeder road just to the south of the intersection with Hidden Valley Dr. You can clearly see the Texaco (and it was of a different design than Grantham), then the Phillips 66 then the Shell. 

 

 

I may well have brought up Futrell and his Texaco station here before. Clearly I got the two Texaco stations confused - the one I was thinking of would have been open earlier than 1968, so a 1964 opening for Futrell's sounds like the right timeframe. I'll have to send my father that photo, as i'm sure it will jog some memories for him. 

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On 12/15/2017 at 11:06 PM, Firebird65 said:

So yes, Specwriter is right. There was a Wolfe Nursery on that site... in the early 1970s. As Mel Allen used to say: How about that!

Hot damn! So maybe my memory is not so bad after all. :) Than you J. R. (coincidence or not) and Firebird65.

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There was a Wolf nursery right next to the San Francisco Steak House. I believe it's now a Target. I know because I managed a furniture store there in the early nineties and found many check stubs etc relating to Wolf. It was a 24 acre site and still had the greenhouses in back. There were trees growing out of the greenhouses that had to be 30 years old at least.

 

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Wolfe (Beechnut) was one of my first jobs - I learned a lot there about plants! And I still have my old name tag...

wolfe.jpg

Edited by sevfiv
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My name is James Hammond , I was a driver for Wolfe. I was very proud to drive one of the nicest black peterbuilts  in Texas . I drove out of Ft. Worth. I delivered plants and merchandise all over Texas. Yes I delivered to every Wolfe in Houston. I will always be proud of driving for the oldest nursery group in the U.S.A.

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The Wolfe Nursery at Shepherd and North Freeway was there in 1982, with 8223 North Shepherd being listed for "Wolfe Garden-Land Nursery", with the building (and the address, though changed to North Freeway later) is the same and operating as Cash America Pawn today.

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On 6/30/2017 at 1:00 PM, torimask said:

leaderpics_0030a.jpg

 

undated photo from the South Belt Leader offices (never printed that I've found)

 

I can't remember when Wolfe left Almeda Mall, but likely when they opened up at Baybrook. 

 

edited to add, found this: https://www.arivify.com/property/search/ru6JDq0VQ

 

with Wolfe nursery listed in sale dates in 1984 and 1986 (name changes) and then sold again in 1991, probably when they left for Baybrook.

 

 

 

This location sits behind the first Almeda Mall multi-movie theater bldg. (corner of Kleckley and Kingspoint). 

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