Blog is moving to

December 26th, 2011 1 comment

I am moving existing posts to Blogspot and deleting them from this site.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, try the new website.

New posts will also be appearing there as I have time to research.

5th Street

January 16th, 2010 2 comments

300 e5th st 1938

Postcard dated 1938 looking east on the 300 block of East Fifth Street, across from Lake Cliff Park. Most of the houses on this block were built 1925-1930. Below is the red-roofed house with the stone wall surround as it appears today. Hard to imagine the treeless street of old.


photo by Steve Bonner

Texas Theater

November 14th, 2009 No comments
photo by Marcia Cirillo

photo by Marcia Cirillo

Opened on San Jacinto Day, April 21, 1931, as the largest suburban theater in Dallas. Only the Majestic and the Palace Theaters in downtown Dallas exceeded the Texas’ capacity of 2000 patrons. It was touted as the first theater in Dallas to be constructed specifically for talking motion pictures, and it also featured a pipe organ played by Dwight Brown. The first week’s program included the Fox Movietone News, a Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the Buster Keaton talkie, “Parlor, Bedroom and Bath.” Price of admission: 35, 25, or 10 cents depending on which show you attended.
tx illus

At left is an artist’s rendition of what the Texas looked like on opening night. with original sign and marquis. The bright lights and Italian Renaissance facade led some to label West Jefferson a new “Amusement Way.”

For more info see History of Texas Theater

Below, how the theater looked like on Nov 23, 1963.


W.E. Greiner Junior High School

October 4th, 2009 13 comments
postcard courtesy Terry Houchins

postcard courtesy Terry Houchins

Located at 501 S. Edgefield, the establishment now known as Greiner Middle School began literally on the south edge of a field as a group of plank buildings around 1910. This is the building conceived in 1915 and built sometime after 1932. Only a small part of this building remains today.

More about Greiner’s history.

Youngblood’s Fried Chicken

September 13th, 2009 40 comments

youngbloods ad 2-1946

Probably the most-lamented fried chicken place I’ve found is Youngblood’s. I dimly remember seeing a Youngblood’s Restaurant at the Old Mill place during the State Fair of Texas about 1968, yet across the internet people swear it was the best chicken ever, and replications of its recipe can still be found.

Julius Harper “Pap” Youngblood was a cotton farmer in Speegleville, just west of Waco, when he bouht 500 baby chicks in 1930, raising them as a sideline to help make ends meet. (Ever hear recordings of Wolfman Jack hawking baby chicks over Mexican radio?) By 1942 “Pap” and his sons, Weldon and Ovid, had got the hang not only of raising chickens, but doing it “from the egg to the table”, processing and delivering feed for the poultry, and dressing the birds in their own processing plant. They opened their first restaurant in Waco in 1945 to advertise their business, and it was so successful they expanded to Dallas, opening their second restaurant in Oak Cliff in 1946 near Colorado and Zang. The above ad  announced the opening of that restaurant. By 1961 Youngblood’s was the fried chicken king of  Texas, with 60 chicken-raising farms around Waco, a chain of 14 restaurants, and about 500 people in their employ.

In 1967 Youngblood’s had more than 30 restaurants in Texas and  at least 6 franchise stores in the state. In 1968 they announced plans to expand with a nationwide franchising operation, but they were too late; the market was already flooded with other fried chicken franchises. That and a series of financial mishaps resulted in overwhelming debt, and all of Youngblood’s restaurants abruptly closed in 1969. Some of the restaurants were sold to Mickey Mantle’s Country Cooking, Inc. and the poultry processing operation was scaled back to about 12 people. By 1970 none of the Youngbloods had any association with their former operation.

youngbloods 57 ad

Leslie’s Chicken Shack

September 12th, 2009 11 comments

Leslie's pc

Leslie’s originated in Waco, and that location seems to be famous for being the place where Billy Joe Shaver’s mom was a waitress. The first mention I find of Leslie’s in Dallas is 1939, when the Dallas Morning News mentioned it in a “Where to Go When You Eat” column. This postcard is from a few years later, when there were a whopping 9 locations around Texas. Leslie’s was at 2700 Ft. Worth Avenue, which would have put it almost directly across the street from Roth’s Cafe.

Leslie’s is listed in the Dallas phone book for 1951 but not for 1957. The site is now an empty lot.

leslie thumbnailGo here for a larger view of the building illustration from the postcard.

To see a larger view of this old sign now residing in the back lot of the Green Fiber plant in Waco go here and here.

Update – Jan 15, 2013:   A 1992 news item from The Victoria Advocate says Leslie’s opened April 1, 1934.

Bridge to Where?

September 12th, 2009 2 comments

photo by Terry Houchins

photo by Terry Houchins

Is this old bridge still hanging over Clarendon? (somewhere west of the zoo)

Thanks to Steve Bonner for setting me straight on the bridge – here’s what he says:
This trestle for the interurban track crossing Clarendon was last used in 1948 when the interurban quit running to Waco.  The trestle extends father on the south side of Clarendon and is parallel to Moore St. on the east side of Moore..  It is all still there and is located east of the Dallas Zoo nearly to Corinth St.

South Loop Drive-In

August 21st, 2009 2 comments
photo courtesy of Steve Bonner

photo courtesy of Steve Bonner

South Loop Drive-In opened March 31, 1950, with two showings of “On the Town” starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. The theater was located at 3030 Ledbetter, on the north side of the road, just west of Bonnie View and southeast of the Veterans’ Hospital. The drive-in was part of the Adelman theater circuit, which operated movie houses in Houston, Fort Worth, and Tulsa, as well as the Delman Theater (not a drive-in) in Dallas. Cost of construction was $150,000, which included innovations such as indirectly lighted walkways, a patio with lounge chairs, and a playground for children. I don’t think they would have got away with that Snow White mural on their theater today!

Both the South Loop Drive-In and the Delman Theater closed about 1968, and no obvious trace remains of this theater in the field that still fronts Loop 12.

Fred’s Barbecue

August 21st, 2009 14 comments


As an occasional change from Austin’s, Fred’s was located just down Illinois a ways, at the east end of Wynnewood Village, 2226 S. Llewellyn. Fred’s existed in 1951, although I don’t know its original location. In the early sixties Fred’s had 7 locations, which included one in Irving and one in Richardson.

New Westerner

August 5th, 2009 2 comments

new west tourist court

The remnants of The New Westerner Tourist Courts built in 1945 are stilll standing at 2514 South Zangs Blvd. at Elmore Street, about midway between Illinois and Saner Avenue. I used to think I must have been mangling street names by saying “Zangs” instead of “Zang”, because I never see it written with the s at the end anymore. This postcard tells me somebody decided to drop the “s” somewhere along the line. Will we ever find it? I think this card is late fifties or early sixties from the phone number, although it may have been some kind of reprint or corrected version of an earlier card. Below is another postcard view which includes the swimming pool area. The building is still in use as a motel, but you can see in the bottom photo the original sign is gone.

new westerner pc

elmore zang