Houston Heights. By Anne Sloan and the Houston Heights Association. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. Many photos. Paperback. 128 pages, Images of America Series, $21.99 ISBN 9780738571188 http://www.arcadiapublishing.com
Anne Sloan has done a wonderful job taking this turn-of-the-century independent town on the edge of Houston onto the photo-filled pages. Sloan knows her material first hand – she's written history and even a novel set in the Heights. The photos are well captioned. The Heights is knows for its desire and accomplished ability to maintain its historical heritage. Sloan used a creative method of collecting vintage photos; she and the Association put the word out to folks to bring their old photos to the old Firehouse for scanning and story-telling. It was so successful they had to repeat the affair.
The contents proceeds as: Community, Schools, Churches, Homes, Businesses, People and Clubs, Diversions, and Around Town. The town was started by O.M. Carter and D.D. Cooley, father of famed Houston heart surgeon. The main street photos display the upper-class homes of large, ornate Victorian and Queen Anne styles of the day. But the citizens beyond Heights Boulevard were mostly middle-class and their old photos show it, and picket fences were de riguer. The town had a full life on its own despite the 15 minute trolley ride to Houston.
All sorts of trades and stores and offices sprinkled through the neighborhood. Many backyards had chickens, cows, and fruit trees. Many backyards had chickens, cows, and fruit trees.
One of the most interesting photos is of young Elma Pielop on Yale Street holding the bridle of a 1930's horse named Tex. Apparently Tex was the "City Horse" kept for the use of residents. Other folks may want to follow the story of Hortense Ward because SHE served as chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1925; see her behind the bench on page 101.
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