Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meadowbrook - Eastern Hills Neighborhoods

The accompanying picture came from a 1962 Clan yearbook and provides a good aerial view of not only the school grounds but also of some of the surrounding neighborhood. My family was not one of the earliest to settle in the area so I always wondered how old, some of the “older” houses were as I drove around the neighborhoods.

Note the YELLOW direction indicator in the lower play field. Meadowbrook Drive is behind us just beyond the lower left corner; the toll road is a mile or two north; Ft. Worth is to the left; and Handley is behind us off the right lower corner.

Generally, the entire housing stock north of EHHS (the Eastern Hills section) was constructed from 1954 to 1962. Along Weiler Blvd. on the left or West side as you go North out of the picture were some nice older homes with some acreage that were generally built during or just after WWII in the 1940s. A good looking little sophomore named Angie Meer and her brother, Kurt lived in one of the fancier homes there, and Steve Helmricks’ family settled in one of those older houses when they moved to the area about 1961.

Jesse E. Roach, founder of the Cattlemen's Steak House (c.1947), lived in the house adjoining the north boundary of the school grounds at the intersection of Weiler and Danciger. He was about 62 at the time and owned 4 restaurants, 2 of them in Dallas. Sometimes you could see over the fence and catch him out sunning by his pool. To my knowledge, he never socialized with any of us or walked over to see what was going on.

A number of the houses west along Meadowbrook Drive toward the Meadowbrook Jr. High School, including those surrounding the golf club, and those South of Meadowbrook Drive were built during the 1920s. One on Queen St. is for sale now and it was built in 1891.

Subdivisions behind Meadowbrook Drive (N & S) date to the 1940s and early 1950s. I think Gay Burton’s family lived in one of the large older homes that may have dated to pre-WWII. If I recall correctly, her home was located across from the Meadowbrook Golf Course club house. Others in those neighborhoods were Phil Nixon, Susan Begley, Mike Grizzard, and maybe Larry Guthrie.

By the way, the golf course was originally a private club opened in 1922 and was known as the Meadowbrook Country Club—it was about 40-years old when we graduated. The club apparently failed during the Depression and was then given to the city. I played it a few times and ran a sled down the “3-humps” as often as enough snow fell to permit. Some of us worked on the construction crews when it was rehabilitated in 1962.

For those from Handley or others who might not have known about the pleasures of sledding down the 3-humps hill on the Meadowbrook Golf Course, it was a fairway near the club house on Jenson Rd. The drop was fairly high and from the top, if the snow conditions were right, you could get a pretty long ride, descending over 3 distinct small hills. At the bottom, the run opened into an expansive plain giving plenty of room for the run out. A lot of kids came from all directions when the snow fell, so it was also a good social event and a terrific memory.



texian said...

Memories, memories ... how sweet it was ! Like the song says : "those were the days my friends ; we thought they would never end ; we would sing and dance forever and a day ...."!
And for the Class of 1966 who would forget our class song with the lyrics "We've gotta get out of this place...if it is the last thing we ever do ". I remember Principal Roy Johnson "dressing our class down" in the auditorium for choosing this song " . He expressed it was disrespectful and unbecoming . This was an early Texas expression of "Flower Power" and Beattlemania !

I really enjoyed the neighborhood histories of Meadowbrook and Eastern Hills . I had totally forgotten about Jesse Roach's home constructed of Mexican Adobe brick on the corner with the rambling low brick fence . He was a Fort Worth City Councilman for many years .
My grandparents lived on Queen Street off Meadowbrook Drive . So did Mrs.Jean Fleming, 4th grade teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary, Connie and Cynthia Miller, Bill Sweeney's maternal grandparents- the Bakers, Cathy Small, Debbie Mattox and D.D. (Dorman Delane)Fry. Katy Small's gray house with large privet hedges on the NW corner of Queen and Normandy Drive was one of the oldest on the street . I remember when the 1891 house was moved to a lot across from Kathy Small's house. It was not built there in 1891 . It was moved to that location about 1965 and came from a small town outside Tarrant County . Most of the big houses / early Mansions were built on East Lancaster and Meadowbrook Drive in the 1920's .
Johnny Gilmartin
Class of 1966

Gus said...

Johnny, Our 1963 class encountered a similar problem with the school administrators with regard to our class song. Our first choice was "Days of Wind and Roses" the theme song from the popular film of the same name. That was nixed and we had to make do with something like "Climb Every Mountain" which I'm not sure was put to a vote.