Pecan Park Civic Association

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Neighborhood Newsletter-Fall 2006

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The 1800s
Pecan Park evolved from land that was once an extensive pecan orchard owned by T.J. Collins.
According to Mrs. Norma Collins, wife of one of the grandsons of T.J. Collins, T.J. " rode in to town as a young man on horseback in the 1860s or 70s. He had heard of the pecan tree and how it flourished here and had decided that he was going to make his fortune growing and selling pecans". She said his land eventually extended from what is now the Gulfgate mall area to what is now Griggs Rd. and the 45 fwy. Mrs. Collins has many family stories about "old man Collins", as they called him. She said that, way back before the turn of the century (1900), the railroad somehow got the right to run a line through his land (the line up on Griggs). He was so determined not to let them run a train through he would sit near the line with a shotgun. Eventually, many trains ran nearby. In fact, another family story she related was how one of his four sons, Thomas, used to like to go up to the nearby town of Harrisburg and drink in the saloons. One night he was walking back home, stumbling drunk, and passed out on the tracks. When he did wake up, he was missing a leg.

Downtown Houston-1940s

El centro de Houston-1940s


Long time residents recall Pecan Park's past.
Residentes viejos recuerden el pasado del Pecan Park.

Rememberances from Mrs. Norma Collins-Resident on Claxton St. 1930s-1950s.
Recuerdos de Sa. Norma Collins-Residente en calle Claxton 1930s-1950s.

What is now Juanita's Party Bar on Evergreen at Bowie started out as Holt's Drive In, or, "the root beer stand", as she called it, sometime around 1940.

Across the street, on the corner where now there is a mustang restoration shop, was Kaplan's Grocery. The original building is still there.The Kaplan family ran the store and lived in the apartments above it.

In the late 30s, John House Collins, son of TJ Collins, had a service station on Evergreen, known as Collins Service Station, right next to Holt's Drive In. He lived next door at 1020 Evergreen, but moved his house to Claxton St., where it is today. He started up the service station because he saw a need to fuel the many trucks that were in the area paving the new streets around the neighborhood.

Donde esta ahora Juanita's Party Bar en calle Evergreen, empezo como Holt's Drive In, un lugar para comer hamburguesas y sodas.

Al otro lado de la calle, en la equina donde ahora se arreglan los carros Mustangs, estaba Kaplan's Grocery, una tienda general. El edificio original todo esta alli. La familia Kaplan trabajaban alli y vivian en el apartamento arriba.

Durante los fines de los anos 1930s, John House Collins, hijo de TJ Collins, abrio una gasolinera al lado de Holt's Drive In. El vivia en su casa al lado a 1020 Evergreen, pero movio su casa para calle Claxton, donde todavia esta. El empezo ese negocio viendo que existia una necesidad de vender gasolina a las trocas que estaban poniendo el pavemiento para las calles nuevas en el vecindario.


Early shot of Gulgate Mall (Late 50s?)
Anyone out there have any old neighborhood photos?