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Historical Images of Castroville, Texas

September 15, 2014

Castroville is well-known for its old-world charm, complete with picturesque nineteenth century stone structures. Many of the town’s citizens are descendants of the original Alsatian settlers. A few still speak the Alsatian dialect of their ancestors.

Earlier this month, the town of Castroville celebrated the 170th anniversary of its founding. Speakers, at five historic sites, recounted the story of the people from Alsace who arrived at the site of present-day Castroville in September 1844. In addition to the presentations, the Alsatian Dancers of Texas and local bands performed for visitors. There were also numerous booths with arts, crafts, and historical displays.

UTSA Libraries Special Collections was among the exhibitors, showcasing copies of over 100 photographs of Castroville found in our collections. These are some of those images.

 

Laurent Quintle House and Store, circa 1940.  (MS 362:  107-0035)

Laurent Quintle House and Store, circa 1940. (MS 362: 107-0035)

Wagon train pauses on Houston Square, circa 1900.   (MS 362:  096-0537)

Wagon train pauses on Houston Square, circa 1900. (MS 362: 096-0537)

Castroville Brass Band, circa 1915.  (MS 362:  081-0640)

Castroville Brass Band, circa 1915. (MS 362: 081-0640)

Zuercher Millinery in Klappenbach Building, Madrid Street (Houston Square), circa 1900.  (MS 362:  072-0877)

Zuercher Millinery in Klappenbach Building, Madrid Street (Houston Square), circa 1900. (MS 362: 072-0877)

Joseph Courand General Store, Paris and Lorenzo Streets, early 1900s.  (MS 362: 072-0875)

Joseph Courand General Store, Paris and Lorenzo Streets, early 1900s. (MS 362: 072-0875)

Tarde Hotel, Fiorella Street, circa 1940.  (MS 362:  107-0027)

Tarde Hotel, Fiorella Street, circa 1940. (MS 362: 107-0027)

Ed Tschirhart (left) and Andy Halberdier, Tschirhart Blacksmith Shop, Paris Street (Houston Square), ca. 1905.  (MS 362: 96-542).

Ed Tschirhart (left) and Andy Halberdier, Tschirhart Blacksmith Shop, Paris Street (Houston Square), ca. 1905. (MS 362: 96-542)

Tondre Saloon, early 1900s.  (MS 362:  077-0046)

Tondre Saloon, early 1900s. (MS 362: 077-0046)

Pierre Francois Pingenot House, Petersburg Street, circa 1940  (MS362:  107-0045)

Pierre Francois Pingenot House, Petersburg Street, circa 1940 (MS362: 107-0045)

Roberta and Lucy Hopp outside the Kieser-Pingenot House, Madrid Street, 1897.  (MS 362:  109-0762)

Roberta and Lucy Hopp outside the Kieser-Pingenot House, Madrid Street, 1897. (MS 362: 109-0762)

Philip Wernette Saloon, Fiorella and London Streets, 1909.  (MS 362:  109-0750)

Philip Wernette Saloon, Fiorella and London Streets, 1909. (MS 362: 109-0750)

Office of Anton Haller, justice of the Peace, in the Joseph Carle House and Store Building, Madrid Street (Houston Square), circa 1940.  (MS 362:  107-0037)

Office of Anton Haller, justice of the Peace, in the Joseph Carle House and Store Building, Madrid Street (Houston Square), circa 1940. (MS 362: 107-0037)

Moye Military School, London Street, early 1940s.  (MS 355:  Z-0310-A-2)

Moye Military School, London Street, early 1940s. (MS 355: Z-0310-A-2)

St. Louis Catholic Church, with fresco work by Fred Donecker and son, 1902.  (MS 362:  88-144)

St. Louis Catholic Church, with fresco work by Fred Donecker and son, 1902. (MS 362: 88-144)

St. Louis Catholic Church on Houston Square, 1951.  (MS 359: L-4106-A)

St. Louis Catholic Church on Houston Square, 1951. (MS 359: L-4106-A)

 

 

Special Collections Student Clerk Position at HemisFair Park-ITC Campus

September 9, 2014

UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking one student clerk to assist with department operations at the HemisFair Park/ITC Campus. Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk

Job Description: With training from the Photo Curator and the University Archivist, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include paging archival boxes, photocopying, and re-shelving materials; scanning and entering basic metadata for digital collections; re-housing and creating inventories of collections; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold needed. Familiarity with Excel, scanners and image editing software a plus.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours Tuesday-Thursday.

 Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $7.50/hr.

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.

San Antonio River Walk Commission

September 8, 2014
Scene along the San Antonio river, November 25, 1960, MS 359

Scene along the San Antonio river, November 25, 1960, MS 359

There were several attempts to invigorate the San Antonio River Walk before it became the bustling attraction it is today. After World War II, there was very little commercial development along the River Walk, which consisted of a small collection of river-level restaurants near the Houston Street and Market Street bridges. The River Walk had few visitors and became unsafe enough to be declared off-limits for the city’s military personnel.

In 1959, feeling that the city had an unrecognized asset in the River Walk, appliance wholesaler David J. Straus encouraged the chamber of commerce to commission the designer of Disneyland to come up with a way to fix the River Walk. The proposed plan, however, was similar to an amusement park and was shelved. Following the proposal, San Antonio’s Chapter of the American Institute of Architects formed a committee to make renderings for careful renovations of facades of buildings visible from the river and created a Paseo del Rio Master Plan. David Straus began lobbying building owners on the value of opening businesses at the river level. All of this was occurring at the same time as HemisFair ’68, which was being constructed downtown beyond the easternmost leg of the Great Bend. An extension of the bend dug a third of a mile east ended as a lagoon beside the fair’s exhibition hall and theater. When the fair ended, the exhibition hall, theater, and nearby arena became a convention center that dramatically revitalized the city’s convention industry. Fair visitors and convention goers could follow the River Walk to the first major hotels built in San Antonio since the Great Depression. This development brought enough pedestrian traffic to the River Walk to sustain commercial development.

Casa Rio riverboat on San Antonio River, circa 1965, MS 362

Casa Rio riverboat on San Antonio River, circa 1965, MS 362

The San Antonio River Walk Commission, a board appointed by the City Council of San Antonio, was formed in May 1962 and dissolved in November 1992. David Straus, along with others including Arthur “Hap” Veltman, served on the Commission. The job of the San Antonio River Walk Commission was to review development plans along the River Walk (Paseo Del Rio) and La Villita. The Commission worked with the Tourist Attractions Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects to create a master plan for the development of the River Walk area. The provisions of the master plan called for a pedestrian link between Alamo Plaza, La Villita and Main Plaza. The commission also helped to implement improvements to the River Walk for HemisFair in 1968, including expansion to the convention center and a system of lights along the River Walk. One of the Commission’s goal from the outset was to protect the River Walk from over development.


For additional information on the San Antonio River Walk Commission or the Paseo del Rio, see the San Antonio River Walk Commission. David Straus Papers and the San Antonio River Authority Records.

 

Sources

Lewis F. Fisher, “SAN ANTONIO RIVER WALK [PASEO DEL RIO],” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hps02), accessed September 8, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Helen Rojas, “River Walk a Big Hit in Texas,” Sun Sentinel (http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1985-05-12/news/8501180895_1_san-antonio-river-new-river-river-cuts), accessed September 9, 2014.

Kerrville: From Shingles to Summer Camps

September 1, 2014
Kerr County Texas, 1854-1956 (1956) by Bob Bennett. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Kerr County Texas, 1854-1956 by Bob Bennett. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Located northwest of Boerne, Kerrville is known for its distinctive karst landscape and prosperous businesses. Originally established as a shinglemakers’ camp, Kerrsville (later Kerrville) was platted in 1856 after Kerr County was organized, and narrowly won the designation of county seat. The community was named after James Kerr (1790-1850), an member of Austin’s Colony who was involved in the establishment of Gonzales and served as the Lavaca delegate at the Conventions of 1832 and 1833.

Kerr County Texas 1856-1956 by Bob Bennet is a celebratory account of Kerrville’s history from from the time that Kentucky settler Joshua D. Brown journeyed up the Guadalupe River in search of giant cypress trees suitable for shingles, to the ideological (and physical) battles between pro-Union and pro-Confederacy residents, to the arrival of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railway in 1887, to Kerrville’s mid-century “boom” as summer camp destination: Presbyterian, Methodist, YMCA, Lion’s Club, and various non-religiously-affiliated camps for girls and boys.

Special Collections also holds a publication by an earlier Kerrville booster: an issue of Grinstead’s Magazine, circa 1915. With a writing style that is “folksy” almost to the point of caricature (and at some points offensive to modern readers), his introduction compares Kerrville to the land of Canaan, and encourages readers:

[R]ead this magazine. Then, if you need a change, for any reason except theft and murder, come on up and help us possess some of the good things of the Hill Country of Southwest Texas.

Grinstead's Magazine, circa 1916. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Grinstead’s Magazine, circa 1915. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

The remainder of this issue consists of detailed descriptions and illustrations of Kerrville’s climate, architecture, industries, and local leaders. One of the town’s leading men highlighted in this section is Captain Charles Schreiner, whose mercantile business established after the Civil War grew into a local business empire continued by several generations of the family.

More detailed information on the Schreiner family and its rise to fortune is found in the biography Charles Schreiner, General Merchandise: The Story of a Country Store. Having come to Texas from France as a child, Schreiner grew up in San Antonio and served for three years in the Texas Rangers before establishing a ranch in Kerr County in 1857. Following a stint in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Schreiner entered the mercantile business in Kerrville, gradually expanding its interests to banking, ranching, and wool.


Sources

Glen E. Lich, “KERRVILLE, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hek01), accessed August 25, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

W. Eugene Hollon, “SCHREINER, CHARLES ARMAND,” Handbook of Texas Online(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsc15), accessed August 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Special Collections Student Clerk Position at Main Campus

August 28, 2014

UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking one student clerk to assist with department operations at Main Campus. Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk

Job Description: With training from the Rare Books Librarian other department staff, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include paging, photocopying, and re-shelving materials; scanning and entering basic metadata for digital collections; cleaning, processing, and re-housing incoming materials; assisting with exhibit preparations; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold needed. Familiarity with scanners and image editing software a plus.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Mon-Fri.

 Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $7.50/hr

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.

Roadrunner Spotting

August 25, 2014

If you’re a friend or alumnus of UTSA, you’re no doubt aware that the University mascot is a roadrunner, known today as Rowdy. The mascot’s birth and development at UTSA has been an interesting one. Top Shelf readers might be aware of this post, which gave an overview of the intense election process preceding the 1977 announcement of the roadrunner as UTSA’s official mascot.

Below is a look back at images of the mascot, as spotted in the negatives and contact sheets of the Office of University Communications Photograph collection (UA 16.01.01). Photographers captured images of the mascot dancing at pep rallies, stoking the crowd at basketball games, and posing for promotional material for UTSA. Captions for the photos below were provided from details on the negative sleeves or contact sheets from this collection. This pictographic timeline spans the years 1981 to 1999.  Click on images to enlarge.

 

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men's 11-30 #2, undated, detail

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men’s 11-30 #2, detail

1981:  The Roadrunner is revealed. Readers of the Sombrilla might have caught this interview of alumnus Antonio Gonzalez III, in which he describes his “hatching” as UTSA’s first mascot.

UA 16.01.01 N&I Roadrunner Hitchiking 3-12-82 #1, detail

UA 16.01.01 N&I Roadrunner Hitchhiking 3-12-82 #1, detail

1982:  Seen here posing for a Fiesta UTSA promotion. This “hitchhiking” title comes from a pose seen on this cover of the Quarterly.

 

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men's 2-29-84 UTSA vs Lamar #2, detail

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men’s 2-29-84 UTSA vs Lamar #2, detail

1984:  The Roadrunner and friend walk the court at halftime during a game against Lamar University.

 

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men's vs UALR 1-8-87 #1, detail

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Basketball Men’s vs UALR 1-8-87 #1, detail

 

1987:  This series of shots captures the beginning of a new look for the mascot, which took place during a game against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

UA 16.01.01 Student Activities Pep Rally 11-11-87, detail

1987:  Spotted here dancing at a pep rally, with a throwback look to the cartoon element that some say helped the Roadrunner win the election back in 1977 (see page 10 of this Sombrilla edition).

UA 16.01.01 Athletics General Rowdy the Roadrunner 1-10-92, detail

UA 16.01.01 Athletics General Rowdy the Roadrunner 1-10-92, detail

1992:  A studio shot of Rowdy during an appointment with Communications photographers, showing off a tough new look.

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Men & Women v Lamar 2-20-99 #4, detail

UA 16.01.01 Athletics Men & Women v Lamar 2-20-99 #4, detail

 1999:  A colorful Rowdy fuels the crowd during a game against Lamar University.

Fun and Games at the Company Picnic

August 18, 2014

Each summer many companies hold an outdoor gathering for employees and their families. It is a time for coworkers and managers to mingle in an informal setting as they participate in various activities and share a meal.

Pearl Brewing Company, located in San Antonio until 2001, held its annual company picnics in local parks. The Pearl picnic followed the traditional pattern of organized games in the afternoon, followed by dinner and dancing in the evening. Often, a photographer was hired to record the events of the day.

These images are from the Zintgraff Studio Photograph Collection (MS 355). They document some of the Pearl picnics held during the late 1950s to the late 1960s.

 

Contest winners with their prizes, a Vacucel insulated jug cooler and a fishing pole, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-4)

Contest winners with their prizes, a Vacucel insulated jug cooler and a fishing pole, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-4)

 

Horseshoe pitching, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-3)

Horseshoe pitching, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-3)

 

Preparations for an Egg Toss, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-1)

Preparations for an Egg Toss, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-1)

Egg Toss, Raymond Russell Park, August 1964. (MS 355: Z-1807-E-45132)

Egg Toss, Raymond Russell Park, August 1964. (MS 355: Z-1807-E-45132)

Rolling pin toss, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-06)

Rolling pin toss, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-06)

Donkey ride, Brackenridge Park, 1966.  (MS 355: Z-1831-8)

Donkey ride, Brackenridge Park, 1966. (MS 355: Z-1831-8)

Kiddie horse ride, 1966.  (MS 355: Z-1831-09)

Kiddie horse ride, 1966. (MS 355: Z-1831-09)

Card game, 1958.  (MS 355: Z-1807-B-6)

Card game, 1958. (MS 355: Z-1807-B-6)

Bingo, 1966.  (MS 355: Z-1831-17)

Bingo, 1966. (MS 355: Z-1831-17)

Jelly bean race, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-5)

Jelly bean race, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-5)

Three-legged race, 1958.  (MS 355: Z-1807-B-26)

Three-legged race, 1958. (MS 355: Z-1807-B-26)

Three-legged race, 1967.  (MS 355: Z-1833-07)

Three-legged race, 1967. (MS 355: Z-1833-07)

Dinner, 1959.  (MS 355: Z-1807-A-1)

Dinner, 1959. (MS 355: Z-1807-A-1)

Otto Koehler, Pearl’s chairman of the board and president, tosses his hat, 1958.  (MS 355: Z-1807-B-24)

Otto Koehler, Pearl’s chairman of the board and president, tosses his hat, 1958. (MS 355: Z-1807-B-24)

Dance, 1959.  (MS 355: Z-1807-A-06)

Dance, 1959. (MS 355: Z-1807-A-06)

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