Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville

Posted by Joel Parks 
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
August 10, 2011 11:41AM
scwk0511 Wrote:
> Holy cow...The Creek! My mom used to tell me she
> was going to 'the creek' and as a small fry, I had
> no idea what she was talking about. Have never
> seen a picture of it. thanks for posting it!

I spent many an afternoon down in that creek bed as Mom and Dad sat under the tree in the back and
played dominoes and hung out with their friends.

Heard a tale that MANY years before a young couple stopped in, bought a couple of beers,
paid for them with a large bill, said "keep the change" and sped off...
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 06:51AM
Greetings Vickery friends!
Vickery was a very special place to me from 1957 to the end of 1969 - a place that I consider myself fortunate to have grown up in. I loved the small town country atmosphere. My folks bought a place at the north end of Rambler Road, last house on the left. I was 9 at the time. The 3 bedroom, 1 bath, white brick house had been built in 1937 and sat on a full acre with 40 full size pecan trees on it. There was empty acreage on both sides and the rear, with the south side acreage belonging to my uncle which extended from the road to the Southern Pacific tracks (now Dart Rail). This track was still in use during those years, and I later learned that it started life in 1873 as the first north/south rail line to Dallas, and that the Interurban paralleled it, which had only recently been pulled up. The property was beautifully landscaped, with a pea gravel driveway leading to a garage in the rear and had two chicken shacks in the back. I loved the privacy!

Across the street lived a very well-to-do family by the name of Aikins until 1960; then Barefoot Sanders family until 1965. They were on 8 acres and had a swimming pool out back, which we were allowed to enjoy on request. Their house was quite old and I remember one of the kids saying that Jesse James once visited there. More on that later. Rambler Road ended at Kirkland Park Road on the north (now Meadow), and just across the street was Glen Lakes Stables sitting on about 40 acres, which was bounded by Kirkland Park Road (Meadow) on the south, the Southern Pacific (Dart) tracks on the west and the main line Southern Pacific by-pass tracks (not in use since 1993) on the north all the way to Greenville Ave. I could rent a horse for $2.00 an hour, which wasn't cheap back then (about $15.00 in today's money). What more could a kid ask for! Rambler Road's southern juncture was Glen Lakes drive (not Walnut Hill Lane, which didn't come through until later). The acreage south of that was the orphanage, where Presbyterian Hospital is now. Glen Lakes Drive ended at Greenville Avenue and had an interesting structure on the southwest corner. It was a concrete square tower, maybe 20 to 30 feet in height and 10 feet square. I was told by an older neighbor that the structure was an old water tower that served a plantation dating back to the Civil War! Could it be that the old Aikins house across the street from us was the original plantation house - the house that Jesse James reportedly visited? If the tower was indeed a Civil War era structure, then shame on Dallas for tearing it down when Walnut Hill Lane came through! I wish I had a picture of it, and if anyone knows anything about it I would love your input.

My old house was torn down for apartments in 1971, which were in turn, torn down in 2007. Twenty of the original trees remain out of the 40 it once had. The north boundary of the old property is easily identifiable by a noticeable tree line somewhat in the middle of the now cleared acreage.

That's my start in Vickery, but I will have more stories later.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 01:21PM
I remember the tower from when I was a kid and was told that the fire department used it for training.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 03:14PM
Jethro: my first post on this forum, in 2006, was about what I described as looking like a "renaissance Italian bell tower" in a field on the west side of Greenville Avenue, between Forest Lane and Royal Lane. It reminded me of the Austin fire department's practice tower down on the Colorado River on First Street, so perhaps the explanation Bug mentioned in his post above is on the money. Does the location I've mentioned above tie in with your recollection?
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 04:48PM
Bell tower? Can't say that image comes to my mind, and the location was further south at the corner of what is now Walnut and Greenville. This would put it on the northeast corner of the orphanage property, which is now the property of Presbyterian Hospital. If you came east on Walnut Hill Lane and were stopped in the right lane at Greenville Avenue, you would be sitting just a few feet past the spot where it used to be. The tower was bare concrete with no windows, and had a flat platform on top with some overhang and with what looked like the remains of a railing, plain and simple. This would have put it on a high point, which would suit the purpose of a water tower. Never saw any fire department activity there - in fact there was no indication of a road or path leading up to the thing, along with the fact that it was on orphanage property. The tower disappeared with the construction of Walnut Hill Lane sometime in the early to mid 60's. The water tower history came to me a few years ago in a conversation with Ralph McCann, who grew up in a beautiful house on the northwest corner of Rambler Road and Walnut on the spot where a bank is now located (the original stonewall surrounding the house is still there). Ralph left home after graduation in 1945 and seemed to have a very good grasp of the history of the area with a detailed memory, as well as a deep fondness for where he grew up. That having been said, the tower may well have been used by the fire department at some time, but I never observed it from 1957 to its destruction.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 05:15PM
Jethro: I think what you've described and what I remembered (after a fashion) are the same thing. When I saw this structure I was in a car heading south, generally, on old Highway 75 at a time when most of this area wasn't built up, so having other landmarks to relate it to was difficult. I do think the tower was more like 30 feet than 20, perhaps a bit more. From recollections of others in the family I believe it was there at least as early as the 1930s. Maybe there's a picture of it out there somewhere.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 19, 2012 07:45PM
Bob, what approximate year does your recollection go back to? It would be great if someone had a picture of it!
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 20, 2012 07:12AM
I'd sure love to see a picture of it.
When I was a kid, I thought it was a lighthouse confused smiley
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 20, 2012 07:18AM
I'd sure love to see a picture of it.
When I was a kid, I thought it was a lighthouse confused smiley
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 20, 2012 11:01AM
Jethro: I remember it between maybe 1949 and 1953 or '54, but a relative said she'd seen it years before, probably in the 1930s. For her it was a sort of sign Dallas wasn't far down the road.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 21, 2012 08:48AM
I managed to find Ralph McCann, once again, who is now 80 and therefore who's history goes back to the early 30's. His father was born in 1897 and lived in the family house on Rambler Road until his death in 1994. With that in mind, I asked him where he got the information on the water tower going back to the Civil War days and he said it was common knowledge amongst the older neighbors when he was a kid. He said the remains of the plantation house were still there, located just below the tower. The house had burned down some time prior. He had much to say about the area's history, but he only had time for a brief chat. I will be contacting him later to learn all I can about that and more, and will pass on the information.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 23, 2012 09:20PM
Jackpot! The tower mystery solved! The answer is already in the phorum complete with a picture of it and its builder, Henry G. Dannelly! The 40 foot tower was indeed a water tower and then some, but it did not date from the Civil War. It was built in 1908 and did have a house next to it, which burned in 1919. The tower was torn down in 1964 when Walnut Hill lane was extended to Greenville Ave. The city should have left it alone!!! For lack of a better way to get you to the Dallas News article you'll have to punch in the following address (could not get search words to bring it up for some reason):
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 24, 2012 07:59AM
Wow, excellent find, Jethro. Reading the article about the water tower, it stated that Mr. Dannelly lived at 5639 Goodwin - remember when they used to put people's exact home addresses in newspaper articles? BTW, that address is now the parking lot behind the Blue Goose on Lower Greenville.

If you go to the Historic Aerials site:


you can see aerial photography of the area from 1958. Overlaying it with the current roads, you can just make out the tower, at the corner of the present Walnut Hill at Greenville.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2012 08:09AM by sharkins.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 24, 2012 08:04AM
JOEL: Amazed to see anything about the Dallas Automobile Country Club. I have a beautiful trophy my grandfather from Denison--Grover Spencer-- won in 1912, skeet, at the Dallas Automobile Club. I've tried and never turned up a single word about the Dallas Automobile Country Club. Thanks.
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 24, 2012 09:05AM
Sharkins, thanks for the historic aeriels reference! Yes, I can make out the tower about 100' back from Greenville and in the current south lane of Walnut. That part of my memory was dead on, but I had forgotten the windows in the tower. I'm surprised that I didn't explore the thing when I was a kid. We always wondered what it was back then, and now 55 years later, we find the facts on it. The old aeriel photos site will keep me occupied for a while. Terrific reference!
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 24, 2012 03:52PM
Jethro: Thanks for sorting out the story. Now I won't have to wonder what did I see way back when!
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 27, 2012 08:00AM
Kirkland Park: Apparently located in the northwest corner of Vickery and once a rather popular picnic and gathering spot, but I have been unable to locate any specific information on it other than the fact that it existed and was well known at one time. My curiosity stems from the fact that our property was at the corner of Rambler Road and what was then Kirkland Park Road, which ran from Greenville Avenue to Manderville Road up until the mid to late 60's, when Meadow came through and the name was changed. I have long wondered what and where was Kirkland Park?

What I have learned: The Dallas News mentions it frequently from about 1908 to the 1940's in an archive search. It was used for city employee picnics, family gatherings and even a KKK rally. Many announcements in the paper along that line. My father (1910-1983) mentioned it as a picnic destination for the relatives and even showed me a picture taken there with the White Rock Creek, Southern Pacific (Houston and Texas Central iron trestle in the background (the bridge is still there on DART Rail just above Royal Lane bridge crossing). The perspective of the picture puts their location maybe 300 yards north of the bridge on the west side of the tracks. An older gentleman who grew up on Rambler Road, said there was an Interurban stop for it at or just south of Forest Lane. The Interurban paralleled the Southern Pacific tracks from Greenville and Park (Fair Oaks back then) to just south of the Royal Lane bridge (did not come through until much later), at which point it swung wide to cross White Rock Creek close to Central Expressway and then gradually angled back to a close parallel with Southern Pacific tracks at Forest Lane. It appears that Kirkland Park occupied the space between the tracks with White Rock Creek on the south, Forest Lane on the north, the Interurban on the west and Southern Pacific or Houston and Texas Central on the east.

I get the impression that the park fell into disuse and oblivion when the Interurban ceased in 1948, because there was nothing there, to my knowledge, from the late 50's on and I used to haunt that White Rock Creek trestle. Does anyone have any information about this park to either confirm, alter or add to what I've said?
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
January 29, 2012 07:21PM
I just finally found the old Vickery CEMETERY. I knew it was there . Found about 1& ONE HALF years ago. Proff
is in the photo maps of 1941; 1950; 1936.
Cemetery is in the Greenville twist, at the steps to nowhere. See the old bulb lights in the tree line, behind the
old picknic grounds-- where the new YMCA building is ? I have list of obits..
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
July 05, 2012 12:34PM
I lived in Vickery from 6 to 18 years old. Went to school with Rebba Loveless.....
D Murphy
Re: Old Vickery - Park Lane and Greenville
July 17, 2012 08:42PM
Thanks Jethro for filling in a puzzle piece for me. I always admired (sigh) the house you described as Ralph McCann's home at Rambler x Forest. For years it looked vacant and eventually a bank replaced it with only the low rock wall remaining. It would be neat to see photos of the interior. And the trees made perfect shade there. Leslie
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login