Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Building Dam



This is another picture from Christoval, Texas around 1900. The picture shows men using horses to build a dam across the South Concho River. It is interesting that I can recognize this exact spot today, and it is just a couple blocks from my house. The area the men are standing is where the highway crosses the river today. The big tree on the left is still standing.

Later, the river area shown in the background became "Playland Park", where you could swim, rent paddle boats or canoes, fish, or just have a good time. Where the big tree is, there was a rope bridge which you could use to walk from one side of the river to the other. Playland Park pretty much shut down in the 1980's as kids became more interested in TV and video games than in fun days outside.

10 comments:

  1. Been a while since I've posted. Very interesting that you can still recognize this spot. I have a picture from years gone by of my Father's mother about 2 years old sitting on her mother's gravestone. I also have a much more recent picture from the same vantage point. Interesting to see the fenceline in the back and the trees all grown up since then. PJM, could you post a current picture of the same area so that we can see the tree?

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  2. Isn't it amazing what a dozen guys and a handful of horse could get accomplished

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  3. Would you happen to have the names of these men. I am interested in the 1st on the right and the middle in back.

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  4. I feel like I've seen this exact same spot, except it was in Pflugerville, TX, it is still in a park & the 'dam' is a spillway.

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  5. That's a great picture. Do you have a photo of the spot as it is now? It would be great to compare the two :)

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  6. The 'scoop' equipment the horses are pulling are called fresnos. The white horse to the extreme right in the foreground has an empty one. A lot of early road building, dam building, etc was done by horse and fresno.

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  7. As a kid I remember watching my Grandpa repair the road to his house. He used two mules and a fresno. Although it was a step up from a pick and a shovel it was still very hard work for Pa and the mules. And now I'm thinking about Pa making that good handcranked, homemade ice cream in the summer evenings.

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  8. It's nice to know that this river still looks a lot like it did "back in the day." Sometimes things change too fast.

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  9. I can imagine someone in the past saying, "The untamed area shown in the background became "Concho Rock Pile" where men could haul logs, lift boulders, stand around in the hot sun swatting flies or just hold horse reigns. Where the big tree is, there was a spot of shade where you could stroke your beard while pondering. Rock Pile pretty much shut down in the 1940s when kids became more interested in wasteful play outside than useful work in the factories."

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  10. Wow, that's fantastic! Thank you for showing it.

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