- Photos, Ephemera & Historical Trivia for Oak Cliff, Texas.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Charco Broiler

Way before Chick-fil-A’s fiberglass cows there was the giant brown cow atop Charco Broil (or Broiler). In the late 1950s the address at 413 W. Jefferson was home to R L Watson Co., “Dallas’ Home of Fabulous Bargains”, an appliance store where you could buy an automatic portable(!) dishwasher or a TV set. Advertisements in the spring of 1962 announced the closing of the Jefferson store (there was a 2nd store on Lovers Lane). Sometime between 1962 and 1968 the site became Charco Broil, the home of Famous Sizzling Steaks. In 1975 one advertised bargain was a Rib Eye Steak Special for $15.99, which included Texas Toast, Salad, and a Baked Potato. Take that, fiberglass cows!

I seem to remember that cow used to be on another taller building, and that it was moved to the present location in the 1980s, but my memory’s not so good. Can anyone confirm or dispute it?

At one time there were two additional locations:
6417 Hillcrest  across from SMU
1612 S. Buckner Blvd.  in Pleasant Grove

Joe Pool

Our newest local lake is named for the last elected Democrat Representative of the Third Congressional District. Joe Pool (1911-1968) graduated from Adamson (then Oak Cliff High School) and attended SMU before embarking on a political career that eventually resulted in his election to Congress in 1962. This sign is likely from 1967 when Pool was re-elected. He died mid-term in 1968.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Freez-Ette Drive-Inn

Photo by Tom Collins
Opening day at the Freez-Ette, 2302 W. Clarendon at Hampton, circa 1952. Freez-Ette was a soft serve ice milk product developed by dairy farmer Frank S. Nelson, from Hunt County. In 1932 he began selling his product under an umbrella, but business was so good he developed a small industry. Nelson Manufacturing Company on Industrial Blvd would supply all materials to get you started with your own drive in malt shop. In 1954 Nelson estimated there were a hundred locations across several states. This site is now a small strip mall.

typical Freez Ette circa 1954

Raven's Pharmacy

Thanks to Gretchen Goetz for use of her photo.
One of my favorite signs in Oak Cliff has always been the Raven at the corner of Jefferson & Zang.I love Gretchen Goetz’s description of him as “a good lookin’ dude staring daggers at his rival across the street on every turn.”  (See more work by this Oak Cliff artist at http://thegretchenshow.com/ )

ad from 1972 Sunset High School yearbook

Raven's Pharmacy was founded by George A. Raven, a native of Bridgeport, Wise County, Texas. After completing pharmacy college he came to Dallas in 1937 as a medical service representative for Eli Lilly & Company. Raven was a well-known business and civic leader in Oak Cliff.

In 1946 Raven Pharmacy was located at 326 W. Jefferson.
In 1956 there was a Raven Prescription Pharmacy at 3411 S. Lancaster.
In 1957 Raven owned two drug stores in Oak Cliff.
In 1972 there were four Raven Pharmacies in Oak Cliff; at 122 W. Colorado, 500 W. Jefferson, 400 E. Centre St., and 2401 W. Kiest.

The Raven Pharmacy at 500 W. Jefferson is concrete masonry, tilt-wall building built in 1957. The property remained in the Raven family until 2002, when it was sold. After four years the property was sold again. The building is now owned by Patel Vikas, doing business as Raven's Corner Pharmacy.

The Raven Pharmacy at 2401 W. Kiest, on the NW corner of Hampton & Kiest was a podiatrist office in 2009.

Lake Cliff Park

Entrance to Lake Cliff with Interurban Rails

Entrance Detail

Did you know there was once an amusement park situated at Lake Cliff? It included a merry-go-round, the "mystic river", a ride called Chute-the-Chutes, even a Casino. The Garden Theater provided a venue for live performers.
 from Dallas Morning News, June 14, 1909

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Marsalis Zoo

Entrance to the Marsalis Zoo, circa 1970. In the skyline the Southland Life Building is on the right and it's no longer the tallest office building in town.

Golman Oak Cliff Bakery

It was a real feather in the cap for Oak Cliff when the Golman-Oak Cliff Baking Company opened May 12, 1930. Two years earlier the Oak Cliff-Dallas Commercial Association had sought out a number of businessmen, hoping to attract large industry to Oak Cliff. Jake Golman responded by building a 15,000 square foot bakery at Eighth and Marsalis. The architect was J.A. Pitzinger, who designed a number of Dallas buildings, including the Science Place at Fair Park and the building on Commerce Street now known as Mitchell Lofts. Doris Jane Black of Oak Cliff High School was named "Cliff-Maid" to represent the bakery. The company employed about 45 Oak Cliff people and had a fleet of six trucks to deliver the bread to local retailers. The plant manager had the unlikely name of Herman Munster.

By 1953 the bakery had been sold to the National Bakers Services, Inc.

Avalon Motel

1015 Fort Worth Avenue, about a block west of the Belmont. It was open as early as 1954, and was the site of at least one suspicious death, a parking lot murder, and an odd tenant who persisted in smashing thermostats.

I couldn’t find any evidence the Avalon hadn’t been razed, but Steve Bonner told me the place was alive and well at the end of 2009 after some rehab work.