Heritage, Volume 10, Number 2, Spring 1992 Page: 13
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the water underground to each cistern. A
two-foot square brick box, one-and-onehalf
feet high, was still intact and attached
to the outside of one of the cisterns. It was
filled with charcoal used to filter the rain
water. Folklore notes the benefits of soft
rainwater used for washing hair and clothes,
and Block 159 shows the ingenuity that
prevailed more than 100 years ago. Piped
water did not reach these buildings until
15 years after they were built. Until then,
each was fairly self-sustaining by recycling
Other findings included the remains of
a very early dwelling on Block 160, designated
Feature 160-7. They were the oldest
historic remains uncovered and represented
a modest house built by the early 1850s,
when Austin had less than 1,000 residents.
The house was located in the middle of the
three lots forming the western half of Block
160. It was constructed with a half-basement
cut into the chalk bedrock. The
pieces of unweathered chalk cut from the
cellar hole were used to construct rubbletype
walls. The lower cellar walls were left
unlined. The entire cellar measured 15 by
12 feet and stood beneath a single-story
dwelling probably measuring 25 by 15 feet.
Re-landscaping episodes since 1890 on
this portion of Block 160 have removed
the deposits that would have contained
the entire footprint for this house. The
deeper deposits sealed in the cellar, however,
remained intact. They provide an
example of the range of artifacts found in
Austin households and show some aspects
of daily life, household possessions, and
Figure 2 (Above). Block
160 with a composite
overlay, based on maps, of
all buildings standing circa
1940. Beneath Buildings
12, 8, 7, and 13 are the
remains of earlier buildings
constructed in the
mid- 19th century. (Drawing
corresponds to Sections
F and G, Figure 1.)
Figure 3 (Right and bottom).
Example of the
change in standing structures
on Block 160. Lot
lines changed and the
above graph is keyed into
lots and building numbers
on the comparison figure.
= Active lot line
----- = Old lot lines
-- - . = Project boundary
= Grass ca. 1989
Scale: 1" = 50'
41TV1554 Range of Existence
Building# Lot# Building Type 1873 1884 1890 1900 1910 1920 1935 1950 1960
1 1,2 and 3 Rooming House I U
2 1 Outbuilding iii
3 1 Outbuilding pE
4 3 Outbuilding i_ _
5 G House
6 C Outbuilding
7 A Cafe
8 D Apartment Bld.
9 C House
10 B House
11 F Apartment Bld.
12 E House?
13 H Church
14 G,C Garage
15 B,C,F,G Outbuildings
lPossible building presence
Absolute building presence
CLotF L oLotA ;:. "B S6 m Lot
n .. s; ,..: .'..:. :...:..:..:.:-.:-...--....:;::;. .Qy :: :':s::Q:::::
: .: : .....................-:..:... :...... ..:..:.... .. .................. ........ . . :. .... : .: .:. .
e . ..:.....: .: :QQQQQQQQ.. ......:... .......... .&f i.. . ....
HERITAGE * SPRING 1992 13
Figure 4: 41TV1554 site area with superimposed building footprints from 1935 Sanborn map,
and 1948 aerial photo.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 10, Number 2, Spring 1992, periodical, Spring 1992; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45420/m1/13/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.