Heritage, Volume 8, Number 2, Spring 1990 Page: 10
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Top: Remains of nineteenth century cistern underlying brick pier from early twentieth ce
Above: Steps leading to a basement found under a parking lot on East 2nd Street. The ot
of the basement matches a house built here in the late 1860s or early 1870s occupied by the I
for many years. It was moved to south Austin in the 1960s.
introduced with lower class and rental
housing, became standard for houses of
Another house from the early settlement
of the area is located a block east of
the limestone rock foundation noted
above. Although its builder remains
unknown, it probably dates to the late
1860s. In the early 1870s it was bought and
occupied by the Dowell family. It is unusual
in that it is one of only two early homes in
the project area known to have had a
basement-somewhat surprising given the
relatively easily dug alluvial sediments in
the project area. The Dowell house basement
has not yet been excavated but preliminary
plans call for further studies here.
This house is also unique in that it is one of
two in the project area which was moved
rather than torn down. It now stands on
Riverside Farms Road.
10 HERITAGE * SPRING 1990
In 1873, when Augustus
lished his bird's-eye view map, c
residences stood in the project
more than two per block. In fa(
these appear to have been buil
few years prior to the publica
map. At least two had been ret
in 1872. Only a few date to the
earlier, indicating little settle
project area prior to the Civil '
Even in the decade followii
growth was relatively slow. A
the area was primarily, if not t
dential. Although the district c
be called elite, historic researc
that the district was home
businessmen and profession;
supported by the limited arc
evidence recovered so far.
One house remains in the p
from this early period. Known Ic
Trask house, it was thought to have been
built by the early Texas educator, Frances
Trask, who came from Massachusetts to
Texas in 1834. She was more than a school
teacher, however. In addition to her
celebrated presence at numerous social
occasions, she was no stranger to finance
and land speculation, accumulating a
considerable amount of property in her
years in Texas.
Trask acquired property in Austin as
early as 1849 where she must have lived for
a time. By 1856, however, she was teaching
school in Jasper and by 1860 she was living
in Karnes County. During the 1860s, she
returned to her native Massachusetts.
After that time her affairs in Austin were
handled by an agent. She sold the "Trask
house" property, located near East 1st and
Neches Streets, to Isaac V. Jones in 1871.
A jump in tax values the next year suggests
construction of the small stone house
that still stands on Neches Street. This is
strongly supported by the artifacts
recovered in excavations around and
underneath the structure, as well as minor
construction details of the interior.
The stone house at 105 Neches is the
oldest structure still standing in the proposed
Convention Center area and has
been singled out for preservation by the
City of Austin. Although design plans for
the Convention Center could not be
brought in line with in situ preservation, a
compromise was struck which would move
ntury house. the house one block northeast, locating it
outline in a park adjacent to the Convention Cen)owell
ter. The house, which will be restored and
maintained by the City, will be located
Koch pub- along Waller Creek in a setting similar to
0nly a dozen its original one. Excavations around this
area, barely house are now affording archaeologists a
:t, many of unique look at 1870s Austin.
t in the last One other Convention Center area
tion of the structure from the early 1870s is still
gently built standing although no longer on its original
1860s and site. The Nalle house, the huge Victorian
rent in the mansion of Joseph Nalle, owner of Nalle
War. Lumber Company and later mayor of
ring the war, Austin, was moved to Manchaca in the
it this time 1960s. Nalle, whose administration was
otally, resi- remembered for its political upheavals,
ould hardly particularly concerning city services and
h indicates the construction of a dam on the Colorado
to many River above Austin, was one of the
als, a fact neighborhood's more colorful residents.
theological Nalle, who was mayor from 1887 to
1889, moved to the west side of Austin in
)roject area 1891. Although the reason is not exactly
)cally as the
clear, the changing character in the
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 2, Spring 1990, periodical, Spring 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45428/m1/10/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.