…about 202 Madison’s infamous past. When I moved in next door in 1979, Cecil Reynolds, the owner, told me that it had once been a brothel. He invited me down to the half-basement which had a long hallway down the middle with rooms 1 through 6 on one side and 7 through 12 on the other. The numbers over the doorways were in black lettering on green tiles.
…when we were growing up at our house on W. Johnson Street. Our property backed right up to the river back then. Our Dad had a boat dock at the base of a huge tree on the bank of the river. He had a wooden boat with a Johnson 3 hp outboard motor. We’d cruise up and down the river in that boat. We could go south only as far as the S. Alamo dam, but we could go up river almost to town since the Nueva St. dam didn’t exist back then. Dad told us that he could remember a time when he would see guards with guns posted around the perimeter of the U.S. Arsenal (now H-E-B headquarters). The guards would sometimes stop him and make him turn around and go back down river.
When they realigned the river in the late 1960’s and took out the bend that went behind the Guenther Mill, we no longer had the river at our backyard. Our mother was sad for a long time. Not only did they take away our part of the river but they cut down that magnificent tree.
…when Pioneer Flour Mill would have enormous trailer trucks lined up overnight with their motors running waiting to deliver grain to the mill. They would line up on King William, Main and Guenther. That was before they purchased and developed the area behind the mill.