Memories of Sandtown

Waco Tribune Herald (Waco, TX), January 19, 2005


Sandtown, a place that exists only in the hearts and minds of its former inhabitants and their ancestors, was brought back to life for an evening through the recollections of some 100 people from the defunct neighborhood who gathered Tuesday night for a program by the Waco History Project.

Families with names like Fuentes, Ochoa, Sanchez, Martinez, Vasquez, Ramos, Bravo, Serrano, Torres and Campos were the folks who populated a gritty urban area from 1905 into the 1960s, until the federal Urban Renewal Project wiped clean the area bounded roughly by the Brazos River, Second Street, Jackson Avenue and I-35.

And several of their descendents swapped stories in the parish hall of Sacred Heart Catholic Church Tuesday, at the invitation of Robert Gamboa and other board members and friends of the Waco History Project.

From grocery stores and auto garages, barber shops and beer joints, an Assembly of God sanctuary to a swinging night spot and gambling hall called “The Blue Moon,” the memories rolled out from a crowd who needed very little goading to get started with the storytelling.

One man recalled watching his neighbors go fishing by casting a line out their bedroom window, they lived that close to the water’s edge. One woman said she remembered how 70 families shared a single water faucet under a tree for all their needs.

Another woman laughed at the nickname of her street, “La via de las tripas,” or “Guts Way,” so called because it was the location of a slaughterhouse, meatpacking plant, cowhide tannery and a cemetery.

UPDATE: Click here to read more about the Waco History Project.


Subjects Covered: diversity training, education

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