History Blog: Solving the puzzle of A&M’s Veterans Village

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

The following message was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.

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VETERANS VILLAGE DUPLEX HOUSES FOR SALE (Sept. 17, 1953)

Duplex clipI had heard of the Texas A&M project houses on Jersey Street (now George Bush) and the married-student College View apartments, but I was puzzled about exactly where Veterans Village was located. In the course of my research, I ran across the ad at the right from The Eagle published on Sept. 17, 1953, which refers to duplex houses.

BlackberryadI also found several classified ads (left) for items for sale by Veterans Village residents. Most ran in the late 1940s.

Third adThe ad at right from January 1949 also mentions College View. This confirmed my hunch that Veterans Village was not the married-student apartments along University Drive.

SurplusbuildingadI found that in May 1952, A&M ran the ad at the left, giving details such as building numbers and dimensions for several two-story buildings “located in Veterans Village on the A&M Campus.”

HearneWreckingadThen, on June 24, 1952, Hearne Wrecking Co. advertised the plumbing fixtures and appliances (right) from “5 Large Buildings at Veterans Village” for sale. My guess is they were high bidder in response to the May 22 advertisement.

Surplusbuildingad2The next summer, on Aug. 2, 1953, A&M ran the ad on the left for bids on “23 one-story … duplex apartment buildings known as Veterans Village Student Apartments …”

So, where was Veterans Village located?  I found the following photos on the A&M Cushing Library Flickr site, but didn’t recognize the location. At first, I thought they weren’t on campus.

campus1Campus2

The 1949-dated photo below shows two-story buildings in the background with their roofs under construction. In the foreground are travel trailers, which I assume belong to the construction workers.

Campus3

Puzzle solved

Veterans Village, the same one-story duplexes and two-story large apartment buildings shown under construction in the 1949 photos, stretch across the middle of the photo below.  The south end of Kyle Field is visible at the left, the 1930s project houses and edge of Jersey Street are in the lower right, and the Corps dorms and Duncan Dining Hall are along the top.

Campus4Veterans Village was located in what is now the tailgating park between the Koldus Building parking garage and the Clayton Williams Association of Formers Students building. Apparently, they were only there for about five years to handle World War II veterans.

El Camino Real Association Needs Help

I will be promoting this more as the time nears, but visit this link to learn about a great opportunity for the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association to purchase one of the most prominent trail segments. The website includes a video about the trail. Please consider supporting the effort, even if it’s only a small donation, and share the link with your friends through your social media connections. If everyone just gives what they spend for a single lunch, we would easily reach our goal.

Have a great week!

Henry Mayo
 
Henry Mayo
Surveyor and Historian | email
 

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