Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Ephemera: Postcard shows the 2 mills in downtown Kerrville

After stumbling around on the riverbank several months ago, on and beneath the bluff behind the buildings in the 800 block of Water Street, I came to the conclusion there were two mills on the site.  One ran up to a building which is no longer there, about where One Schreiner Center is today; the other, to what we used to call the Ice House when I was a kid.
Yesterday a reader of this blog, Jim, sent me a scan of a postcard which shows the two separate mills.  I think this proves the theory -- but what do you think?
Click on image to enlarge
Roller Mills and Dam, Kerrville, probably around 1920.


  1. This posting is an old postcard.

    In the "Golden Years" of postcard printing, photographers took a photo of a certain local scene and then printers printed the postcards, utilizing the scenic photo.

    Next, the postcards would be sold to local citizens, who loved seeing their town scenes preserved on postcards. It was a popular and sometimes profitable business during the first half of the 1900's.

    There's no reason to think this picture postcard is anything but what it implies, meaning there were two channels and Joe was correct with his original "two mill channels" theory.

    Good work, Joe!!

  2. Mr. Eastland, who owned the Kerrville Ice House, spoke many times of the dual mill channels.

    Joe's research is "right on the money."

  3. In reference to the red building at the Ice House, here is an enigma that I have been unable to solve.

    The building did not have a staircase.

    How did workers get to the upper levels of the building?

    The postcard photo that Joe posted seems to indicate a ramp of some type on the front of the red brick building.

    Was it a portable or external staircase? I’m not certain.

    I have been told that the underground facilities were accessed by way of a “below ground level” door on the west side of the building.

    Supposedly, the doorway led directly into the underground rooms. I have never seen that doorway myself, so I can only report on what I was told, true or not true, I don’t know.

    Again, how did workers get to the upper levels?

    Eventually, an elevator was installed on the east side of the building.

    I saw that old rusty, door-less elevator many times, but for the life of me, I cannot remember if it was built inside the red building (as one would expect) or whether the elevator shaft was built as an attachment to the building.

    In the 1950’s, the entire first floor of the red building was a deer storage vault that was used as temporary storage only during hunting season.

    Perhaps there was a staircase, and during the construction of the deer storage vault, the first level of the staircase was removed.

    Or, perhaps the elevator shaft was constructed inside the red building, and prior to installing the elevator, there were stairs inside the shaft that were removed.

    I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I would like to know.

    Are there any existing floor plans, or diagrams, of the red building?

    If anyone knows the answer for certain, please post your reply.

    I am grateful for any help offered.

  4. I did not know, really, until following your blog, that the mills ever existed. I love learning about all of the history. Fascinating, once again, Joe! I look forward to your blog every day, from over here on the West Coast---I get to see a slice of my childhood town, that I, too, think is very special. ;-)

  5. Does anyone have photos that show the front of the old Ice House?

    I would love to see interior and exterior photos.

  6. If you look at the 1916 Sanborn Maps, sheet
    # 2, you can see that the red brick building that was part of the Schreiner Mill, and later the Kerrville Ice House, had no stairs in it.

    How did workers get to the upper floors of the red brick building?


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