Monday, May 5, 2014

Sagemont's First Tree, May 1975, a first family looks back to 1964

Ann West a pioneer resident of Sagemont relaxes in the shade of one of the trees her family planted when first moving to Sagemont.

By Marie Flickinger
NEWS Correspondent
May, 1975

LOCAL - The George West family has watched Sagemont grow from a five home water district to the large subdivision it is today. 

The West family moved here in July of 1964, and purchased this first home for sale after the water district had been established.

Ann, wife of George says, "We were really out in the boon docks. We were the first family to start living here except for five water district houses, way back on Sageville."

When the Wests moved in there were about 12 houses under construction on Sagewood and Sageville. They all shared a common backyard for a year or two, before fences went up. At the time, Sagemont was given the first bit of landscaping. Two and three foot trees were planted. Ann stated that, "there was absolutely nothing out here that even looked like a tree or grass or flowers. Only a few shaggy shrubs that the builders planted in front of each house and called it landscaping."

It was kind of lonely being in Sagemont first. The only company the West's had for the first month, until the next door neighbors [The Bakers, at 11222 Sageville] moved in were field mice, crickets, and "millions" of other species of bugs which Ann said she had "never seen before in either Alaska, or California," where they had lived previously. 

One of the inconveniences suffered by the "first families" of Sagemont was the lack of mail service. Residents of the area had to go to the old post office on Galveston Road to either pick up or send off mail. The trip was quite a pilgrimage. South Belt was not completed under the freeway, so to get to Old Galveston road, the residents had to go along the feeder road to McHard St. (now called Scarsdale Blvd.), cross over the freeway, and go back along the feeder to Broadway, and then to Old Galveston Road, where the post office was located. 

This same route, as far as Broadway, had to be taken every time there was grocery shopping to be done. The Wests did most of their shopping at Weingartens, and other stores, at Gulfgate, as the shopping area at Edgebrook was not developed. The closest bank was also at Gulfgate. 

There were a few shops available at the College Street area.

The entire area where Target, Woolco, and the Almeda Mall are located was open fields.

Edgebrook had only a couple of gas stations and one or two convenience stores. 

The two West boys and two friends that lived door spend a great deal of time hiking and camping "in the back of Sagemont." They would don their backpacks and head out for the deserted countryside, which is presently occupied by Stuchberry Elementary. 

Things have certainly changed during the last 11 years, reflects Ann, "Sagemont has grown from one family to over 2200, and my nine year old "baby" is now a junior in College."

If the latest studies are correct, Sagemont's growth in the area is only the beginning. Additional growth in the area is evident daily. A new subdivision, Sageglen, will be developed soon, as have the subdivisions of Sagewood, Kirkwood South, Kirkmont, and Sagemeadow.

On my last trip, I was delighted to discover the origins of the South Belt Press in 1976 sprang from Marie's work for the NEWS in 1975. They were a local area paper that put out editions around Friendswood, Pearland, Clear Lake, and the like and, in 1975, asked her if she wouldn't like to contribute to a local edition for the South Belt area. After a year, she and Bobbye (also a NEWS coreespondent) struck out on their own and the South Belt Press was born. Marie has kept that year of papers stacked in a filing cabinet and I was thrilled to get a chance to scan some of the photos and pieces from them for the blog. This will be first of several installments from that paper's pages. 

Since I grew up in the home that was originally built by the Bakers at 11222 Sageville, I was thrilled to find this "old days" throwback interview among the stacks.

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