The burst of construction of the Houston Zoo, founded in 1922 with a single bison (Earl) donated by a traveling circus, happened in the 1950s, which coincided with the habit of yearbook photos being taken in places other than the school's campus.
The earliest year the Zoo becomes a backdrop is in Milby's 1952 book:
The next appearance is five years later, in the Reagan yearbook of 1957, in which, rather startlingly and alarmingly, students appear to be IN the animals' enclosures!
They're holding a little snake, but is no one concerned about the crocodile right behind them?
From the 1957 Bellaire book:
The long-beloved Lion water fountain makes its first appearance in both Bellaire's and Pasadena's 1961 books:
1962 Waltrip managed to capture the zoo train at its entrance to what was a really scary, dark tunnel, at least in my childhood's memory:
Milby, 1963, showing off the Mickey head balloons that were the rage for decades:
1965 Spring Branch, in blazing color at the Black Bear enclosure.
1965 Spring Woods
1969 Milby, back inside animal enclosures
(This was in the same set as the rest above, with the animal and train photos, but I'm not positive where or what this was.)
1977 Sterling (the only book available online for Sterling was this year, so I reviewed it)
back to Houston Area Yearbook Series Index