Last week, I started talking about landmarks that have had an influence in the lives of those growing up in our town. Now, before Kelly’s was the place in town for country cooking, there was Dorothy’s Country Kitchen. That was some good eating.
However, not all the memories about this establishment are about the food. Some learned valuable lessons about their career direction in life. Geraldine Wagner Murphy stated on the Facebook page “You grew up in League City, Texas if you remember” that “Dorothy lived across the street from me. She gave me my first job as a waitress. I had a table of about eight or nine League City police officers. I had all the glasses of water on my tray and went to put them down, and the tray tipped and all the glasses slid off the tray and on the table, and I soaked all the police. They (police) thought I should find a different career.”
There were other memorable eating establishments such as The Toddle House on FM 518, where the present-day Waffle House is. There was Wyatt’s cafeteria that was in the old Safeway shopping center at FM 518 and Interstate 45.
Before that Patricia Smith wrote: “There was a pecan orchard on the northeast corner until Safeway built their grocery store there ... the windmill pumped water into the trough for cattle.”
Steve Jones wrote: “Wyatt’s Cafeteria and Eckerd Drugs were two of the businesses in the Safeway strip center. Before the strip center was built, the land belonged to James Hayden Ross. He had a big mansion close to the creek. It burned down in the ’80s. The police thought a homeless person started a fire to keep warm.”
All towns have their secrets, but that is a column for another day. Wyatt’s was one of those places where when you walked in you knew many, if not everyone, there. Mom and Dad ate there pretty frequently.
Some eating establishments moved around. Steve Jones talked about Weaver’s BBQ and stated: “They started on Highway 3 in a trailer. Then they moved to a strip center at Calder Road and FM 518 before they moved to Texas Avenue and FM 518. I loved their BBQ.”
Christi Arolfo Tschirhart wrote that she “Had many meals at the Weaver’s on Highway 3 from the trailer. Great BBQ.”
These landmarks are the memories that make up our town, a town that in 1960 was not incorporated so there are no exact population numbers. In 1970 the population was 10,818; by 2010 it was 83,560. As of July 1, 2013 it is projected to have been 90,234. Landmarks come and go, but the history that teaches us “life lessons” never fades from our minds.
Chris John Mallios, a longtime resident of League City, is writing
a series of occasional columns about the history of his hometown. He can be reached at email@example.com.