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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Administrative History

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Separated Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Shoal Creek Project Records, 1988-1995

Austin History Center

Shoal Creek Project Records

An Inventory of the Collection



Collection Summary

Creator: Valentine, Sarah McKim
Title: Shoal Creek Project Records
Dates: 1988-1995
Dates (Bulk): 1992-1993
Abstract: The Shoal Creek Project was an early 1990s community initiative in Austin, Texas, that aimed to research and restore Shoal Creek, with primary focus on the park greenbelt between 31st and 38th Streets. The records document the activities of the project through research, notes, correspondence, photographs, slides, oral history recordings, and transcripts.
Accession number: AR.2017.027
Quantity: 0.4 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oral History Collection, Outer Vault
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Shoal Creek Project was organized in October 1991 by area residents for the purposes of research and restoration of the creek. The historical research centered on gathering and preserving memories and memorabilia about the creek through interviews with residents of neighborhoods bordering the creek. The long-term goal of the project was to recover as much of the park greenbelt’s original ecology as possible, providing a healthy model for other park areas and demonstrating the value of stewardship of public lands. The focus of the project was on the park greenbelt between 31st and 38th Streets.

Specialists from the Texas Water Commission, Friends of the Parks, Texas Historical Commission, Texas Highway Department, Native Prairies Association, AISD Community Education, National Wildlife Research Center, Austin Parks & Recreation Department, Austin History Center, and PARD’s Urban Forestry Division assisted on the project.

The history division of the project had four main activities: to conduct oral histories with long-time residents of the Shoal Creek area; to create a photolog with photographs and journal entries; the creation of the Shoal Creek Archive to be given to the Austin History Center; and the creation of a resource guide to relevant contemporary and historical materials created to assist future researchers. (Not all of these activities were seen through to completion.)

Sarah McKim Valentine served as chair of the Shoal Creek Project and Mary Tol Simpson organized and collected several oral history interviews.

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Scope and Contents

The collection documents the work of the Shoal Creek Project through reports, correspondence, research, and photographs. Photographs taken in 1990-1991 document initial biological monitoring activities (photos #310-324). A 1994 draft of a report put together by the Shoal Creek Project includes photographs taken as part of the project’s “photolog” and offers recommendations to the city. A final copy of this report is available in the Austin History Center’s General Collection. The correspondence is largely between Valentine, members of the community, and city officials. Correspondence between Valentine and Councilmember Brigid Shea discusses the 1993 erosion control project on Shoal Creek. Storm sewer maps sent from the city’s Environmental & Conservation Services Department are also included.

The initial research and notes date from 1988-1992 and contain clippings, memos, meeting notes and fliers created and collected by Sarah McKim Valentine. Information about stormwater management and a bibliography of books/reports is included. Also of note is a copy of “A Sense of Shoal Creek,” a thesis by A. Eric Travis gifted to Valentine during her research. The bulk of collection documents the oral history project conducted by Valentine and Mary Tol Simpson. See note within the detailed description of the collection about the contents of the audiocassettes (tape numbers 3315 and 3316). The transcripts, notes, and correspondence with interviewees is separated into a general file and a “follow-ups needed” file kept by Valentine. The general file includes initial project organization, a list of prospective interviewees, and partial and full transcripts of interviews of the following individuals: W.G. Henderson, Forrest Preece, Sr., James P. Quinlan, Clara Schulle, Eldridge Walker, Kermit Voelkel, Joe Whitlock, Grace Freund Cavett, and Gladys Freund Cavett. Also included are photographs of Kermit Voelkel in his yard and parts of the creek, and Allandale neighborhood activities. The “follow-ups” file contains transcripts of interviews with Ronald D. Van Maanen, Forrest Preece, Sr., Joe Whitlock, Jean Williams Dugger Marshall, Janet Fish, Clara Schulle, James and Dorothy Quinlan, and the Cavetts. Photos of the Cavett home are included. Many of the interviews discuss the Memorial Day Flood of 1981. Photocopies of Clara Shulle’s photographs documenting the flood are attached to her interview.

The photolog journal documents the weather, biology, wildlife, and project activities from 1991-1992. Photographs of the creek, including images of erosion, trash, and clean-up projects, are included in the color slides and prints. A small binder of research (files kept in order and removed from binder) contain bibliographic and archival resources about the history of Shoal Creek. Correspondence and fliers from 1994 document a neighborhood issue of vagrant camps in the creek area.

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Arrangement

Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Open to all users

Use Restrictions

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Cavett, Gladys Freund.
Fish, Janet.
Henderson, W. G.
Kenmotsu, Nancy Adele.
Marshall, Jean Williams Dugger.
Owens, Mulkey.
Quinlan, Dorothy.
Quinlan, James P.
Schulle, Clara.
Shea, Brigid.
Simpson, Mary Tol.
Van Maanen, Ronald D.
Voelkel, Kermit E.
Voelkel, Veola H.
Valentine, Sarah McKim.
Walker, Eldridge
Word, James H.
Wendler, Ed Tynan, Sr.
Zrioka, William.
Subjects (Organizations)
National Wildflower Research Center (U.S.).
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Seton Hospital (Austin, Tex.).
Shoal Creek Project (Austin, Tex.).
Subjects
Human ecology--Texas--Austin.
Urbanization--Texas--Austin.
Creeks--Texas--Austin.
Ecology--Texas--Austin.
Springs--Texas--Austin.
Floods--Texas--Austin.
Erosion--Texas--Austin.
Native Americans--Texas--Austin.
City planning--Texas--Austin.
Stormwater management--Texas--Austin.
Oral history.
Places
Seiders Spring (Austin, Tex.).
Shoal Creek (Austin, Tex.).
Bryker Woods (Austin, Tex.).
Allandale (Austin, Tex.).
Austin (Tex.)--Environmental conditions.
Burnet Road 4705 (Austin, Tex.).
Burnet Road 4703 (Austin, Tex.).
34th Street (Austin, Tex.).
Document Types
Transcripts.
Correspondence.
Color slides.
Sound cassettes.
Clippings.
Notes.
Color photographs.

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Related Material

General Collection


  • A 551.488 AU Austin (Tex.). Public Works Department, Flood Control Improvements [Shoal Creek]. 1982.
  • A 551.483 UN United States. Army. Fort Worth District, Shoal Creek, Austin, Texas: Final Interim Report and Environmental Assessment. 1991.
  • A 551.483 ZR Zrioka, William, A Tour of Shoal Creek: Living on the Edge. 1993.
  • A 627.83 ON Watson, John A., On-site Investigations on May 29, June 11, 17, 1981 of Complaint by R. M. Dixon Against An Alleged Unauthorized Dam on Shoal Creek at 49th. Street in Austin, Texas, Colorado River Basin, Travis County. 1981.
  • A 304.2 TR Travis, Eric, A Sense of Shoal Creek. .
  • A 628.21 AL Allandale Neighborhood Association, Commentary on the Upper Shoal Creek Wastewater Interceptor. 1978.
  • A 711.558 AUP235S Austin (Tex.). Department of Parks and Recreation, Study Report: Shoal Creek Greenbelt Extension. 1980.
  • A 551.483 CA, Call to Action: A Report on the Neighborhood Park at Seiders Springs and Bryker Woods. 1994.
  • A 551.4890976 BU Burnett, Jonathan, Flash Floods in Texas. 2008.
  • A 551.302 Sh, Shoal Creek Watershed Erosion Assessment, C.I.P. No. 485-617-2000: For the City of Austin Drainage Utility. 1997.

Archives & Manuscripts


Austin Files


  • AF Biography - James M. "Mulkey" Owens
  • AF Biography - Seiders Family
  • AF Biography - Janet Fish
  • AF Biography - Brigid Shea
  • AF House/Building - Burnet Road, 4703

Periodicals


  • Shoal Creek News
  • The Bryker Woods Herald
  • The Allandale Neighbor

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Separated Material

A copy of the Lifestyle section of the Austin American-Statesman from Sunday, July 11, 1993 was deaccessioned.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Shoal Creek Project Records (AR.2017.027). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1990/076

Donation Date: 2017 July 22

Processing Information

Processing and finding aid by Kelly Hanus in November 2018.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Shoal Creek Project Records, 1988-1995

Box Folder
1 1 Biological monitoring (#310-324), 1990-1991
2 Call to Action: A Report on the Neighborhood Park at Seiders Springs and Bryker Woods [Draft], 1994
3 Correspondence, 1991-1995
4 Initial research and notes (#347), 1988-1992
Oral History Project, 1992-1993
Tape #3315 contains the following: Mary Tol Simpson recounting interviews with Mrs. H.W. Schulle (First 12:40 of tape); Charley Joyce (12:45 - 19.30), Jean Williams Dugger Marshall (19.30 - 28.40/ 38:00 - ), Eldridge Walker and daughter Sandra Walker (28.45 - 38:00), Gladys Cabot (47:00 - 55:45), Forrest Preece (55:55 - continues on B side 4:10). Also on tape #3315 is Mary Tol Simpson interviewing Joe Woodlawn about Shoal Creek history. Started at 4:15 mark of B side of recording. Recounts episode of flooding of creek (4:15 - 60:00).
Tape #3316 contains the following: Mary Tol Simpson interviewing Kermit Voelkel and his wife Veola Voelkel about the history of Shoal Creek as part of Shaol Creek Project (36 minutes). Includes recording of Mary Tol Simpson after interview with additional notes about interview, starting at 37 minute mark. Also included on tape #3316: Mary Tol Simpson interviewing Janet Fish about Shoal Creek history. Subjects go beyond creek into Texas History with early tales of Austin settlement. Interview starts at 42 minute mark of Side A with no introduction and continues on side B.
Location RecordingNo
Oral History Collection 3315 Mary Tol Simpson recounts interviews with Mrs. H. W. Schulle, Charley Joyce, Jean Williams Dugger Marshall, Eldridge Walker, 1992
3315 Joe Woodlawn, 1992
3316 Kermit and Veola Voelkel, 1992
3316 Janet Fish, 1992
Box Folder
1 5 General (#348-368), 1991-1993
6 Follow-ups needed (#369-376), 1992-1993
Photolog, 1991-1993
Box Folder
1 7 Journal, 1991-1992
8 Prints (#325-346), circa 1992
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault Color Neg. Drawer Slides (#001-309), 1991-1993
Box Folder
1 9 Research binder, 1992-1993
10 Vagrant camp, 1994

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