Book Highlights

Telephone Road, Texas features eleven chapters and a large number of photos that present the story of some of southeast Houston’s most interesting and important places and people. Some highlights are chapters on:

  • The growth of Hobby Airport from a tiny private airfield to today’s modern airport serving over eight million passengers a year.
  • The gigantic, nationally-known Christy Brothers Circus’ years of using South Houston for winter quarters in the 1920’s and 30’s.
  • The Jimmie Menutis Club’s years of hosting performances by a who’s who of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers like Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Louis Armstrong.
  • The Santa Rosa Theater’s rise and fall from a classy family-friendly movie theater to a decaying porno theater, to its closing, and demolition.
  • The fast electric Interurban train’s years of zipping back and forth between Houston and Galveston.
  • The famous Gold Star/Sugar Hill Recording Studio’s fifty years of recording nationally known artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins, George Jones, Freddy Fender, and the Big Bopper.
  • Gulfgate Mall’s history is traced from being Houston’s first major regional shopping center to its decline, demolition, rebuilding, and renaissance today.
  • The Ambox building at Telephone and Westover that was used as a Manned Spacecraft Center by NASA scientists and astronauts in the race to be the first to land a man on the moon. Details and photos are provided of the building’s visit by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
  • The Sam Allen Ranch’s use of 15,000 acres in southeast Houston for a large cattle ranch. Details about Sam Allen’s neighbor, Governor Francis Lubbuck, and his ranch near where Telephone and Bellfort is today are also included. These ranches were later sold off to make up the majority of the neighborhoods that make up southeast Houston today.
  • The last chapter called “Interesting Places” gives brief histories of a diverse list of unique places like The Orange Show, neighborhoods like Idylwood and Eastwood, churches like Queen of Peace and the Church of the Redeemer Episcopal, restaurants like the Tel-Wink Grill, and Loma Linda, and long-standing businesses like Paul’s Ice House, and Stubb’s Cycles.
Copyright Burton Chapman