Tag Archives: shoal creek

The Passionate Concern of Dedicated Individuals

 

 

 

Jacob Fontaine house, now Freedmen’s Bar, Austin, Texas, ©2017 Ted Lee Eubanks

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Rev. Jacob Fontaine (1808 – 1898) lived his first 55 years as a slave. For a time, he and his wife lived on the Woodlawn Plantation, part of which is now Pease Park. With emancipation, the Rev. Fontaine became one of Austin’s most notable residents.

Stir the Blood

Bullock Texas State History Museum by Ted Lee Eubanks
Bullock Texas State History Museum by Ted Lee Eubanks

The man for whom history is bunk is almost invariably as obtuse to the future as he is blind to the past…J. Frank Dobie

Austin began with Shoal Creek sitting on the sidelines. Edwin Waller adopted Shoal Creek as the western edge of the new city, and his to-be namesake as the eastern boundary. Congress Avenue became the centerline.

No longer.  Austin is upside down, inside out. The city sprawls past these edges into the white-rocked and cedar-treed hinterlands. Shoal Creek neighborhoods like Old Enfield and Pemberton Heights, renewed and revitalized, eject thousands of motorists each morning to wend their ways to downtown employment.

The Shoal Creek Trail and Pease Park, Austin, Texas

Shoal Creek @ Pease Park
We are Austin based and Texas bred. Shoal Creek is our neighborhood, a slim needle of a creek that splits the heart of Austin into two equal halves. Shoal Creek is dressed Texan, a rarely wet swath of white rocks and cedar trees. To be precise, the white rocks are Georgetown limestone, and the cedar trees are ash junipers. No matter. A Texan would understand.