Northwest Houston is bounded to the north by Spring Creek and the Harris-Montgomery County Line; to the northwest by Tomball, home of the Spring Creek County Historical Museum Complex; to the south by the Sam Houston Tollway; on the east by the Hardy Toll Road corridor and all the west of State Highway 249. It is a large community, but few know of the intriguing historical sites we have right here at home.
Old Town Spring, The Spring Historical Museum and Spring Visitor’s Center sit at the entrance to Old Town Spring at 606 Spring Cypress Road. Go to www.shopspringtexas.com and plan your excursion to shop and take in the local history.
The Klein Historical Foundation is a unique project of the Klein Independent School District that is dedicated to the preservation of local German history and culture and to educate school children and the public about our local roots. This organization supports the Wunderlich Farm Museum at 18218 Theiss Mail Route adjacent to Doerre Intermediate School. The museum is open the last Saturday of each month, except November, December and May. Additionally, the Foundation posts a “Driving Tour of the Klein Community”, a self-guided tour of historical sites, cemeteries and venues. Find this resource at www.kleinisd.net, click on Departments/Foundations and Historical Foundation to find a wealth of local culture and history.
The original inhabitants of North Harris County were Indians of the semi-nomadic tribe of Akokisa (also called Orcoquisac) Indians. They were a small tribe of under a few thousand that roamed in family groups fishing along the coast until winter when they congregated along Spring Creek to hunt deer, bear and buffalo. Northwest Houston was part of Stephen F. Austin’s original land grant and was settled by farmers and ranchers primarily from Great Britain, France and Germany during the early and middle 19th century.
Spring Creek and Cypress Creek provided the water to nourish a long pine forest band adjacent to agricultural lands. Land grants and later “first-class headright certificates” were issued to settlers making land ownership possible. With the establishment of the new Texas Republic in 1836, a land office was opened in Houston granting “first-class headright” certificates, a league and a labor of land in the public domain, to a head of a family and a third of a league for a single person. Benjamin Page, George Delesdenier and Daniel Harmon claimed their leagues along Cypress Creek, covering all land from I-45 west to Cutten Road and from FM 1960 to Louetta Road. Many of the present-day roads correspond to the old survey boundaries. The Wimbledon, Oak Creek Village, Terranova, Terranova West, and Bammel Forest subdivisions lie in the Delesdenier survey. Huntwick, Champions and Kleinwood are the Benjamin Page survey. Ponderosa, Westador, Enchanted Oaks and most of Cypresswood are in the original Daniel Harmon survey. Lexington Woods lies in the Howard Decrow survey; Prestonwood Forest in the Lorenzo de Zavala survey; Inverness Forest in the Benjamin Barrow survey; Northampton in the John Brock survey; and Aldine-Westfield, Timberlane and Mercer Arboretum exist in the Ambrose Mays survey.
German immigration began in the 1830’s, a time when the motherland was in social, political and economic upheaval. Immigrant Friedrich Ernst sent glowing letters home, attracting many Germans to the land south of Brenham. Additionally, the Galveston and Texas Land Company advertised for colonists from Germany. The Germans settling North Harris County arrived in the 1840’s. The Theises and the Hillegeists settled in Rosehill. The Brills and the Wunderlichs settled the Klein area along with the five Strack brothers, and Adam and Frederika Klein. Carl Wunsche settled in Spring and brought more kinsmen from Germany in subsequent years. Today, the roadways, schools and communities still bear the names of these founding families. Settlements and railroad towns cropped up across the region, some that still exist and most which have been swallowed up by suburban sprawl: New Kentucky, Stuebner, Kohrville, Klein, Westfield, and Louetta. The landscape remained relatively unspoiled for decades. There was no FM 1960, only Jackrabbit Road to the west and Bammel Road to the east, unconnected until the late 1940s when the county built the connecting link. This was designated Farm to Market Road 1960 in the 1950s when the state took over the two-lane road. The rural population increased moderately until the boom years of the past few decades produced rapid suburbanization of the forested lands in the region. Beautiful North Harris County was enjoyed by golfers who traveled to the new Champions Golf Club that opened in 1958 by golfing greats Jackie Burke and Jimmie Demaret. With the plan to build Houston Intercontinental Airport in 1966 on the table, developers flocked to the scene. Subdivisions sprang up, offering a quality life in a tree-lined, affluent suburbia. School districts managed the growth and other cultural amenities followed.
The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1974 by enlightened leaders to promote business and community interests in the area. The Houston Northwest Medical Center opened its doors in 1973 and in 1975, the Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services Association began to provide quality emergency care services. North Harris County College opened in 1976 and now boasts five colleges and a University Center serving over 50,000 students each year. The Cypress
Creek Parkway project was conceived to develop a 4,000 acre greenbelt along Cypress Creek, a project that remains a community priority. Cypress Creek Christian Community Center was built in 1977 alongside the Cypress Creek Library (now the Barbara Bush Library complex) and the Cypress Creek Courthouse. With the subsequent local population boom came a robust increase in demand for retail stores and services. Most new commercial development occurred along FM 1960, particularly near the main cross streets. Development of Willowbrook Mall established a strong commercial focus in the area. Extensive office, retail and apartment development occurred during the 1980s. In the 90’s, growth escalated northward with commercialization along Cypresswood, Louetta, and Spring Cypress Roads. Hooks Airport began serving Bush Intercontinental Airport as a reliever facility, and now services private, law enforcement, news media, commercial and corporate aircraft. Population in the area’s zip codes now exceeds 850,000 persons. Today, we enjoy an era of growth, affluence, increasing diversity and cultural amenities unparalleled in the region.
We are proud to be one of the “next great Edge cities” and we are challenged to manage our growth to insure the preservation of our safe community, our beautiful neighborhoods, our parks and green spaces, our quality schools and libraries and our top-notch performing and visual arts community.