In its early days in the 1920s, Castle Heights was just a grassy hill at the end of the streetcar line, with a clear view of the Amicable building downtown. The city of Waco has since grown miles beyond the hill, and oaks and magnolia trees have…

Near the turn of the twentieth century, a booming cotton industry was quickly establishing Waco as one of the major urban centers of the South, encouraging many residents to more readily invest and spend their money locally. In 1890, local stone…

As one of the first churches built west of Eighth Street, Austin Avenue United Methodist Church has been a center of spiritual growth and community outreach for over one hundred years.  Having decided that the congregation at Waco’s Fifth Street…

The Old Corner Drugstore is the birthplace of Dr Pepper. In 1885, Morrison’s Old Corner Drugstore introduced Dr Pepper to customers who eagerly drank the sweet concoction of twenty-three different flavors.  Located at 329 Austin Avenue on the…

Sanger Brothers department stores were often described as the pioneer retail stores of Texas. Yet these successful mercantile ventures arose from humble beginnings. Between 1852 and 1874, five of the seven Sanger brothers immigrated to America from…

In the early twentieth century, George and Michael Colias immigrated to America from Sparta, Greece, in order to join their two brothers residing in Waco. Just teenagers at the time, the four young men worked together at Chris’ Café as busboys and…

Shortly after the 1936 flood waters had receded and cleanup was well under way, disaster struck Waco again. On October 4, the Liberty Building on Austin Avenue and Sixth Street exploded, fatally wounding 65-year-old janitor Warren Moore and causing…

Waco entered an economic slump in the aftermath of the 1953 Waco tornado, urban renewal in the 1960s, and the Austin Avenue Pedestrian Mall in the 1970s and ‘80s. Many businesses either moved or closed their doors permanently during this time. Yet…

Completed in 1970, the Austin Avenue Pedestrian Mall opened to high expectations. The City of Waco created the pedestrian mall in an effort to bring consumers back to the downtown district, closing down the street to automobiles and only allowing…

For over a century, the Baylor University Homecoming Parade has played an important role in the relationship between the institution, its alumni, and the greater Waco community. The tradition began in the fall of 1909, when Baylor alumni received a…

After the Amicable Life Insurance Company opened for business on April 2, 1910, the owners began searching for a location to house their new business. The owners of First National Bank, located at Fifth Street and Austin Avenue, also served as…