Thursday, July 14, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Rock Lodges, North Beach, Corpus Christi, ABT 1976, and 40 Years Later

Once I figured out the location of a couple pictures on our "mystery" roll of  Ektachrome film from the 1970s that we had developed by Film Rescue International. I was quickly able to figure out where the two black-and-white photos in this picture were.  Take a look and see how they match with a similar color view forty years later:

The pictures above were taken standing out in the middle of Beach Avenue on North Beach in Corpus Christi, roughly in front of 302-304-306 Beach, the subjects in last week's post.  Further evidence that this is the right location is that the circa-1976 302 Beach picture was #8 on the roll, while its near neighbor (304 or 306) was #7.  The black-and-white picture above was #9, while the black-and-white below was #6.  I imagine my husband only had to walk half-a-block down Beach to get these four shots.

These photos are of the “back” side of today’s Travel Inn at 4414 Surfside Boulevard at its intersection with Beach Avenue on North Beach in Corpus Christi.  My research shows that the Tourist Inn was the Rock Lodges tourist court from at least 1955 (first reference in city directories I can access online) to at least November 1963. It was owned/operated by a Henry J. Kerber (1911-1995) and his wife Thelma from at least 1955 through at least 1960 (according to city directories - Surfside Boulevard was C Avenue back then), and I found a reference to a March 1956 newspaper article that indicated Henry had just been reelected president of the North Beach Businessmen's Association.

Gordon Henry Grote (born 1921 in Mason County, Texas) and his family lived there from at least 1966 through 1969 (based on newspaper articles); he still owned it at his death in 1997.

The owner of 302 Beach tells me that Mrs. Grote (who is still alive as of this writing), "was our neighbor when we first moved here in 1996ish, but the Rock Lodges - as it still was then - sold twice after that.  The last owner ... changed the name to the franchised chain.  Mr. Grote was the postman assigned to this neighborhood for over 30 years; Mrs. Grote was a school teacher."

© Amanda Pape - 2016 - click here to e-mail me.

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