The Family House, Old County Road 172 and driveway.

 

Scroll down to read detailed historical information about Quick Hill and the land the house used to sit on.

 

These photos are of the road, now called Old Country Road 172.

The northern part of old 172, looking south towards the top of the hill.  The family house was on the left, and the grandpartents house was on the right.        Looking from the top of the hill and down on old 172.  Facing north.

These are pictures of the driveway that lead to the house.

The entrance driveway to the family house off of old 172.        1/2 way down the driveway, looking back to old 172.        1/2 way down the driveway, looking toward the family house.

Further down the driveway, nearing the house's remains.         Closer to the remains of the family house.        Looking from the family house site, out to the driveway.

These shots of the front yard were taken while standing in the middle of the driveway.

The front yard.        The front yard.

This is a shot of the left side of the front yard, taken while standing at what was once the front porch of the house.

Left side of the front yard, from the house.

The stone foundation columns are still standing about 1 1/2 feet high.  The back door stairs remain as well.

When we arrived at the site, the ground that was under the house was still moist as compared to the rest of the ground that was dry.

I really think that we missed seeing the house by a couple of days before it was moved.

Remains of the family house.      Remains of the family house.      Remains of the family house.

Here's some shots from the back yard.  Included, are the stairs and the gate.

The back yard, stairs and gate.        The back door stairs.        The back door wooden gate.

These were taken between the shed/watertower and the house, behind and to the right of the house.

From down the side of the house.

And further back...

Further down.

Back | Home



The following article appeared in the Community Impact Newspaper, Volume 7 Issue 1, Sept. 2-Oct 6, 2011.

La Frontera - Before Commerce was King, Cows Ruled

The land that is now the shopping center La Frontera was not always a paved mecca for customers looking for books, boxers and burritos situated at the intersection of I-35 and Toll 45.

Developed by Bill Smalling, now deceased, and Don Martin, La Frontera was, for a time, the largest outdoor shopping center in the Austin area and has become a major focal point of Round Rock commerce, especially with the impending move of Emerson Process Management into the Frontera Vista buildings.

But the land that Martin said was once "the world's best dove hunting site" had a long history before it became home to Barnes & Noble, Lowe's and La Frontera Square.  In fact, the massive, multimillion dollar property might never have been if it weren't for the persistence of a dairy farmer named Tom Kouri.

The Land
Kouri was a longtime Williamson County resident who owned about 228 acres of the 328 acres tha tnow make up La Frontera, using the land primarily for dairy farming.  He was, by all accounts, a friendly man who stuck to his word and his convictions.

Kouri, who attorney Rick Albers described as having a "Depression Era" sensibility, was adamant that his land was not to be broken up.  He would sell all 228 acres, or none of it.

Joe Vining, then the director of planning and community development, said Kouri, who is now deceased, was offered "millions and millions" of dollars for portions of the land but refused to sell it in parts.

"He was kind of like my favorite uncle, just an absolute, marvelous man," vining said.

The land itself had its quirks.  For example, on the 100 acres just west of Kouri's property, now also included in La Frontera, sat the original house used in the filming of the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Bill Boeker, who, along with Smalling and Martin, was one of the development partners on behalf of the major financial backer for La Frontera, recalled receiving a letter from one of the movie's fans made out of cutout magazine letters that said, basically, "I'm going to kill you."

Nothing ever came of the threat, and the house was eventually moved from the land, but it became part of La Frontera lore.

The Deal
Kouri had, for some time, been entertaining offers for the land but had turned all of them down until Martin and Smalling.

Albers, an attorney with Kuperman, Orr & Albers P.C., represented Martin's group on the land purchase.

Albers was in a good position early on, as he said he knew Kouri's lawyer and was able to send out feelers on the purchase of the land.  The project was under contract with another developer, but, Albers said, Kouri was getting restless with the lack of progress.

So when Albers was told Kouri could be looking for a new developer, he made sure Kouri knew his buyers were serious.

"I told [Kouri's lawyer], 'Well, I've got a client who wants to buy it.'...I told him, "They've got the money, they've got the backing, they know what they're doing,'" Albers said.  "Based on that, [Kouri] decided he'd take a chance, he'd let go of the fist he had on the line and hook the next one and see if the next one could perform, and we did."

The money and the backing, it turned out, was from Ed Bass, one of the Bass brothers who had helped develop downtown Fort Worth and had millions in real estate, oil and other projects.

Martin's connection to Bass came through Bass representative Boeker, who has worked for the Bass company for about 20 years.  He and Martin had worked on a management atreement for an AMC movie theater, and AMC was looking at moving into Austin.  Though the theater never came to be, it was during that process that Martin and Smalling brought the Kouri property to Boeker's attention.

With Bass money backing the project and Martin and Smalling willing to take the entire property, plus and additional 100 acres to the west, Kouri only had one other request.

"What was interesting about him was, at the closing... [Kouri] made a specific request that he got a check because he wanted to hold the check and hold that much money in his hand," Albers said.  "He wanted to hold that check, and he did.  And then he went to Las Vegas.  That was his celebratory trip."

Development
Martin said the development and sale of the property went relatively quick.  He and Smalling finished out the project horizontally-roads, utilities and the lik-and sold off the rest of the lots to developers within about 10 years for about $114 million, Marin said.

La Frontera broke ground in 1998, and the first retail, including Lowe's and Sam's Club, opened in 2001.  Martin said it was unusual that everything was not built in phasese.

"They built all the retail all at once...everything was built all at one time," Martin said.  "There  was such high demand for the retail at this center."

Early plans for La Frontera were more extensive than the current reality.  A proposed movie theater stalled, office and retail space in La Frontera Square never materialized, proposed office buildings as high as 10 to 12 stories were never built, and plans for building out the area around Frontera Vista have been on hold as the buildings sat vacant.

"It went off like a rocket and came down pretty hard too," Boecker said.  "We were on the rocket ride up."


Fan Fotos of the Quick Hill

David Blacklock
David made a pilgrimage to the film locations.  Great shots David!  Thanks!  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20 & #21.

Brian & Kent
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12 & #13.

Shane Brown
#1, #2,#3, #4, #5 & #6.

Kevin and Tennille Brennan
They made a recent pilgrimage to the film locations.  Here's Old CR172 on Quick Hill, a part of the foundation of the house for the plumbing, looking north on Quick Hill - where the house used to be, and looking back west to Old CR172.

Will Dabbs
Will made a pilgrimage to Quick Hill and took these shots in January of 2004.
A shot looking from the east side of Quick Hill.  Another shot looking from the east side of Quick Hill.  Looking towards the area of the Dry Creek bed.  Standing on Hester's Crossing, looking up old CR 172.  Beginning of old CR 172 before it was cut off from the rest of the road by Hester's Crossing.  Intersection of new CR 172 and Hester's Crossing, where old CR 172 starts.  Behind the house location, on the east side of the hill looking west.  To the right is SH 45.  Southwest corner of the property.  The house location is to the left and SH 45 is behind me.  A few yards behind where the house sat approximately.  I'm not sure what the posts are for.  Right behind where the house location is.  Maybe part of the old shed or old barn up against the cattle pen?  Looking east down SH 45 toward new CR 172.  Up on the right is the house location and the fence that I jumped.  Standing at the top of old CR 172 looking north.  I believe the driveway is just to my right and can be seen somewhat in the picture.
The gate I had to climb over on top of old CR 172.  Standing up at top of old CR 172, looking down toward new CR 172.  Standing at the bottom of old CR 172 looking up.
Looking down what appears to be the old driveway towards the house site.  Looking north at what would have been the right side of the house.  A few more pics.  #1 & #2.

Darren
Darren made a pilgrimage to the hallowed land of Quick Hill.  Check out his wonderful pics here.
HERE are some images that he pulled from http://www.globalxplorer.com of Quick Hill and the Leatherface house as it still stood on the hill.

Duane Graves
#1, #2 & #3.  Click HERE to check out his online photo album.

Noel Gross
#1, #2 & #3.

Tim Harden
Here are 2 shots of the back yard gate from TCM.  My wife, a friend and I took the gate from Quick Hill.  Included is a scene shot from TCM to compare the gate we took to the same gate in the film.  For a story about us taking the gate from Quick Hill, click here.

David Hurray
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79

Robby Inman
One of Robby's relatives lives directly across Quick Hill!  HERE'S a shot of Quick Hill from their front porch.

Jacob
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 & #11.

Byron Knisley
Here on Quick Hill and at the house.

Michael LeBlanc
A pic of part of the house on Quick Hill, as well as a photo of him on Quick Hill, just to the left of the driveway to the house.

Keith Lewis
Old CR 172 #1, #2 & #3.
Quick Hill #1, #2, #3, #4 & #5.

Brett McBean
Brett traveled all the way from Australia to see the TCM sites for himself.  #1, #2, #3 & #4.

David Miller
David has some great shots of Quick Hill from back in the day!  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24

Peter Paulsen
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, & #9

Bryan Pears
A pic of CR 172 on Quick Hill.

Kyle Polk
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/woods.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/swimminghole2.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/swimminghole1.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Quickhill4.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Quickhill3.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Quickhill2.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Quickhill1.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Itsstillthere2.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/Itsstillthere.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/house4.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/house3.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/house2.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y7/Cemetery_Ghoul/house1.jpg

Resovoirdogmxz
#1,#2,#3,#4,#5,#6,#7 &#8.

Patrick Reynolds

1.) Quick Hill 2 -- View from rear of hill. It's really grown since the last time you were there, I would imagine. There's a hotel down at the bottom of the hill and much residential growth.
2.) Quick Hill 3 (Altar) -- A strange bone-and-metal altar someone made at the top of the hill.
3.) Quick Hill 4 (Car) -- Car's still there.
4.) Quick Hill 5 (Driveway) -- The driveway looking out towards Old 172. By the way, Old 172 has been shut off from the main road and SH 45 construction is only about 30-40 feet away from the driveway now. Depressing but true. (You can see on the left side of pic.)
5.) Quick Hill 6 (Old 172) -- The old road down the hill.
6.) Quick Hill 7 (House Waterworks???) -- This was an old concrete waterworks that was maybe?? connected to the house?? The steps were nowhere in sight.

Dane Sears
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37, #38, #39, #40, #41, #42, #43, #44, #45, #46, #47, #48, #49, #50, #51, #52, #53, #54 & #55.

The Selby's
On Quick Hill at dawn!

Paul Slattery
Paul made a pilgrimage to Quick Hill in January of 2001.  #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15 & #16.

David Spencer
David went to several film locations, including the BBQ shack.  Check out his online album HERE.

Chappy Taylor
#1, #2 & #3.

Nathan Whitaker
Nathan and his friend took some great pictures of Quick Hill, the area, and the many things they found up there.  Check them out, before the hill is gone forever.
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7. #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26 & #27.

Dave Winfrey
Dave visited Quick Hill, the original spot where the house used to be.  Now, there's just a concrete slab left where the plumbing used to be.  But now, it's marked.  ;)

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y196/SixStrangSmoker/Image021.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y196/SixStrangSmoker/Image024.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y196/SixStrangSmoker/Image026.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y196/SixStrangSmoker/Image028.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y196/SixStrangSmoker/Image029.jpg

 

2010 Tim Harden timh@texaschainsawmassacre.net