Hancock Historic Neighborhood in Austin TX

The Hancock neighborhood is a historic neighborhood in Austin Texas. The borders of the Hancock Neighborhood are IH 35 on the east, Duval Street to the west, E. 32nd Street on the south, and East 45th on the north. I am intimately acquainted with the Hancock neighborhood since 608 Texas Avenue in Hancock was my Mom’s home. While at 608 Texas Avenue I would walk down Texas Avenue to Waller Creek as a child. My grandmother would say, here, take my cane. She was worried someone was going to “get me” but I never felt afraid while wallerin’ in Waller Creek. I loved it and as I grew up went from Hancock Golf Course all the way to the UT Campus following Waller Creek. Back in those years, there was more water in the creek. 608 Texas Avenue, at the corner of Texas Avenue and Montrose is one of the few homes in the Austin area with a basement. How I loved to explore the basement! When the milk man came and delivered milk to the back porch, I got to drink the cream off the top. Milk was unhomogonized in those years. The Travis County Tax Appraisal District lists the home as being built in 1926, and the garage apartment as 1939. Amazingly, the iris plants, loquat trees and others are still there. My grandmother canned the fruit from her yard including the loquats as well as the figs from the fig tree in the middle of her compost pile. For many decades there was a Swedish lady we just simply called “The Tamale Lady” on 38th near Hancock Golf Course who made and sold tamales out of her home. Two white strings meant mild. One red string and one white string was for medium hot. Two red strings around the tamale bundle meant hot. The last time I bought tamales from her was about 1981. The duplex next door  belonged to Sigrid Johnson. Sigrid tried to teach me Swedish when I was a little girl but it did not seem to stick! I could always go over to her place and get a Coke, Root Beer or Dr. Pepper float. Sigrid also would take me to church with her at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on Anderson Lane. This was in the days before Highway 183 was built. In fact, when the church was built in the 1960’s, it was cotton fields. We also would join forces with the old wood hand crank ice cream freezer in the summer and make homemade, hand cranked vanilla custard ice cream. YUM!