I’ve had some questions about exactly where the stream called Harris Bayou or Harris Gully ran into Main Street. James Medford correctly points out in the comments that you can very clearly see the path of the bayou in this aerial shot from the late 1920s. Here’s one of much more recent vintage. (With all these pictures, by the way, you can click on them to open, then click again to zoom in. They’re big files, so it’s a little slow, but you can really see a lot more. Also, by the way, I haven’t taken the time to date this picture as I’m on my way to go play tennis. If anyone wants to take a crack at it, be my guest.) The area I’ve been talking about is between the track stadium and the colleges. You can still follow the tree line quite clearly.
I went poking around out there myself one day last week and again this afternoon and took a few pictures. I don’t know if I should be surprised or not, but it turned out to be really wet and muddy despite the many serious drainage structures in the area.
This may well be the strangest spot on campus. It absolutely is the place that most evokes what it must have felt like here in 1910. I guess the water problem has made it unfit for anything other than it’s current use, which seems to be essentially as a retention basin with a disc golf course in it. I did note that there are a lot of new trees planted out there, and the ground is covered with wildflowers that are about to burst out. (This is just the kind of ground that bluebonnets love.) From the vantage point of this next picture–I was nearly standing in Main Street–you can get a pretty good idea of how the whole thing works.
This place feels eerie. On the one hand, I was standing in a spot that looks like it’s been preserved in amber. On the other, just a few yards away is a city that has been utterly transformed. Here’s a couple of shots looking the same direction and taken within maybe a dozen yards of each other almost exactly a hundred years apart: