12th and Chicon

12th & Chicon Bus Stop Art Installation

Bus Stop #2063, at the southeast corner of the intersection of 12th and Chicon Streets, is home to a tribute to the history and people of East Austin. Cap Metro and our partners installed the exhibit in May.

  • Map of Historic East Austin
    Woman Dancing
    Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. performing on Juneteenth
    Hoover Alexander, in front of Hoover's Cooking
    Freedom Now March, Austin
    The Harlem Theatre, New Owners
    Gulf Station
    Photo of Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded in 1875. African Americans were very involved in activities surrounding church and state
    Black, brown, and white children playing in front of St. John's Elementary
    Barbershop, another source of community connection
    Samuel Huston College baseball team
    L.C. Anderson Band Director, B.L. Joyce and the Yellow Jacket Band, Band Capades
    Yellow Jacket Band at the original L.C. Anderson High School
    Lavada “Dr. Hepcat” Durst, local DJ and community activist, in the studio
    L to R: Dr. Everett M. Givens, Jackie Robinson, and Karl Downs
    The musical flavor of East Austin was established with performers like Kenny Dorham
    Mahala Murchison - arrived as a 10-year old enslaved girl in Travis County. She is on record as the first black person in Austin, Texas.
    Carrington and Lyons Family in front of L.D. Lyons Grocery, 5180520 E. 6th Street
    Interior of Hillside Drugstore, 1209 E 11th Street
    Willie Stark Grocery, Rosewood Avenue
    The Simpson Church - organized in 1880 as as the Simpson Mission Methodist by Matthew Simpson, an active political negotiator, abolitionist, and noted orater.
  • The challenge to establish a sense of place remains central to the story of African Americans. Enslavement and the creation of the African Diaspora resulted in the removal of our cultural identities, languages and religions. Since our arrival in America, African Americans have constantly strived to build a community and create a place called home.

    The documented story of African Americans in Travis County began in 1839 with the arrival of a 10-year old enslaved girl named Mahala Murchison. Slave labor constructed the city of Austin. In 1860 the enslaved body was worth more than land in Travis County. Prior to 1928, African Americans lived throughout Travis County. The 1928 City Plan for Austin forcefully coerced African American migration to East Austin in an attempt to uphold the separate but equal doctrine from the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson. Though our neighborhoods did not receive equitable resources, we persevered. We created churches, schools and business districts to serve our communities when others refused.

    Today, the presence of the proud people who built this community remains. This exhibit seeks to share the stories of our commitment to education, entrepreneurship, heritage and masonry. Together, we created some of the oldest churches in Travis County, the first institution of higher learning in Central Texas, one of the oldest operating juke joints in the United States, and buildings designed by Texas' first licensed African American architect and skilled freemasons. Though this community-curated exhibit does not provide a complete documentation of our experience in Travis County, it does provide an overview of some of our community's oldest families and our legacy.

    ~ Historical overview written by LaToya Devezin of the Austin History Center

    For more information on the African American experience in Travis County and to share your story, please visit the Austin History Center.