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Houston Metro Area, Parks & Outdoor, Recent Posts, Tomball

Theis Attaway Park, a Small Nature Center in Tomball, TX

Posted: September 22, 2017 at 8:43 pm   /   by   /   comments (2)

Theis Attaway Park is small when it comes to nature centers.  For the fish, birds, squirrels, rabbits and other creatures which reside and/or pass through that four-acre preserve, it is a nice respite from the surrounding housing developments and shopping centers.

Walkout pier overlooking the pond at the Theis Attaway Nature Center

Finding it was a bit of a challenge.  The easiest way to locate it is to look for the large WalMart store located at 13509 Theis Lane.  There is a tiny park hours sign posted on Theis Lane opposite the backside of the large WalMart store.  We missed seeing it the first time we drove past.

Picnic table near pond at the Theis Attaway Nature Center

The larger sign telling people about this nature center is located well inside the park and small parking lot which only holds 8 vehicles at a time.  One of the 8 spaces is set aside as a handicap spot.

Theis Attaway Nature Center

In case you cannot read the sign above, this is what is posted upon it under HISTORY.

“This Nature Center is constructed on the site of the Fritz Theis Survey.  In 1868, Henry Theis, a German immigrant who came to Texas in 1846, paid 254 Mexican silver dollars for 160 acres.  This land was purchased from the heirs of C. N. Pilot who obtained the property through a Spanish land grant.  In 1934, Henry’s son Fritz purchased the land and added 35.11 acres, which includes this site.  The deed to this land bears the signature of Miriam (Ma) Ferguson, the first woman governor of Texas. In 1950, Fritz’s son A. W. (Allie) Theis and his wife, Thelma (nee Attaway) purchased this property.

The Atascosita Trail, a Spanish-built trail that served as a major trade route for early Texas pioneers, crossed the south portion of the Theis property.”

Pond in the Theis Attaway Nature Center

Information on the sign regarding the WET POND reads as follows:

“Around 1952 iron ore was dug from this location for use in widening what is now State Highway 249.  The iron ore pits became the family swimming hole.  These ponds have been transformed into a wildlife sanctuary for birds and small animals.  Aquatic vegetation has been added to supply oxygen and food to support the fish and wildlife population.”

Aquatic vegetation in the pond at the Theis Attaway Nature Center

Can you spot the little fish in the photo below?  The pond was loaded with them!

Closeup of the aquatic vegetation and tiny fish at the Theis Attaway Nature Center

We also saw people fishing in this pond.

People fishing at the Theis Attaway Nature Center

On the sign under the word WILDLIFE this was what was posted:

“Special wildlife islands have been created in the pond to provide a home for migrating birds.  By keeping much of the existing woods intact, small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits and foxes may be seen.  This also keeps intact existing bird habitats.”

Observation viewing platform built next to pond in the Theis Attaway Nature Center

The day we happened to visit this nature center there were no migrating birds to be seen.  The observation viewing platform is about the size of the playhouse my Dad built when I was a child. Window-like openings offer different views of this small park.

Theis Attaway Nature Center Amphitheater

Near the pond and observation viewing platform is a small open air amphitheater.  The three tiered stone seats face the wooden stage.  I can well imagine many different uses for this amphitheater.

Different view of the stage and stone seating in the amphitheater.

Restrooms available in the Theis Attaway Nature Center

Near the amphitheater is a grassy area perfect for picnics.  It is just beyond the hill and to the right of the restrooms in that log cabin-like structure in the photo above.

Well Structure in Theis Attaway Nature Center

The dedication plaque on this well structure reads as follows:

Dedicated in Loving Memory of Brother Jim Strong

John 4: 13 & 14  Jesus Answered,

“Everyone Who Drinks This Water Will Be Thirsty Again,  But Whoever Drinks The Water I Give Him Will Never Thirst.  Indeed, The Water I Give Him Will Become in Him A Spring of Water Welling up To Eternal Life.”

Given By: The A. W. “Butch” Theis Jr. Family

Theis Attaway Nature Center Trail

The Theis Attaway Park is not one that exercise buffs who wish to walk or jog for miles would seek.  The walking trail is only 1/4 mile from start to finish.

Photo of my hubby on the Theis Attaway Nature Center Trail

The nice thing about the trail is that it is smooth asphalt and quite wide.  It would nicely accommodate people in wheelchairs.  Much of it goes through heavily wooded areas.  Benches are provided at various spots.

Theis Attaway Nature Center Dedication Plaque

Inscribed into the dedication plaque of this Theis Attaway Nature Center is the following:

“The Theis Attaway Nature Center is dedicated in memory of A. W. “Allie” Theis, Sr., in honor of his wife, Thelma (Attaway) Theis, and to the glory of our gracious God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Allie (Daddy to us) loved the outdoors.  He felt that having a patch of land was one of the most important things a man could offer his family and would often say, “Better get some land, because God ain’t makin’ any more.”  Land to him provided a place for a home, game to hunt,  fields to plant, room for his Brahman cattle to roam and a spot for friends to come together to enjoy some of his good cooking and continual joke telling.

Daddy hoped to always keep this spot (the old fishing and swimming hole, along with land nearby) for family and friends to gather and enjoy nature.  Sharing his dream to keep the land, Thelma (Mother) worked at Brautigam’s Grocery Store to add to Daddy’s constable pay and farm income.  Now, Mother gives this land so a piece of Tomball’s past and a small part of God’s wonders may be preserved.  Daddy, a man with big hands and an even bigger heart, would be especially proud that here the legacy of good time among family and friends will continue.  This land cherished by six generations of the Theis family now remains for all to enjoy.

Daddy, we know you would love it.”

Theis Attaway Nature Center

The plaque was signed as follows:

“The children of A. W. “Allie” and Thelma (Attaway) Theis, with special remembrance of our deceased infant brother, Clifford Dale Theis.

A. W. “Butch” Theis Jr.

Mildred “Millie” Theis Martin

Mary Martha Theis Williams

Patricia “Pat” Theis Com

Theis Attaway Nature Center

This small park in Tomball is open year round.  Professional photographers have used this nature center as a site for taking family photos, graduation photos and the like.

While so much of our Houston metro area keeps being paved over with new land developments, thanks to the Theis family this precious 4 acres of land will remain as it is for generations to come.

If you wish to see a much larger nature preserve in Tomball check out Kleb Woods.  It is a beauty as is the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary in the heart of Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • September 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm Klara Gomez

    Peggy, what a sweet gesture by the Theis family! The fact that they shared this land with the public shows a true love for humanity and for God, our creator. That well’s inscription did it for me! I would be there every day, reading the Bible.
    I especially love the layout of the park. I could see myself having a performance in that small open stage with my elementary choir. And that pond!! How beautiful with the fish and the plants! Definitely a respite not just for birds, but for humans too. Thank you for sharing this place and for being so thorough in your description.

    Reply
    • September 25, 2017 at 3:13 pm Peggy

      Hi Klara,

      I am so pleased that you liked this! While it is small it truly is a wonderful little nature center and so nice of the Theis family to have left it for all of us to enjoy. If you lived near here and were having a performance with your elementary choir, I would plan to be there! Thanks for your comment.

      Reply