Vintage Austin: Pecan Street
Photo Credit: Austin Public Library PICA 01971
Dating back to 1866, this vintage Austin photograph offers a glimpse into the history of East Pecan Street (now 6th Street). The description of the photo indicates that it features William Oliphant on horseback, with the child standing next to him being Will Carter.
William Oliphant was a well-known jeweler on Pecan Street for many years. He acquired the land where the Driskill Hotel now stands and built a two-story building for his jewelry store. Eventually, the space was repurposed to accommodate a photography store for his son, also named William.
The transition from Pecan Street to 6th Street occurred in 1884 when Judge Edwin Waller ran out of names of trees for the 15-block square; he made the decision to adopt a numerical naming system. Today, Austin hosts the Pecan Street Festival in the 6th Street Historic District twice a year, proudly preserving and celebrating the original Pecan Street name.