George Mitchell was the owner of Mitchell Industries and was known in the oil industry as the “Father of Fracking”.  In the early 1960’s, Mitchell attended a symposium on how to develop Title VII HUD-financed communities, like Columbia, Maryland.  Being a great visionary, he decided to create a miniature city that would enforce strict zoning requirements in direct contrast of the lack of zoning found in the surrounding areas of Houston.

He purchased a large piece of land from the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company, later naming two of The Woodland’s villages after the Grogan and Cochran families. Out of that, he took, 2800 acres then added more land over the next ten years. That original 17,455 acres became The Woodlands. Mitchell’s vision came to fruition and The Woodlands was born!

The area was divided into sections which were called Villages with building starting from the I-45 side beginning with Grogans Mill, Panther Creek, and Alden Bridge.  Kuykendahl was the western boundary of The Woodlands, dead ending there after including the village of Cochrans Crossing. 

The next sequence of events was to expand further west.  Another addition brought the completion of Kuykendahl  into The Woodlands, which was a great asset. Since then, other roads have been extended including Woodlands Pkwy and Research Forest spanning into Magnolia. Also, this brought some of the neighborhood schools would in the Magnolia district. boundaries of The Woodlands in the Magnolia school district.  Now there were two school districts.

Later Gosling was extended opening a great extension opportunity for The Woodlands to expand to the last village, Creekside Park. This land acquisition added Harris County and Klein independent Schools to The Woodlands. 

Tune in next month for the second part of  “The Woodlands, Past and Present.

By Beth Ferester

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