Theis Attaway Park: Small Nature Center in Tomball, Texas

Updated on April 14, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Theis Attaway Park in Tomball, Texas
Theis Attaway Park in Tomball, Texas | Source

Tiny Nature Preserve

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

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, Tomball, Texas 77375. There is a little park hours sign on Theis Lane opposite the backside of the large Walmart store. We missed seeing it the first time we drove past.

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

Theis Attaway Nature Center sign
Theis Attaway Nature Center sign | Source

Theis Attaway Park Sign

In case you cannot read the sign above, this is what is on 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
Pond in the Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source

Wet Pond Information

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.”

Can you spot the little fish in the photo below? The water was full of them! We also saw people fishing in this pond.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Closeup of the aquatic vegetation and tiny fishPeople fishing at the Theis Attaway Nature CenterAquatic vegetation in the pondWalkout pier overlooking the pond at the Theis Attaway Nature CenterPicnic table near pond
Closeup of the aquatic vegetation and tiny fish
Closeup of the aquatic vegetation and tiny fish | Source
People fishing at the Theis Attaway Nature Center
People fishing at the Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source
Aquatic vegetation in the pond
Aquatic vegetation in the pond | Source
Walkout pier overlooking the pond at the Theis Attaway Nature Center
Walkout pier overlooking the pond at the Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source
Picnic table near pond
Picnic table near pond | Source

Wildlife Information on Sign

We did not see any migrating birds on the day of our visit. 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.

On the sign under the word WILDLIFE:

“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.”

An observation viewing platform built next to the pond in Theis Attaway Park
An observation viewing platform built next to the pond in Theis Attaway Park | Source

Amphitheater in Theis Attaway Park

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.

Near the amphitheater is a grassy area perfect for picnics. It is just beyond the hill and near the restrooms in that log cabin-like structure shown below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Theis Attaway Nature Center AmphitheaterDifferent view of the Theis Attaway Nature Center AmphitheaterA different view of the stage and stone seating in the amphitheaterRestrooms available in the Theis Attaway Nature CenterWell Structure in Theis Attaway Nature Center
Theis Attaway Nature Center Amphitheater
Theis Attaway Nature Center Amphitheater | Source
Different view of the Theis Attaway Nature Center Amphitheater
Different view of the Theis Attaway Nature Center Amphitheater | Source
A different view of the stage and stone seating in the amphitheater
A different view of the stage and stone seating in the amphitheater | Source
Restrooms available in the Theis Attaway Nature Center
Restrooms available in the Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source
Well Structure in Theis Attaway Nature Center
Well Structure in Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source

In Loving Memory

The dedication plaque on the well in Theis Attaway Park 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

Tiny 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.

The beautiful thing about the path 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nature Trail in Theis Attaway ParkTheis Attaway Nature CenterNature TrailMoss, rocks, and leaves
Nature Trail in Theis Attaway Park
Nature Trail in Theis Attaway Park | Source
Theis Attaway Nature Center
Theis Attaway Nature Center | Source
Nature Trail
Nature Trail | Source
Moss, rocks, and leaves
Moss, rocks, and leaves | Source

Dedication Plaque

Inscribed into the dedication plaque of this delightful 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.”

Signed By:

“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 Dedication Plaque
Theis Attaway Nature Center Dedication Plaque | Source

Tomball Park

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.

Much of our Houston metro area keeps expanding with new land developments. Thanks to the Theis family, this precious four acres of land will remain as it is for generations to come.

If you wish to see a much more significant nature preserve in Tomball, check out Kleb Woods. It is a beauty!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Niks,

      It is my pleasure to show you places of interest in our Houston metro area and beyond. Thanks for your virtual visit and comment.

    • Niks007 profile image

      Niks 

      4 months ago from India

      Hello, Peggy, I love to hear about the unique places across the Globe. I'm a fan of America since my childhood. Your articles make me more excited to visit the places you mentioned. I loved this hub.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ruby,

      So many of our public parks come along in this same manner. Even some of our national parks were added to because of philanthropy.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 months ago from Southern Illinois

      This would be a great place to explore. People who donate land to the public like the Theis family are generous and you can see how important land was to them.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Treathyl,

      Yes, I have heard that saying many times. Texas has a lot to offer! Many of us have more time now to read things online. Thanks for your comment.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      4 months ago from Austin, Texas

      Since the coronavirus outbreak, with many people sheltering at home, lots of folks are scrambling to find things to do to keep their mind off the gravity of the present distress and get some mental relief. One of the activities suggested was taking a virtual tour of a city. Texas is a huge state. A person could take a virtual tour of a lot of Texas cities and/or read your HUBs. I see that you have quite a few HUBs about Places to See in Texas. AWESOME!! I lived in Houston for one year. It's a colorful and diverse city. Now I live in Austin, the capital city. I wasn't born in Texas, but I moved here as fast as I could. LOL. No doubt you've heard that saying many times,

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      This little park is a tucked-away beauty. I doubt many people outside of the local area even know about it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      You have found a real oasis in this park. I really appreciate the dedications. The parking information is very useful.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kyler,

      The trail, while short, is easy and takes one into more wooded areas of the four acres. The rest of the park makes up for the short trail.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      I also enjoyed learning about the history of this park. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      I am sure that amphitheater has seen lots of action over the years.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      4 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      Yes, isn't it a great way to honor loved ones! I love the idea that people will forevermore be able to enjoy this spot of land.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      It is unfortunate that the trail there is so short, it looks like a really nice walk.

      As always, another great article!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      4 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a very beautiful park. I would love to see the wildlife. I also really like the wording on the plaque for Jim Strong. The long history of this park is interesting also.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      It's a lovely, peaceful setting.I love that it has an amphitheater. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 months ago from USA

      This four acres is a perfect example of what you can do to forever honor a loved one and preserve nature. Beautiful! I love that it accommodates wheelchairs.

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