Before Academy, Hobby Lobby, and Target came to Lake Jackson to service our sports and craft ambitions, there was SPORTSVILLE!!! I’m sure the town was filled with excitement in the early days when there were very few retail stores – to hear a sporting goods store was opening! The original location was on North Parking Place, near the current location of Bushwackers, and was owned by Elmo Mays and George Morgan. They carried all types of sports equipment, games, and plastic models.
In the early 1960’s, the store expanded and moved to a new, larger location in what was formerly a “5 and dime store” owned by Ernie Rea, on This Way, in what is now the Lake Econo Washateria. By this time, they added ceramics, art supplies, model airplanes, and all types of crafts. A popular activity during the late 1960’s/early 1970’s was painting designs on wooden purses, for which all of the supplies could be found at Sportsville!
Jim Carter was a later owner, and was gracious enough to provide the input for this article. An interesting little tidbit he shared with me is that the official name of the store was SPORTVILLE, but that everyone called it SPORTsVILLE! Who knew?!?
Another future owner was Bobby Legler, who added a special camera supply section, which grew in popularity during those years. Another popular feature was a racetrack in the rear of the store for racing model electric cars – quite the entertainment during the day!
As a pre-teen and teenager during the late 1960’s and 1970’s, I have fond memories of riding bicycles downtown with my friends and strolling for hours up and down the aisles looking at all the fun crafts, games, balsa wood, and paints. Although we now have the big supercenter stores, they can’t be replaced by the atmosphere of that quaint, little hometown hobby shop we called Sportsville!