Before BioBridge Global, there were horses and stables
Let’s saddle up and look back at what used to be on the property of BioBridge Global, Dellview shopping center (including Walmart), Credit Human headquarters, Bill Miller BBQ and the hotels around it, and the Granados senior center.
In 1994, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center acquired land to build an 80,000-square-foot Headquarters Facility. In 2008, another 40,000-square-foot building was added, the Donor Pavilion. In 2018, 10,000 square feet was added through the Alamo Administration Building.
All of these buildings have one thing in common: They are on land that once was part of the well-known Vance View Stables.
James Milton Vance built his home and Hillside Dairy Ranch on the property in 1888. Vance and his wife had five children, including Zelime Vance. Zelime Vance married Frank Gillespie, who founded the Gillespie Ford dealership.
After Zelime’s mother died in 1917, her father sought her help in caring for the property. She moved with her husband and family from Atlanta to San Antonio, later becoming the first of many generational owners of Vance View Stables.
The stables offered lessons and training for horse shows and exhibition events. Activities such as horseback riding, dressage, show jumping, eventing and horse showmanship took place on the ranch. Horses competed locally and nationally in the hunter and jumper classes.
Horses were bred and housed in stalls located around what is the Alamo Administration Building. Horses grazed at what now is the Walmart shopping center and parking lots. Prices for horses ranged from $200 to $5,000 in 1972, according to a news story from the owner at that time, Orley de Hoyos.
The stables were a popular spot for members of the Alamo Pony Club to host rallies, events that test knowledge and skills in riding and horse care.
The stables were on a street called Vance View Drive (now Freiling Drive) that led to the Vance Ranch. The estate was a 4,400-square-foot house originally inhabited by Zelime and her family and later used for family gatherings.
With Interstate 10 West expanding from two to five lanes in the 1980s and the growth of real estate and suburban development in that area in the 1990s, the Vance family began selling parts of the land.
After the estate was sold to developers in 2002, materials from the historic home were salvaged and relocated to a new ranch house in Kendall County in 2005.
Vance View Stables is now a memory, but it’s still in the hearts of BBG staff and the community, who shared stories of taking dressage classes, training horses, or seeing horses while driving down the road.
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