Plato Pappas (left), The Woodlands Corporation vice president for engineering, and Vern Robbins, senior vice president for land development, were instrumental in coordinating infrastructure design and construction during the early years of The Woodlands (1973). Plato Pappas (left), The Woodlands Corporation vice president for engineering, and Vern Robbins, senior vice president for land development, were instrumental in coordinating infrastructure design and construction during the early years of The Woodlands (1973).[/caption]

Over the past 43 years since the Village of Grogan’s Mill opened in 1974, George Mitchell’s vision has come to life with the development of each of the eight residential villages that make up The Woodlands.

From the original purchase of 2,800 acres made in 1964 by founder George Mitchell, The Woodlands has come a long way.

Now home to more than 110,000 residents, the master-planned community has become a dining, retail and entertainment epicenter, dominated by the oil, gas and health care industries.

With the Village of Creekside Park in the final stages of build-out, here is a look back on how The Woodlands has transformed over time.

Village of Grogan's Mill

The original village of The Woodlands opened Oct. 19, 1974, and was named after the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company that formerly owned and operated the land and had a mill on the property. The opening of this village was commemorated with a flag-raising ceremony and celebrity appearance by William Shatner.

Known as “the gateway to The Woodlands,” the Village of Grogan’s Mill is in the historic district of The Woodlands and is home to The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center, four Conroe ISD schools, three golf courses, and Tamarac and Sawmill parks.

Village of Panther Creek

Named for the same body of water that forms its eastern boundary as Lake Woodlands, the Village of Panther Creek opened in 1977 as the second village in The Woodlands.

Panther Creek is also home to Northshore and Southshore parks, two public swimming pools, three CISD schools and The Woodlands’ iconic dragon, formally known as “Rise of the Midgard Serpent,” as well as “The Dreamer” sculpture.

Village of Cochran's Crossing

The Village of Cochran’s Crossing opened in 1983, honoring the Cochran family of Montgomery County who co-owned the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company and much of the land upon which The Woodlands sits.

Commonly referred to by residents as “the happy village,” Cochran’s Crossing is home to The Woodlands County Club, Palmer Golf Course, The Woodlands Recreation Center, The Woodlands YMCA-Shadowbend, four CISD schools, Bear Branch and Shadowbend parks, along with one public swimming pool.

Village of Indian Springs

The Village of Indian Springs opened in 1984 and was given its namesake for the Native American artifacts that were discovered on the property. The artifacts belonged to the Bidai tribe of the Atakapan Indians who resided in Montgomery County during the 18th century.

The village is home to the John Cooper School, Interfaith Child Development Center and eight parks; it is the only village characterized by hilly terrain.

Village of Alden Bridge

When Roger Galatas was president of The Woodlands Operating Company in 1994, he named The Woodlands’ newest village that opened that same year after his hometown, Alden Bridge, Louisiana.

As one of the largest villages, the village is adjacent to Jones State Forest and home to The Woodlands Christian Academy, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, three CISD schools, 25 parks and 13 aquatic facilities.

Village of College Park

The Village of College Park opened in 1995 and was named for the higher education facilities that reside in it—Lone Star College-University Center, Sam Houston State University-The Woodlands Center, and The Woodlands College Park High School & Academy of Science and Technology.

The “college town” is one of the smaller villages and is also home to CHI St. Luke Health-The Woodlands Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital, two active adult living communities, six parks and one swimming pool.

Village of Sterling Ridge

The Village of Sterling Ridge opened in 1999, the same year The Woodlands celebrated its 25th anniversary, and therefore received its name to honor “the sterling silver anniversary.”

Sterling Ridge is home to the George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Library, the Gary Player Signature Championship golf course, The South Montgomery County YMCA, four parks, three CISD schools and one Magnolia ISD school. The village has its own park and ride and includes the gated community of Carlton Woods, which originally was a village in its own right.

Village of Creekside Park

The newest Woodlands village, Creekside Park opened in October 2007 and earned its namesake for its proximity to Spring Creek.

The 3,500-acre village is the only one to extend across the Montgomery County line and into Harris County and is also the only village with a village green.

The village is home to the George Mitchell Nature Preserve, the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center, Carlton Woods Creekside, Lone Star College-Creekside Center, eight parks, one Tomball ISD school and a portion of the Spring Creek Greenway project.

Creekside Park is made up of 23 neighborhoods and upon completion, it is expected to be home to approximately 7,000 families.