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Thursday, January 29, 2015

News You Can Use

SLHF Chautauqua Talk - February 17th - Free Event



Attention All Budding Archeologists
Seminar in Columbus, Texas
March 27-29, 2015



East Texas Historical Association
Spring Meeting
Huntsville - February 26-28, 2015




Texas Historical Commission Web Sites
Travel Information


More People of Old Sugar Land

 
Barbara Stead Batten with daughters, Donna and Debbie sometime in the early 1960s.  (Thanks, Debbie.)

Chuck McDaniel, DHS '70.  (Thanks, Robert.)

Louis Bourg at a vacuum pan boiling sugar in the early 1960s.  (Sorry, but I can't identify his helper.)

Members of DHS's Class of '76 as 8th graders, including Mark Schumann.  (Thanks, Mark.)

Senior photos of DHS's Class of '76, including Mark Schumann.  (Thanks, Mark.)

Thompson's Ferry Marker


I want to thank John Walker, member of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission, for sending me these items.  He scanned photos of the site where a corps of Santa Anna's army crossed the Brazos River in April 1836 and headed east to San Jacinto.  

What's ironic is they crossed the river heading west at a spot just a bit north of the cotton seed plant on Highway 90A between Richmond and Rosenberg.  In effect, they headed toward Rosenberg to get across the river!  Once they reached the west bank, they made an immediate right turn and headed north towards Fulshear, but turned east after crossing Jones Creek. They stayed north of Oyster Creek never crossing it.

The State of Texas put a granite monument near the east (Richmond) side of the ferry crossing, but the land it sits on is now private property.  Fort Bend County is in the process of relocating the marker by a public road, so it can be viewed by the public.

John's scans come from an Eye's of Texas Guide, published by Cordovan Publishers in 1977.  Click here to view a scan of the complete guide on John's Web site, "Life on the Brazos."



Historic Photos of the Texas Capitols


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has posted historic photos of various Texas capitol buildings over the years.  If you have a Facebook account, you should take a look at them when you have some time.  

The image you see below shows the 2nd capitol in Austin, built in 1856, as it burns in 1881.  The current state capitol began construction soon after and was completed in 1888.  Click here to view a short article on the first Republic of Texas capitol in Brazoria County.

Click on the image below to view the album.

 

Random Photos of Fort Bend County


The Fort Bend County Historical Commission collected these photos a couple of years ago as it was preparing a brochure. 

Click on the image below to view the album.

 

Unusual Photos from the Past


I think my nephew sent me this album of random historic photos.  Each photo is interesting in its own way.

Click on the image below to view the album.

 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

News You Can Use and A Correction

 
  
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Celebrate M. B. Lamar on January 26th
 
On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, the Sons & Daughters of the Republic of Texas will hold the 5th annual memorial ceremony honoring the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar. On this very day, 176 years ago, President Lamar signed an Act reserving three (3) Leagues of land in each county to be used to pay for a public school system in Texas. The event will also celebrate his signing the legislative acts creating the State's Homestead Act (the world's first) and its state flag.

The ceremony will be at the grave of President Mirabeau B. Lamar in the Morton Cemetery, located just north of downtown Richmond, Texas. This is a historic cemetery with Jane Long also buried just to the south of President Lamar’s grave, and the first Masonic Burial Monument located just to the east of President Lamar’s grave. 

The public is welcome to join this celebration.
   
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I want to thank Debbie Schumann Brooks, Robert Schumann's daughter, for a correction on the photo of two Schumann brothers with a family friend in 1941.  That wasn't her father in the photo but his brother Max Schumann, Jr.
Max Schumann, Jr., Babe Fischer, and Herbert Schumann at the Max Schumann, Sr. home on 4th Street in 1941.

Kozlovsky Video & Photos of the Imperial Refinery Complex


Randy Kozlovsky (DHS '67) is a professional photographer, and he's volunteered his services to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation on several occasions.  Last summer, he used his drone to take aerial video of the old Imperial refinery complex.  I thought the results were spectacular, and he generously let me edit it into a 6-minute clip.


He's also taken photos of the remaining buildings.  Here's a meager selection of his photos.

The 2nd floor of the Container Warehouse, where the Sugar Land Museum will be located.

The 2nd floor of the Container Warehouse, where the Sugar Land Museum will be located.

The Raw Sugar Warehouse from the roof of the Container Warehouse.

The Char House from the roof of the Container Warehouse.

The 1st floor of the Container Warehouse, where the Children's Museum will be located.

An Imperial Sugar sign spread on the 1st floor of the Container Warehouse, where the Sugar Land Museum will be located.

A view of the Char House from the area between the Container Warehouse and the refined sugar silos.

A westward view of the area between the Container Warehouse and the refined sugar silos.

A northward view of the Container Warehouse, the 3-Bay Warehouse, and the Power Plant boiler stacks from the old Main Gate area.

SLHS's Alligator Splash from October 3, 1941


My brother recently scanned some items from our family scrapbook, including this copy of old Sugar Land High School's student newspaper, the Alligator Splash.  You can see that it came out a couple of month's before Pear Harbor.

I notice my father scored the only touchdown in the Gators' season-opening victory over Jeff Davis High School's Junior Varsity team.  Jeff Davis was a Houston high school, but I presume they played the game in Sugar Land.

You'll also see a short article saying the Gators' played the Rosenberg Brahmas to a scoreless tie. Given the difference in size between the two schools, this tie was probably a joyous moral victory.  Rosenberg was a big rival and often victorious over the Gators.

Click on the image below to view the paper.

 

Old Auto Trivia


I want to thank Donna Christopher Baker (DHS '62) for sending me this auto trivia test.  I can't guarantee the answers.  They are correct as far as I know.  You'll see the questions in the photo captions.  I've put the answer to each in comments.

Click on the image below to try the test.

 

Random Photographs From The Past


Several people have sent me links to collections of old photos. Many thanks, I've enjoyed seeing them.

I've made a random selection from various eras.  Click on the image below to view them.

 

Ellender Farms Sugar Cane Harvest in Louisiana


I want to thank Leon Anhaiser (SLHS '57) for sending me a link to this video about modern sugar cane harvesting.  It's about 3 minutes long and does an impressive job of highlighting modern technological advancements in the field.  No machetes nowadays.


Most of you know Leon was a VP at Imperial and has spent years in the sugar industry.  He's still involved as a consultant.

I tried to find more information on Ellender Farms but had no luck.  I learned, however, it's located about 10 miles southeast of Houma.  It's right on the coast below Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
 
State prisoners harvesting sugar cane near Sugar Land around 1900.

Lawrence Welk's TV Pilot, 1955


Real old-timers may remember The Lawrence Welk Show.  Well, my brother found this video of the show's pilot, which was prepared in 1955 for Dodge and never broadcast.  Dodge wanted to see a test version before they committed to sponsorship for national broadcast, so this wasn't really a final product in many ways, although they inserted out-dated commercials to give it a simulated authenticity.


You should be able to manipulate the slider to skip to the commercials if that's all you want to see.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aerial Transitions from 1941 to 2014


These views were harder to create than I expected, and I'm still not sure this is the way to do it.  Regardless, here are two 'presentations' of an aerial photo taken in 1941 and morphed into 2014.

The first starts with the 1941 aerial and transforms into a 2014 Google Map of the same area.  Click on the image below to access to the presentation.

 


The next starts with a 2014 Google Earth image and transitions retrospectively to the 1941 aerial photo.  Click on the image to access it.
 

News You Can Use


Celebrate M. B. Lamar on January 26th
 
On Monday, January 26, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, the Sons & Daughters of the Republic of Texas will hold the 5th annual memorial ceremony honoring the 2nd President of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar. On this very day, 176 years ago, President Lamar signed an Act reserving three (3) Leagues of land in each county to be used to pay for a public school system in Texas. The event will also celebrate his signing the legislative acts creating the State's Homestead Act (the world's first) and its state flag.

The ceremony will be at the grave of President Mirabeau B. Lamar in the Morton Cemetery, located just north of downtown Richmond, Texas. This is a historic cemetery with Jane Long also buried just to the south of President Lamar’s grave, and the first Masonic Burial Monument located just to the east of President Lamar’s grave. 

The public is welcome to join this celebration.

**********



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Eagle Lake, Texas

I wanted to put in a plug for two local museums which have connections to Sugar Land.  They are the Prairie Edge Museum and Eagle Lake Depot Museum in Eagle Lake, Texas.  You may wonder how they are connection to Sugar Land.  Well, the answer is W. T. Eldridge, Sr., who got his start as a business dynamo in Eagle Lake before moving to Sugar Land.  If you pay a visit, you'll learn more about this connection between our two towns.


Fort Bend County Historical Commission Oral Histories


I'm sure it's not widely known, but the Fort Bend County Historical Commission records oral histories from local residents.  This is an on-going project which covers residents across Fort Bend County.


Jane Goodsill's Chautauqua Talk in February (see post immediately above) is based on oral histories recorded as part of this effort.  If you are interested in recording an oral history, post a message to this blog and I'll get in touch with you.

If you are a Sugar Land resident and want to add a memory or story to the Sugar Land Heritage's archive, submit it using the form on their Web site.

Corrections


I have a couple of corrections to recent posts.  I want to thank Jean McCord Babineaux (SLHS '48) and Jackie James (SLHS '57) for pointing out an omission in the following photo.  I left out Emily McCord Andre (SLHS '33)!

George Andre, Hattie McCord, Jean McCord Babineaux, John McCord, Emily McCord Andre. In front: John L. McCord, Carolyn McCord Williams, Monnye Alice McCord Smith.

My thanks to Leon Anhaiser (SLHS '57) for pointing out that Jerry Cooper graduated from Sugar Land High in 1956.  

Frank Rogers, Ray Barton, Jackie Cooper, Jerry Cooper & Bennie Bono in the fall of 1957.

More People of Old Sugar Land


I forgot to mention in my last set of posts that long-time Sugar Land resident and teacher, Jimi Neal, died late last year.  Unfortunately, I don't have an obituary, but I wanted to send my condolences to David (DHS '67), Henry (DHS '69), and Emily (DHS '73).  Mark Schumann has the only photo of her I could find.  It shows her as his first grade teacher in 1965.  (Thanks, Mark, for this and the additional photos.)
 
 
Here's another photo of Mark and his sister, Karen, standing on 6th St. in 1961.  You can see Kempner Stadium in the background.
 
 
This photo shows Robert Schumann (SLHS '41), family friend Babe Fischer, and Herbert Schumann (SLHS '37) at the home of Max Schumann on 4th St. in 1941.  (Max was Robert and Herbert's father.)  Robert is wearing an A&M Corps of Cadets uniform.  Herbert is wearing his US Army uniform.


I received this final picture from Sandy Rogers at the Texas Prison Museum.  (They have a surprising number of Sugar Land items.)  It shows a Mrs. Horton, wife of an employee at the prison farm, in front of Pike's Cafe in Sugar Land.  The date must be around 1939.  (I tried identifying the truck but had little luck.)  The photographer was C. C. Springfield, who worked for the Texas prison system.  (Thanks, Sandy.)


Imperial Crown, November & December 1958

Here are some selections from Imperial's monthly employee bulletin, The Imperial Crown.  The first image is a recap of Sugar Land's big events in 1958.  Notice residents were buying homes on Lakeview Drive and construction had begun on infrastructure in Venetian Estates.  Governor Price Daniel and Felix Tijerina, Houston restauranteur, visited our town for the dedication ceremonies of The Little School of the 400.  Construction on the refinery's new Melt House was nearing completion, and the new stands and scoreboard at Kempner Stadium were inaugurated in October.

The Imperial Crown, December 1958
The Imperial Crown, December 1958

The Imperial Crown, December 1958

The Imperial Crown, November 1958

The Imperial Crown, November 1958

I found negatives for photos of Cora Fisher's and Otis Enquist's retirement parties.  Here are the scans if you want a better view.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Past

 
Here are a few photos of Christmas in old Sugar Land. Click on the image below to view the album.
 

Click here to view a short video of riding the fire engine with Santa at the Sugar Land Shopping Center in the mid 1950s.  My thanks to Tommy Laird (DHS '67) for digitizing the Laird home movie collection.

Monday, December 22, 2014

More People of Old Sugar Land


I have a couple of sad news items to report.  First, Reagan Meredith Walters, daughter of Marilyn Milam Rawson (SLHS '59), died in a motorcycle accident recently.  Click here to view an obituary.

Many of you may already know that Majorie Bidwell Rozelle died last week.  Click here to view an obituary.
 
 
My sincerest sympathy to the Rawson-Walters family and the extended Rozelle family.

I found this article on a native son, Wayne Gandy (DHS '69), and his family of football coaches.  They have quite a collective career, as you'll read in this article.  Congratulations to Wayne, Cindy and their boys.

My aunt, Mayme Rachuig Haus (SLHS '48) on her first Thanksgiving in 1930.

I think this is Clifford White with her 4th grade class in 1949.  I think that's Pam Helmcamp Clark 2nd from the left.
Bob Bass and Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) as toddlers.  Bob is my cousin and is married to Scotty Hightower (DHS '66).

The Old Sugar Land Water Tower


Johnson Development has been refurbishing the 1925 Sugar Land water tower over the last couple of months.  I've taken some photos, so those of you who don't live in your old home town can see what's happening.  


I've also thrown in a few photos of work Southern Pacific has done on the rail line running through town.  They've prepared the rail bed for a second track, which they will begin installing next year.

As you watch the video you'll notice the old Power Plant (later the Union Hall) near the tower.  It's the two-story, cream-colored building, which was built in 1920.  I think it is now the oldest non-residential building in Sugar Land.

I talked with an old timer a few months back about young dare devils who climbed the tower.  There was a graduate from Sugar Land High School in the late 1940s who was a notorious prankster.  He climbed the tower and told the old timer, a young under-class man at the time, about his experience.  The old timer asked, "Was there anything up there?"  The climber said, "All I found up there was a peregrine falcon's nest and about a hundred duck bills."  

Other old timers may remember the climber as the fellow who closed down the Sugar Land school on Lakeview.  He got some skunk juice and soaked cotton balls with it.  He poked them through the key holes in the doors of each classroom.  He did this on a Friday night, so the aroma had a long time to saturate the class rooms.  Apparently, the janitors needed several days to air out the school before classes could resume.

Dulles Junior High and Dulles Senior High Photos


I should have asked Bill Fisher (DHS '71) if I could borrow these Facebook photos, but he's let me share some of his items before, so I took the liberty of showing these.  I'll thank him in advance for them.

The 1966 Dulles Junior High 8th grade football team when Class of 1971 were 8th graders.

The 1966 Dulles Junior High Choir when the Class of '71 were 8th graders. 
"Hands Across The Waters" (one-act play) with Bill Fisher, Jeanie Morse Fisher, Mary Louise Ruffeno, Reagan Davis, Dolores Durdin Brooks, Bill Suhr, and Craig Brooks.

"Hands Across The Waters" (one-act play) with Bill Fisher, Jeanie Morse Fisher, Mary Louise Ruffeno, Reagan Davis, Dolores Durdin Brooks, Bill Suhr, and Craig Brooks.

My thanks to Linda Cruse Wilson for the next photo, also borrowed from Facebook.

The Viking Shield staff (1963/4): Connie Quinton Nugent, Becky Cutia, Linda Cruse Wilson, Patsy Keller Friend, and Ann Long.

My thanks to Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) for this photo.

Ray Valdez (DHS '68) and Janice Jenkins Girard (DHS '68) before the Dulles Prom in 1968.

My thanks go to Linda Hagler Mosk (DHS '68) for the following article about the Dulles Band finishing in 3rd place at the 1964 Bluebonnet Bowl Band Contest.

A 1964 newspaper article about the Dulles Band.