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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Imperial Sugar Company Refinery Implosion

Johnson Development imploded two buildings on the Imperial Refinery site in Sugar Land today (12/19/2010). This is a 10-minute video of the event. We will have a longer, more polished video soon.

This one shows the demolition from 3 perspectives. I've put in some descriptive info, so you'll know what happened. Bruce captured some very good footage of the sudden (unplanned) collapse of the Furnace Building. I haven't seen any that's nearly as close to the building. (Most photographers & videographers were caught off guard). If you look closely, you'll see a worker scurrying away from the building as it collapses. Watch for him in the lower right of the frame as he appears out of the dust cloud.

My thanks to Kevin Lampson for letting me use one of his clips. (I don't have access to all the footage we shot, so I needed to borrow from him.)

Imperial Refinery Implosion 12/19/2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fort Bend Mirror Post-Carla Edition, 1961

My thanks to Shirley Laird for lending me this issue of The Fort Bend Mirror. It's devoted to the aftermath of Hurricane Carla. Notice the edition of The Viking Shield. I didn't know Ed Scanlin suffered a broken ankle in the '61 football season. I never would have guessed that Mary Louise Court's nickname was 'Toots.' My grandmother appears in the Lost & Found column.

(Update) I received the following note from David Wickersham (Davenport). I thought it was a hoot. "
Thanks for the post. Ed did break his leg in 61. I lived down the street from the Eldridge Hospital and visited him several times. He was getting cabin fever after a few days, so some of the kids, I think Carolin Triola was one of them, snuck him out the window and I got in his bed and covered up like I was him sleeping. They took him to the Dairy Queen for a treat. While he was gone I got busted by the nurse, I think her name was Ms. Neema. We had a good laugh but she did not think it funny. Big lecture. Ed, being the artist he was, drew a city scape on his cast. When the itching got to be more than he could stand, he cut the door to one of the buildings and made some hinges so he could open the door and stick a coat hanger inside to scratch. It stunk real bad when he opened that door. Best Regards, and Merry Christmas."

M. R. Wood Letterman's Jackets

My thanks to Raymond Freeman who sent me these pictures of two M. R. Wood letterman's jackets. The first two show his 1962 District Champion jacket.

The next two show his 1963 Semi-Finals jacket.

I think I'm correct in saying Coach Hollis Felder and assistant Leon Mooring led the Panthers to 8 consecutive district championships in the late '50s and early '60s.

SLHS Campus Chatter from December 14, 1928

I managed to post this exactly 82-years after it was issued. My thanks to the Rozelle family for this item. Note the following:

  • The football team had their end-of-season banquet at The Imperial Inn. I. H. Kempner, Jr. gave a miniature gold football to the MVP. Unfortunately, we don't know who got it because that paragraph was clipped from the paper.
  • The basketball team began practicing in the old railroad depot as they prepared for the forthcoming season. (There's much more about them in future issues.)
  • Several former SLHS students were attending college. A surprising number were pursuing advanced education and reported to be progressing well.
  • Imperial had a 'Sugar Day' the previous week. The public was invited to tour the refinery and take home a jug of liquid sugar.
  • "Corney Turns The Trick" was postponed, and there were just 8 more shopping days till Christmas.

Schwalbe Concert Program, 1965

I'm sorry I missed this concert. I know some of the prodigies listed on the program. I'm sure the music was sublime.

My thanks to the Helmcamp Family for this item.

M. R. Wood & Arcola School Pictures, 1962

T.C. Rozelle had a copy of a prospectus promoting a Fort Bend ISD bond issue for refurbishing and expanding several schools 1962. The brochure included these pictures of M. R. Wood. I have very few pictures of the school, so I thought I'd post them.

The brochure included these photos of the Arcola School.

Imperial Sugar Company Refinery

I found a couple of items relating to the Imperial Refinery site. I thought they were relevant since Johnson Development will raze two large buildings this Sunday (December 19th).

I thought at first that one of the buildings being demolished was the Melt House, but now I know I'm wrong. Regardless, I thought I'd post the following brochure, touting the New Melt House built sometime in the early 1970s. T. C. Rozelle had a copy of this brochure in his personal archive.

He also had this newspaper article announcing significant development plans in 1948. I don't know which paper this came from or exactly when it came out, but Imperial was undertaking a major expansion for the post-war boom.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two Promotional Items

"Images of America: Sugar Land" was released last week. I've posted promotional info on this blog in the past.
Here's a link to the information. You can buy it at the Barnes & Noble here in Sugar Land - in fact, the authors Bruce Kelly & Jane Goodsill, will sign books from 1 -3 on December 18th (Saturday) at the book store.

You can help out the Sugar Land Heritage Society by buying the book directly from them. (Cost is $21.95 per copy.) They receive a full royalty from direct purchases. Call 281 494-0261 or email Eleanor Barton at ebarton@slheritage.org.


Kristin Lytle is preparing a commemorative cookbook for The Friends of Old Sugar Land. She's collecting recipes, photos and any other relevant documents anyone wants to contribute. Info appears below. Please forward these details to any old Sugar Landers you think may be interested.

Friends of Old Sugar Land
20th Anniversary
Recipes and Recollections

Friends of Old Sugar Land will celebrate 20 years in 2011!

There will be a 20th Anniversary Recipes and Recollections Book for this special occasion. All content of the first Friends of Old Sugar Land Recipes and Recollections cookbook (1997) will be included. That was a fun little book but this book will be a hard bound keepsake, and a great resource for the best home cooking! I am really excited that local Historian, Chuck Kelly, and I will be partnering together to produce this book. Please submit your favorite family recipes, copies of old photos and family stories. This is open to all generations of Old Sugar Landers.

Submit your recipes, copies of photos, stories by email, fax or mail to:


FAX 281 232-8301

Kristin Lytle, Hometown America, Inc.
4665 Sweetwater Blvd. #105
Sugar Land, Tx. 77479

January 31, 2011 DEADLINE DATE

Join Friends of Old Sugar Land on Facebook!

An Amusing Dog Story from The Fort Bend Mirror, October 21, 1970

Julian C. "Buster" Court Veteran's Day Tribute

My neighbors (John & Louise Linscomb) attended a Veteran's Day Tribute hosted by the Sugar Land Rotary Club. Buster Court was an honoree. (Actually, the Club has created an award in his name.) I'd always known he was a survivor of the Bataan Death March, but I didn't know his full story. The link below will take you to a slide show of the event's program. (You can control the page-flip rate by moving your mouse button over the images and clicking the buttons that appear.)

Many thanks to the Linscombs for giving me this item.

Program from Veteran's Day Tribute in Sugar Land