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Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Early View of Downtown Sugar Land

I like this picture because it seems to capture the nature of Sugar Land sometime around WWI. (My guess about the date is based on the cars.) The photographer is C. M. Thompson; I don't recognize the name.

You see Highway 90A running from the lower-left to the middle right. Brooks Street intersects the highway and crosses the railroad tracks. This is a fairly high-resolution picture, so click on it first to get the picture and then click again to see the full-res version. Note the configuration of the old refinery. Also note the Machine Shop & Garage with all the cars parked in front. This part of Sugar Land doesn't appear in many old photos, which focus on the offices & stores in the commercial district out of view to the left of this picture.

At some point, the garage (Sugar Land Motor Company) moved on the south side of the highway further west - right about where the Ulrich Street intersection is located. (Roughly where The Palms Theater stood.) The later location included a Humble service station & auto show room, as well as a garage. I presume Sugar Landers bought gas at the garage in this picture, although I can't see any pumps.

Of course, the Eldridge House is on the left edge of this picture.

(Update) Bruce has suggested the picture probably dates from 1927, when Highway-90A was paved. Thompson may have taken the photo to show the new road. I didn't think the road looked paved when I first saw it. I noticed the gutters, but thought they were a local improvement made before State paved the road. I guess they wouldn't have gutters without a paved road.