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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sugar Land Motor Company

An earlier post provoked some questions about the Sugar Land Motor Company. The principal question was its various locations over the years. Bruce had an article that appeared in an edition of The Fort Bend Mirror printed in 1956. The newspaper was celebrating the 4th anniversary of Sugar Land's 'new' shopping center. They included stories about various enterprises, including the Motor Company.

Bruce also had a couple of Sanborn maps showing the town's layout in 1913 & 1926. The Sugar Land Heritage Society has several maps covering the town's development over many decades. They were made for insurance purposes, so they show good detail about various buildings. I think they are fascinating.

The 1913 map doesn't show the south side of the Highway, but it does show a building labeled 'Auto HQ' at the front of the refinery adjacent to Oyster Creek. This may have been the Imperial/Industries motor pool. (No commercial enterprise existed at that time.)

The 1926 map shows the Motor Company on the south side of Highway 90A roughly where The Palms Theater stood. (Gus describes the building as a corral.) Note the structure labeled 'Filling Station.'

As the article says, the Motor Company (including the filling station) moved to the southwest corner of Brooks Street & Highway 90A in 1941. You'll get a good view of this location in the photo on the cover of the Texas Food Merchant. (Click here.)

Link to an image of Gus Stabler's article in The Fort Bend Mirror

Link to a text version of the Stabler article

Link to 1913 Sandborn Map

Link to 1926 Sandborn Map