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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Two Photos Along Oyster Creek

Here are two photos of areas along Oyster Creek that have changed considerably over the years. This first one shows Dam #2, or Coburn's Dam, as we always called it. At first, I was unsure where this picture was taken. It had to be one of three dams on Oyster Creek: Dam #1 (also known as Cook's Dam), Coburn's Dam, or Dam #3 (also known as Blair's Dam) further down-stream south of the Sugar Creek subdivision.

The houses on the left fooled me because I never saw houses in that location in my day. However, the water channel passing to the right is Brooks Lake, or the body of water surrounding Fluor. Consequently, this has to be Coburn's Dam. Roy & Betty Cordes live on the corner of the creekbank on the left of this photo. (The camera is pointed eastward.)

(Update) I was fooled by this picture. My brother Bruce gave me this info: "The first pic is not a dam but a wooden bridge that crossed the channel connecting Oyster Creek and Cleveland lake where Main Street bridge is today. The houses on the left are houses on First Street; you can also see the last schoolroom at the end of the houses, the one where you had 3rd grade. The cement-domed sediment tank between the old power plant and the creek had not been built yet. The Main Street bridge we know today was built in the mid 1920s. So the pic was taken from the refinery looking east."

There's a Kelly family story about this bridge. My father was born in the early morning of April 16, 1925 at my grandparent's home at 506 Imperial Boulevard on the west side of Sugar Land. They had no phone, so my grandfather ran across town to The Hill to get a doctor (Deathredge or Slaughter, I don't know which). He had to cross this bridge - not the cement bridge now spanning Cleveland Lake.

This next photo shows Oyster Creek Drive back in 1968 as Cordes Cleaners was under construction. The site is now the location of Baldwin Cleaners & other businesses. The Shell station sits eastward across Oyster Creek Drive, which is now Bayview. Notice the gardens further down the road. The east bank of Oyster Creek was a popular gardening spot. I remember one of the Binford brothers & August Chernosky had gardens there. That site is now the location of Buddy Wheeler's old dentist office.

1 comment:

  1. Another story about pic #1. Longtime resident Bill Krehmeier related to me that his mother and father first met at this location. This would have been in the 1910s.

    At that time there was a footbridge across what was then called "Oyster Creek Bottom". Oyster Creek Bottom was a low, but dry area at the time, before the canal was dug to connect Oyster Creek and Cleveland Lake. His parents met on Oyster Creek Bottom and later married.

    Bill's father came to Sugar Land at around age 15 or 16 in 1913 to work in the meat market managed by his aunt's husband. Sugar Land was very primitive then. It wasn't until 1913 that the State of Texas discontinued the convict lease system, prompting Kempner and Eldridge to begin in earnest to replace their convict workforce with a more stable, family-oriented one. Bill recalls his aunt telling him they lived in "Tent City" on The Hill before permanent houses were built beginning in 1913-14.