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Monday, July 25, 2011

Assembled Panoramic Pictures

Tommy Laird stitched together the photos I posted last week. Now you can see them as a complete panorama. (I wish Google would allow better magnification, but you can go back to last week's entry to see better detail.)

I don't have an exact date, but this photo must show Sugar Land just a little after 1908, when the Kempners and Eldridge took over the sugar company from Col. Cunningham. I noticed in the last week's photos that the railroad tracks are very close to the road (which would eventually become Highway-90A). In fact you can't really see the tracks, so look closely at the bridges over Oyster Creek.

Here's a passage from Harold Hymen's, "Oleander Odessey," his book on the Kempner family. I.H. Kempner's son Harris had this to say about visiting Sugar Land around the time this photo was taken:

"Harris remembered how he and his father would board the big interurban trolley from Galveston to Houston, then 'we took a taxi cab across town to the Southern Pacific Station, and then we got on the train to Los Angeles -- the Sunset Limited. There was a railroad at Sugar Land and [it] had a gate there. When they knew we were coming, they shut the gate, the train stopped, my father and I got off, they shut the Pullman car door, raised the gate, and off they went. Mr. Eldridge was there to meet us and took us to his big country-style house right in the middle of the sugar company property.'

He also recalled being terror-stricken one night by a 'huge monster getting into the room making an awful noise' -- a passing freight train that sounded close enough to be right in the bedroom with him."

[They stayed with Eldridge in the Ellis Plantation home in front of the refinery, which you can see it in the panorama.]