We have many, many photos of the Char House over the years, and I've posted quite a few of them. I decided to post this one because of its aesthetic quality. It has a slightly dramatic quality to me, and it shows date palms along Highway 90A. The date is sometime in the late 1920s.
A view of the north side of Highway 90A a the intersection with Main St. The Salvage Buildings are on the right. Note the sign indicating Sugar Land Mfg. Company is the occupant. (I can't guess what they were manufacturing -- they were into all kinds of enterprises.) The Sealy Mattress building (later Marshall Canning) is on the left.
The quality of this aerial photo is incredible -- very crisp and clear. It was taken sometime between 1925 (when the Char House was completed) and 1942 (when the Humble service station was built at the intersection of Brooks and Highway 90A). Note that Highway 90A is just 2 lanes. The Imperial Inn is standing on the east bank of Oyster Creek south of the highway bridge.
I can tell by the automobiles that the next photo predates the previous one. I can also tell it was taken before 1932 because the 2nd semi-circle of the school on Lakeview hasn't been built.
Its resolution is superb, but the contrast isn't good, so some areas are washed out. Still, you get a good view of the west side of town. The clinic hasn't been built on the corner of Ulrich and Sugar Land (now Kempner) St. The Prikryl Hotel is the two-story wooden building in the middle left. There is a steam engine on the siding next to the highway, and you get a view of the houses along the south side of Highway 90A. They were later moved to South Belknap in Brookside.
These next photos came to me courtesy of Haroldetta Robertson. Her father-in-law was the HL&P lineman who covered the Sugar Land area. (I have a picture of him in the People of Sugar Land post immediately below.) The HL&P substation appears in these photos. (I'm working on the exact location so I can position it on a current Google map.) It was located south of Highway 6 near the current location of First Colony Mall. The Robertsons lived in a home adjacent to the substation.
|These are Robertson family in-laws posing near the HL&P substation, which appears in the distance on the right. This picture was taken in 1952.|
|This is Louis Robertson (DHS '62), Haroldetta's husband, as a 4-year old in 1948/49. The substation is in the distance.|
|This is a photo of Louis standing in front of the modernized substation in 1997, almost 50 years after the previous photo.|
When you visit the Sugar Land Museum, you'll see a super-sized poster of the first photo below, which shows convict labor handling sugar cane at the Imperial Mill located on the south bank of Oyster Creek behind today's Nalco-Champion complex. The State of Texas owned the Mill (it sat on prison farm property), but the raw sugar it produced was refined at the Imperial refinery. The mill was constructed in 1883 and burned in 1913. The second photo shows convict labor harvesting sugar cane on the Harlem (now Jester) prison farm around 1900.