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Monday, February 10, 2014

Images of Old Sugar Land

The photo of Highway 90A being paved in 1927 is a repeater.  It was one of the first photos I posted in 2009, but I thought it was good enough to repost.  I've included an aerial to orient you to the location of the camera.

Highway 90A was just two lanes until 1947, but those two lanes were a really big deal back in the late 1920s.

Paving Highway 90A in Sugar Land, 1927.  (Camera pointed west.)

I've been doing research on the acquisition of the Cunningham and Ellis plantations by I. H. Kempner, Sr. & William T. Eldridge, Sr.  It's a complicated, but interesting story.  The Sugar Land Historical Foundation has the following photo in its archives.  I'm reasonably certain it shows the Cunningham Sugar Company before 1908, probably sometime in the late 1890s.  One give-away is the messy look of the refinery yard.  Eldridge would never have allowed that.  He was a stickler for detail and recycling.  

Oyster Creek is hardly visible.  This is the way it looked before Kempner & Eldridge began extensive dredging.  (I've noted the camera orientation in the first photo above.)

I like the aesthetics of the following photo.  It conveys the sleepy, quiet character of Sugar Land in the late 1930s.  I think that's the date although it may be the early 1940s.  If it's the later date, looks are deceiving because the refinery was a hopping place during the war.  Note that the highway is just 2 lanes.  It would be expanded to 4 lanes in 1947.