These first set of photos shows old homes that were "out in the country" back in the old days.
My thanks go to Mark Schumann (DHS '76) who posted the first photo on Facebook. It shows the home where his grandparents, the Max Schumanns (Sr.), lived for a time. I believe they moved from 4th Street out to this house and then sometime later moved back to The Hill. I'm not certain of the dates, nor when this photo was taken, but judging by the car it must have been the 1940s or '50s.
The house was located just north of Central Unit 1. This 1953 aerial will help orient you - the house is circled. Notice the barn's white roof is very distinct and matches the location shown in the photo above.
We're trying to confirm the home was built originally for Superintendent Pryor, the first chief of the Imperial Prison Farm, which predated the Central Units by several decades. Although we have no exact date, the Pryor home was built sometime in the 1880s or '90s. The next photo shows it in 1899. We think it's the same house shown in the picture above.
|1899 (Texas Prison Museum)|
Another point of significance is that the Sugar Land Railroad had a stop called Pryor, which we assume was beside, or very close to the house. The stop is marked on maps and train schedules, so there's no doubt about its existence.
Next, I want to thank Stephanie Youngblood Wilson (DHS '65) for providing this photo of her grandparents' (the H. L. Dreiers) home on the northwest quadrant where the Southwest Freeway crosses Highway 90A. The location is identified by the circle in the '53 aerial photo.
|H. L. Dreier home about 1940.|
Notice the racetrack just east of the house. Stephanie told me there was a time when the house wasn't air conditioned, and afternoon naps on summer weekends were interrupted by the sound of roaring engines coming through open windows.
The last photo is one of the Imperial refinery probably taken around 1908, when I. H. Kempner, Sr. and W. T. Eldridge, Sr. took over the Imperial Sugar Company.
Here's a shot of how the same location looks in recent years. It's a Google Street View of the same location dated April 2011.