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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Images of Old Sugar Land

The first two photos came from Jackie James (thanks).  The first is a blow up of the deep background of the second.  It's a little hard to see, but the first shows a little traffic jam on Brooks St.  I'm guessing a train has just passed behind the camera, and cars are now crossing the tracks.  Some things never change.  The second photo gives you a good panoramic view of 'down town' Sugar Land in the early 1920s.

I want to thank Tommy Laird for reassembling the panoramic photo I posted last time.  This version gives you a good, continuous perspective of Sugar Land's original commercial district.  Panoramic photos were fairly rare, so we're fortunate to have so many of old Sugar Land.

I'll go out on a limb and say the next photo shows Cleveland Lake before it was dredged in the early 1920s.  (I'm reasonably certain I've posted this one before.)  You can see the far bank is elevated (indicating The Hill), and I can make out structures (I think they are houses) in the far background.  First St. was not developed until dredging was completed; in fact, silt was pumped out of Cleveland Lake to build up the land that became First St.  We have aerial photos showing that work in progress.
The next photo is another early one of the old Mercantile Store, which I like to think of old Sugar Land's Walmart.  The Drug Store in on the right.  I like those early cars and trucks.  I presume those are Model T Ford trucks, but I'm could be wrong.  Maybe someone will know.

The next photo shows the old Thatcher Plantation home which originally stood in the Grand Central area, roughly where Home Depot is today.  This photo shows the home after it was moved in 1908 to a location near the current site of the Shell service station at Highway 90A and Bayview.  The Thatcher home was reborn as The Imperial Inn, a restaurant, boarding house, and community center in old Sugar Land.

The perspective of this photo has always bothered me.  The woman in the lower right is standing on the west bank of Oyster Creek, just a few yards south of where the Highway 90A bridge is located.  (The creek looks to be filled with vegetation.  This is well before it was dredged.)  The woman looks much too small, but I think it's because the banana tree on the left is in the extreme foreground.  It creates an optical illusion.

The next photo shows the interior of the Sealy Mattress Factory at the corner of Main and Kempner Streets.  Note there is a very young boy working in the shop.  The last photo shows the exterior of the factory.  It is the building on the right.  Both photos probably date between 1915 and 1920.