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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Old Refinery Photos

The following selection of images show the Sugar Land refinery in its earliest stages.  I think it's very possible the first photo shows the Cunningham refinery before Kempner and Eldridge took it over in 1908.  I don't think I've posted it before, although I'm reasonably certain I've posted the other three.  

The first photo is sort of a mystery.  I think we'll need the other photos to analyze it.  The caption says it's an east view of the refinery.  My guess is that the camera is located roughly where Ulrich St. intersects Guyer St.  Here's a Google Street View of the location.

I wonder why no houses appear in the left foreground of the image.  I know aerial photos from the 1920s show houses close to the north boundary of the refinery, but they are missing in this early photo, or maybe they're out of view on the left.  (Just to clear up any confusion: that water tower is not the one now located next to the Main St. Bridge.  Several water towers of various heights have served Sugar Land over its history.)

A westward view of the refinery from the east bank of Oyster Creek, near the intersection of Main & Kempner Streets. (The date is probably post-1908.)

A northeast view of the refinery from near the intersection of Kempner & Ulrich Streets. (The date is sometime around 1900.)

Another westward view of the refinery from the east bank of Oyster Creek, taken a little later than the second photo above.

We'll review these photos to determine the date and camera location in the first one.  We learn it's another early photo of the first refinery in Sugar Land.