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Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center one step closer

On May 31st, the City of Sugar Land launched the construction project to create the Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center on the second floor of the old container warehouse in the former Imperial refinery site.

Two significant items were announced to community representatives and City Council members at a ceremony in the new Sugar Land Heritage Museum and Visitor Center. First, Mayor Joe Zimmerman announced the City would award a contract to begin fabrication of the interior of the 2nd floor in the very near future.  This construction project will complete the Visitors Center at the east end of the floor, providing a shop, concierge station, and other amenities to accommodate visitors to our city. The project will also fabricate the west end of the floor, so a museum design company can install exhibit fixtures and infrastructure (such as lighting, display cases, and audio/visual technology) in the gallery space. The SLHF will award this contract in the very near future. 

Martin Nicholas, chairman of the SLHF board, made the second major announcement.  Mr. Larry Johnson, CEO & President of Johnson Development Corp., has donated $150,000 to the foundation to create the museum's initial exhibit, a time line surveying the history of Sugar Land from its beginning to 1959. This exhibit will be a permanent element of the museum and will provide visitors an orientation to our town's history when they enter the exhibition space. 

At present, the City and the SLHF plan to open the museum and visitors center in late 2017 or early 2018.  Many factors influence these plans, and the date will become more precise this summer.

As most of you know, the SLHF is still located in its temporary quarters in the old Imperial Engineering & Personnel Building by the Char House.  It is closed except for the second Saturday of each month when Heritage Hikes are offered to the public. The SLHF board is planning the opening of the museum and organizing the administrative processes required for on-going operations. This planning phase will take some time, so we hope you will bear with us. Once our plans are prepared we will ask for volunteers to help with the myriad tasks required for a successful opening and attractive museum.

Volunteer Update

We value our volunteers, your interest and dedication have helped us get to this point.  We are a volunteer organization with lots of work before us. Please bear with us as we prepare for this new and exciting endeavor. We will keep you informed with periodic updates over the coming months, and as we move toward the end of the year, we will ask you for help with various tasks.

Those of you who are volunteers, or have expressed an interest in volunteering may have attended our volunteer appreciation dinner at the Texas Safari on May 3rd. We asked that those in attendance complete a volunteer profile and provide us a record of everyone's skills, experience, and interests.  We will use this information when contacting you about participation in projects and activities.  

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out a volunteer form.

We certainly appreciate your interest and support. The Sugar Land Heritage Museum's success depends on you.


 


1950 aerial picture from the south


Heritage Foundation's
SPEAK EASY

was held on NOVEMBER 10, 2016

Speakeasy Has Guests Wanting to "Stay a Little Longer"

   The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation hosted its second annual Speakeasy party at Anson Aviation's hangar on November 10.

    Party-goers were treated with speakeasy cocktails and great food by Brick House Tavern + Tap, Chuy's Mexican Food, Double Dave's Pizza, Imperial BBQ, Mystic Dessert Bar, Off the Vine Bistro, and Safari Texas.

Guests were dazzled with exciting entertainment all evening. Featured performers were Gail Best, the jazz duo of Vel Lewis and Gianna Welling Nitzberg, Ron "The Chairman of the Board" Bailey, and the incomparable Sugar Land Heritage Flapper Girls!

Adding to the ambiance were games of chance (a.k.a. casino) and music from the prohibition era. Also, making its debut was the 2016 Christmas Ornament featuring the 1919 SLFD Fire Truck.

Attendees were given special opportunities to have their pictures taken with three authentic vehicles from the era and a 1930's Stearman Biplane (provided by Texas Taildraggers). In addition, ladies were encouraged to kick up their heels by joining the Flapper Girls in a dance routine to the song New York, New York.

Sponsors: Sterling McCall Auto Group and its dealerships: Sterling McCall Nissan and Ft. Bend Toyota were the presenting sponsor.
Imperial Market (developers of the Imperial Historic District) and Imperial - Johnson Development were the Games of Chance sponsors.
Anson Aviation was the host sponsor.

Other sponsors included Paul & Jonee Barnett owners of Miracle Method, Ray Meyer / Paradigm Engineering, Corey Martin / Martin Mechanical, Stacy Bynes / Welcome Wagon, Becky Parmer / Medical Search, and Ron Bailey / PBK Architects.

  Jake Messinger served as the auctioneer. The evening ended with a raffle drawing and many of the estimated 200+ clamoring for more! Dennis Parmer, Executive Director of SLHF, said "It was a very fun and most unique party. We have received tremendous feedback from our guests, vendors, the performers, and our volunteers! We want to thank all of them for their attendance and support. We are evaluating dates for next year and hope to announce that date in the near future."

Don't miss out next year:
Use any means of transportation necessary, but be sure you get there.


HERITAGE WALKS

Enjoy and learn the history of the "Old 300," Imperial Sugar, and the city of Sugar Land.

Take a two hour stroll around the Imperial Sugar facility, up to the "Hill" and visit Lake View Auditorium.  Hear about the early settlements under Stephen Austin and learn how the sugar mill and then the refinery came to be.  Hear about the families who were responsible for making Sugar Land the great city it is today and learn some little known tidbits and some titillating trivia.

Tours starts at the Sugar Land Heritage Museum at 10 am each second Saturday.  Please call to check availability on 281-494-0261

Cost is $10 for adults, $5 children, free under 12.


1919 Fire Truck Makes December Appearances to Support Preservation

   The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and Sugar Land Fire Department partnered together in December to display the 1919 Antique Fire Truck as a part of a preservation and community awareness effort.

On December 10th, the 1919 Fire Truck was on display at the Farmers Market, and on December 17 the truck was on display at the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation interim museum. Attendees at Farmers Market and Heritage Museum were given opportunities to have their picture taken with the truck by professional photographer Randy Kozlovsky. A donation of $10 was requested for groups up to 4 persons in a picture; for 5 or more persons, a $20 donation was requested.

SLFD firemen were available at the Farmers Market for pictures and Santa Claus made a scheduled visit on December 17 for pictures. In all, 57 families / groups had their pictures during the two events.

Dennis Parmer, SLHF Executive Director, said, "We are very excited by the community response and their participation in this awareness / preservation effort. We want to thank our partners the Sugar Land Citizen Fire Academy Association for helping with both days; SLFD and firemen; Kim Broom and the Farmers Market; Randy Kozlovsky; our volunteers, and of course Santa Clause for taking time out of his busy schedule. Parmer concluded with, "We are already getting inquiries about doing this again in 2017."

Proceeds from the event went to the Sugar Land Fire Academy Fire Truck Preservation fund and to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. The mission of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation is to inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the rich history of Sugar Land, Texas and surrounding area.

 

  Chloe and Max Thompson with Santa
Photo by Randy Kozlovski


OUR MISSION STATEMENT

To inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.

Click on the following link to sign up for our newsletter:

http://www.slheritage.org/heritage_foundation_newsletter.html


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Help Wanted

Greeters

Would you like to greet visitors to our Museum on Saturday, but think you just don't know enough about Sugar Land's history to do it? Are you a current volunteer who would like to brush up on your knowledge?  Our Museum is open from 9:00 - 1:00 on Saturdays and we need a volunteer for each of 3 shifts: 9:00 - 11:00, 10:30 - 12:30, and 11:00 - 1:00. It's fun to meet people who are interested in our town and to explain how this company town grew through the years. Training is available at the Museum  on an as-needed basis. 

Eagle Scout Project, Main at 1st Street


Imperial Refinery Implosion 12-19-10

SUGAR LAND, TEXAS – The implosion of two metal buildings at the historic Imperial Sugar Company refinery located on Highway 90A in Sugar Land took place beginning at 7 am on Sunday, December 19th. The Furnace House and the Bin Building were located adjacent to the 1925 Char House, an icon of Sugar Land. The Char House will remain as part of the Imperial redevelopment project along with other historic elements from the site which will be incorporated into the redevelopment plans.

Plans for Imperial, a 700 acre Master-Planned Community located in Sugar Land, Texas, will include the historic Imperial Sugar Company refinery, which was been selected as the site for City's new minor league baseball stadium. Johnson Development was selected as Imperial's development manager by Cherokee Sugar Land LP and the State of Texas General Land Office. Johnson's charge is to bring life back to the old Imperial Sugar refinery site with a mix of retail, commercial, hospitality, restaurants, office and urban residential land structures. The implosion was the first step in this process.

The master plan also called for the creation of a Sugar Land Heritage Museum on the site which is underway.

 
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