SLHF DIRECTOR'S CORNER
In early September we hosted 13 architectural students from the University of Houston and their professor, Paul Homeyer, who assigned each student the task of creating graphic drawings and plans for the Sugar Land Heritage Museum. I guided the group through our temporary museum, sharing the history of this area including Stephen F. Austin, "The Father of Texas", the Williams Brothers, B. F. Terry, Imperial Sugar and Sugarland Industries and pointing out large photographs displaying a variety of subjects related to the heritage of Sugar Land.
The group also inspected the vacant structures and grounds that are potential sites for our museum and the Children's museum of Houston. They walked through the structures, measured dimensions and took many photographs which they would use to prepare their designs for the two future facilites. In addition, they surveyed the three tall concrete silos seeking possibilities for the use of these structures.
Another meeting later in September included several board members of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. The students returned from the University of Houston to listen as they received input regarding the future for the Sugar Land Heritage Museum from our board members. It is estimated that the Sugar Land Heritage Museum will be approximately 20,000 square feet for exhibit space, gift shop, theater, office space, and storage, etc.
We are also reviewing and organizing archives with the guidance of our archivist, Chris Bohannan and local historian, Chuck Kelly. Please visit our museum Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. or call 281-494-0261 Tuesday through Saturday.
GET TO KNOW BILL BENSON,
OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I have been the executive director/curator of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation since February 27, 2012. Since that day, life has been moving rapidly; meeting new people, learning area history and the difference between "Down Town" and "Town Center", Imperial Sugar Company and Sugarland Industries. I have gained a much better understanding of Sugar Land Heritage Foundation's Mission and I am excited about the planning and building of a new Sugar Land Heritage Museum. I have observed youngsters visiting our small temporary museum for the first time and have seen the wonderment in their eyes. Older guests show their hunger for the history with their fascinating questions regarding cane sugar, schools, workers and ethnic groups who in their own ways helped create Sugar Land, Texas 2012.
My wife, Judi and I have settled into a beautiful small home in Rosenberg. At first she grieved since this was the first time she had been so far from our daughter, Kristi, our three precious grand children and one great granddaughter. On the other side, Sugar Land is a paradise for Judi since during our stay in southwestern Oklahoma, the only major shopping center was Walmart.
I am extremely humbled to have been selected by the Board of Directors and tremendously enthusiastic, with their assistance, to help preserve and perpetuate the heritage of Sugar Land, Texas.
GIFT SHOP GOODIES
As the holidays approach, remember the great choices we have in our gift shop!
Sugar Land, Texas and The Imperial Sugar Company by Robert M. Armstrong, published in 1991. ($15.00) Considered a minor classic of Texas local history.
Image of America - Sugar Land Arcadia Publishing ($25.00) 117 pages filled with photographs of Sugar Land and the people that are part of our history.
Fort Bend County Texas, A Pictorial History by Sharon Wallingford ($40.00) The story of all the towns that have contributed to the rich history of our county with many photographs as well.
Note Cards Scenes painted by Annette Williamson Wise ($10.00)
Set of 4 coasters ($25.00)
Great scenes of old Sugar Land including Char House and Elementary School with original Laura Eldridge Hospital in the background.
For people on the go we have two dark green items with our Heritage Foundation logo
Travel Mugs ($7.00)
Tote Bags ($6.00)
Heritage Foundation t-shirts (Children & Adult Sizes $10.00)
Great design with picture of "Old Sugar Land" which includes Char House and General Mercantile store. Two colors offered: Beige and Moss Green
Heritage Foundation Caps in beige ($14.00)
Imperial Sugar Cans ($5.00)
Cowboy Tea Glasses ($8.00)
Sugarplums Sugar Land Cook Book ($5.00)
Children's Cook Books ($1.00)
For the Collector on your list:
2011 Sugar Land Heritage Collection Ornament ($25.00)
Featuring Imperial Sugar Company Char House. This high-quality brass ornament comes individually packaged in a beautiful gift box which includes a printed card with information about the structure depicted.
Coming Soon...sometime in November:
2012 Sugar Land Heritage Collection Ornament ($25.00)
Featuring Sugar Land Auditorium on Lakeview Elementary Campus.
Proceeds benefit the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation,
a 501(c)3 nonprofit public organization.
WHO'S WHO IN SUGAR LAND HISTORY
Robert Markle Armstrong was born April 28, 1908, the son of Oscar Raymond Armstrong and Cora Markle Armstrong. The history of Robert M. "Bob" Armstrong in Sugar Land, Texas does not begin with his work history with Imperial Sugar Company. His father retired as Vice President of sales for Imperial Sugar in 1947 so Bob spent some of his early years in Sugar Land.
Bob Armstrong, right
During the summers while in high school Bob worked in the Imperial Sugar plant and in the Texas City Sugar Refining Company plant in Texas City. He graduated from Sugar Land High School in 1926 and is the only graduate to ascend to the presidency of either Imperial Sugar or Sugarland Industries. Bob graduated from Texas A&M in 1930.
On May 2, 1936, he married Louis Oakley Zulick of Philadelphia where he was working. In 1938 they moved to Dallas where he worked for a company marketing Imperial Sugar. During World War II Bob took up his A&M commission as Lieutenant in the Army. He served in the Pacific and was promoted to Captain during his service to our country.
In 1947 Bob and Lou moved to Sugar Land and he became Assistant Sales Manager of Imperial Sugar. He was made President of the company in 1964 and held this position until his retirement in 1973. Until his death he was Director and Director Emeritus of Imperial Sugar Company and later Imperial Holly Corporation. When Bob was over 80, he wrote a history entitled "Sugar Land, Texas and the Imperial Sugar Company". It has been widely read and is considered a minor classic of Texas local history.
Bob and Lou were members of the First Presbyterian Church of Sugar Land for fifty years. They were blessed with four children and one grandson. His son David, delivering "A Tribute from His Son" at his funeral service stated: "His high spirits and joy in living made him seem even into advanced old age sometimes like a boy. He had the intense desire to share those good feelings and brighten people's lives and help them. Not just with a chance good word, but with unwavering devotion over time. The center of his being was love, and loyalty, for family, friends and community."
Eagle Scout Project, Main & 1st Street
Join us for a walk through some of Sugar Land's history! Our docent-led walks take about 1-1/2 hours and we stroll about 1-1/2 miles, part in sun and part in shade, so we recommend you bring your own water. We make a stop at the historic Sugar Land Auditorium where a docent from the Cultural Arts Foundation will tell us about the auditorium and give a tour of the interior.
Our next three walk dates are October 13th, November 10th, and December 8th. We start the tour at the Heritage Foundation office, next door to the Char House, promptly at 10:00.
If you have a group that would like to take the walk during the week, please contact Marsha Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a week-day walk.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
To inspire community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas
Sugar Land Heritage Foundation
Board of Directors:
Dennis Parmer, President
Regina Morales Treasurer
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Rev. Martin Nicholas
9:00 - 1:00
Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum
9:00 - 1:00
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00
$10 for adults
$5 for 12 - 18
Free for under 12