SLHF                                     JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 


2013 Accomplishments Lay

Foundation for Future

Well, it is hard to believe it is the first week of January 2014!  As such it is time to do something that is challenging and fun so I want to write an article highlighting some of the SLHF accomplishments in 2013.  I used the word "some" because it is impossible to list all of the successes that came as a result of staff and our great volunteers.  Besides, I would not want you all falling asleep reading that lengthy  an article!  SO, I am going to list them in bullet point form for more ease of reading.

In the area of outreach to the community, SLHF:
  • Held monthly historic district walking tours of old Sugar Land.
  • Placed a permanent version of our traveling exhibit in the Fluor cafeteria.
  • Held 4 workdays with at least 15 volunteers participating each time.
  • Hosted lecture series with former mayor Bill Little speaking in February and football legend Ken Hall speaking in October.
  • Made multiple presentations regarding Sugar Land history to elementary age children in FBISD that were attended by hundreds of children.  Also made presentations to Brownie and Girl Scout Troops.
  • Made presentation to adult civic groups attended by groups ranging in numbers from 5 to 40.
  • Contributed to the success of the 2013 Sugar Land Wine and Food's Sip & Stroll by decorating the Char House and 3 Bay Warehouse with reproductions of old photos of Sugar Land.  Over 3,000 attended the event.
  • Sent out Newsletters every two months.

In preparation for the future permanent museum:

  • SLHF completed Phase One of our Design/Build Museum that took seven months of efforts by the Board of Directors, staff, and our museum consultants.
  • SLHF Archivists cataloged 20,000+ items into our collection, and took another 1,800+ items and accessed them to the next level in the accessioning process.

In the area of fundraising, SLHF:

  • Received first time funding from the George Foundation, the Fluor Corporation, and Ecolab Foundation.
  • Received repeat funding from the City of Sugar Land and the Kempner Fund.
  • Held the "Turn Back the Clock" baseball game at Constellation Field and raised over $6,000.

One final major accomplishment, SLHF opened our temporary museum every Saturday in conjunction with the Farmer's Market, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  This accomplishment is bolded and separated on purpose, because to be open requires a consistent and dedicated group of volunteers.  SLHF volunteers are the best; they do a great job!  


While on the subject of volunteers, SLHF volunteers range in age from teenagers to very active seniors; from those just joining the workforce to those who are ready to retire; in essence, our volunteers come from all walks of life.  Please give due consideration to volunteering at SLHF in 2014.  It is a great experience!


In conclusion, all of the accomplishments in 2013 position SLHF for greater possibilities in 2014 and beyond.  The future is bright.  Good things are happening at SLHF.  Come join us in this adventure.


The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation inspires community pride by collecting, preserving, communicating, and celebrating the history of Sugar Land, Texas.



To find out more about SLHF, visit our website at

Many of you know the Sugar Land Museum has been located in temporary quarters since the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation opened its doors in October 2009.  Even the Museum's name is temporary - when it eventually moves to its permanent location, the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation will rechristen it with a new name befitting its broad mission of preserving and promoting our town's unique history.

Given the constraints of our temporary location in Imperial Sugar's old Personnel & Engineering Office at the foot of the Char House, we try to make the most of what  we have.  Fortunately, Imperial Sugar was very conscientious about recording not just its corporate history, which was very farsighted for the times, but also recording community life as it happened when Sugar Land was a company town.  This is a roundabout way of saying we have many, many good photos of old Sugar Land which provide an engaging view of our community's past.

Since gallery space is limited and since new technology offers wonderful alternatives, we periodically create videos and slide shows of photographs, documents, and video clips from our ample collection.  We have a high-definition screen and LED-projectors which help us overcome our very limited wall space.  Each Saturday morning from 9:00 to 1:00 we loop our digital exhibits (videos and slide shows) for public viewing.  Even better, volunteer docents are happy to show particular items on request from visitors.  We add to our list every month or so, but here are short descriptions of what we offer at present:


+  History of Sugar Land, a 10-minute video covering the general development of Sugar Land from its inception as a plantation in the 1820s to the present day.


+   Moving the Old Depot, a 5-minute episode of "The Eyes of Texas" television program narrated by Ron Stone showing the relocation of the 1927 Sugar Land railroad depot, from its original location at Highway 90A and Ulrich St. to Commerce Green Blvd., in 1985.


+  Imperial Sugar Slide Show No. 1, a 16 minute slide show of 190 photos depicting various scenes of refinery operations, personnel, labor union members, notable visitors, community relations, and other elements of Imperial's history.


+  Imperial Sugar Slide Show No. 2, a 12-minute slide show of 123 photos showing more photographs of Imperial Sugar and Sugar Land as company town and incorporated municipality.


+ Summary of Bob Armstrong's History of Sugar Land & Imperial Sugar, an 18-minute video overview of Bob Armstrong's book with a short prologue and epilogue narrated by Mr. Armstrong.


+ Imperial Sugar Television Commercial: "Texas Sweeties," a 30-second television commercial produced by Brown Communications in 1993 for Imperial Sugar's 150th anniversary year.


+ The Life of Samuel May Williams, a 14-minute video sketch of Samuel May Williams, original landowner of modern-day Sugar Land. (Produced by Gordon Blocker Productions in 1984)


+ Implosion of the Imperial Refinery, a 10-minute video of the demolition of structures in December 2010.


+ Imperial 150th Anniversary Celebration, a 50-minute video of Imperial Holly's 150th anniversary celebration at the Sugar Creek Country Club in May 1993 with Ron Stone serving as master of ceremonies.


+ Sugar ... Pure Cane Sugar, a 30-minute Imperial Sugar Company video explaining sugar refining, the sugar industry, and the history of Imperial Sugar.


Although the Sugar Land Museum is in a temporary location, there are still good reasons to pay a visit and take a glimpse into your community's past.


SLHF will hold our next Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, March 22nd, from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.  This is a great opportunity to help out the Heritage Foundation.  There will be projects that almost anyone (13 years or older) can participate in.  For example:  

  • Restocking/rearranging items for the Gift Shop
  • Light office cleaning (no floors)
  • Weather permitting:  cleaning of collection items that have been stored in warehouses
  • Rearranging Storage Closet (some moderately heavy lifting is required)
  • Transporting collection items to offsite storage location (some moderately heavy lifting is required).  If you have a pick-up truck, you would be a great help in this project!

Regardless of your project, you will meet some wonderful people that have a desire to preserve the heritage of Sugar Land and this area.  Come join the team; you will be glad that you did.  To volunteer, please contact Carolyn Gilligan, SLHF Volunteer Coordinator, at 

Ecolab Foundation gives $5,000 Community Grant to Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Nell Ciancarelli, Chairperson for Ecolab Foundation Community Grant Programs; Dennis Parmer, Executive Director of SLHF, and Cherry Wong, Community Outreach Chairperson for SLHF

Ecolab Foundation has given a $5,000 Community Grant to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation to support SLHF's Sugar Land History presentation program.  The program is a 45 minute presentation that concentrates on the history of Sugar Land from the start of the Plantation Era in the 1840s to Sugar Land today.  The presentation includes numerous slides and pictures of Sugar Land and the various eras.  The Sugar Land History program is currently being offered to elementary and middle school aged children.  An adult presentation is also available for civic organizations.

Dennis Parmer, SLHF Executive Director, said, "We would like to thank Ecolab Foundation for their support of the program.  The grant money will be used to purchase equipment and materials to better enhance the quality of the presentations."  To find out more about the Sugar Land History program or to schedule a presentation, please contact Dennis Parmer at or 281-494-0261.

The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has recently enrolled in the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations will earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community RewardsŪ.  All you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!

If you would like to participate, please follow these instructions:


You MUST have a registered Kroger Plus card account online to be able to link your card to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.  Do you use your phone number at the register?  Call 800-576-4377 and select option 4 to get your Plus Card number.


If you do not have a Kroger Plus Card, you can obtain a digital Kroger Plus Card when creating an account online or at any Kroger store.



 Our organization number is 26403


If you are a new online customer, scroll down the page to Texas and click on Enroll Now. 


You will need to enter your e-mail address, create a password, enter your zip code, click on favorite store, and agree to the terms and conditions.  Once you have finished entering your information, you will get a message asking you to check your e-mail inbox and click on the link within the body of the e-mail that was sent to activate your Kroger account.


Already have a account? If you have an existing account, click on Sign In.


Enter your e-mail address and password to proceed to the next step.  Go to Community and click on Kroger Community Rewards.  Click on Enroll Now.  Then enter our organization number, 26403 and click on Search.  Select Sugar Land Heritage Foundation and click on Save.  To verify that you enrolled correctly, you will see Sugar Land Heritage Foundation on the right side of your account settings page.

Once you are linked, you can start earning rewards immediately for our organization.  (Note: The message saying that you are supporting an organization through the Kroger Community Rewards program will start printing on your receipt about 10 business days after you linked your card.)


Remember, you must swipe your registered Kroger Plus Card or use your Alternate ID when shopping for each purchase to count.


If you have any problems with this, please contact Marsha Smith, for assistance.


We appreciate your choosing Sugar Land Heritage Foundation as your charity for Kroger's Community Rewards program.



On Saturday, December 21, 2013, friends and family of Nannie Lou Turner gathered at the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum, to remember Nannie Lou Turner, who passed away on December 17, 2013.  She lived in Sugar Land for over 50 years and worked for Imperial Sugar Company during much of that time.  The Sugar Land Heritage Foundation was pleased to provide the family with a venue for their gathering.


Welcome to Carolyn Gilligan, our new Volunteer Coordinator.  Carolyn has been a docent for several years and volunteers often on Saturday at our Museum.  Please contact her at if you want to volunteer. 

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? 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 a request basis.

Please contact Carolyn Gilligan at  to sign up.  

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

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Dennis Parmer
Executive Director

Chris Bohannan
Lead Archivist

Chuck Kelly
Assistant Archivist
Board of Directors

W. Martin Nicholas
Shay Shafie
Vice President

Bettye Anhaiser
Regina Morales

Bob Brown
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Carl Favre
Bruce Kelly
Steve Porter
Bill Schwer
Don Smithers
John Whitmore

Farmers' Market
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum
Every Saturday
9:00 - 1:00

Docent-led Walks
2nd Saturday of each month at 10:00

$10 for adults
$5 for 12 - 18
Free for under 12

The next 3 walks are    February 8, March 8 and April 12


Samantha Chan
Scott Coffee
Alyssa Coffey
Carolyn Gilligan
Jane Goodsill
Hal Jay
Paula Jay
Bruce Kelly
Marc Martinez
Shaleen Miller
Marisa Parks
Roberta Prater
Tracy Prater
Anish Rao
Betty Schofield
Marsha Smith
Miriam Watson
Cherry Wong

Dennis's Wish List!

Fire Proof Cabinet for Archivist Area


Matching Chairs with Rollers for Conference Table (8 or 10)


Steel Shelving to Store Artifact Collection


Funds for Build-Out for Museum Exhibits


Folding Tables & Chairs


Presentation Screen


Transcription Machine for Oral Histories



Bettye Anhaiser
Roy Cordes, Jr.
Sharon Ehrenkranz
Carl & Mary Favre
Carolyn Gilligan
Jane Goodsill
Bruce Kelly
Regina Morales
Steve Porter
Shay Shafie
Don Smithers
The Family of Nannie Lou   Turner
John Whitmore

Carolyn Gilligan

Cherry Wong

Betty Schofield

(unfilled at this time)

Haroldetta Robertson

Marsha Smith

Roy Wiffin

Becky Parmer

Aisling Venza

Raymond McDonald